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The Transmembrane Potential (TMP) - The 'Cell battery' voltage

The transmembrane potential (TMP) - The "Cell battery" voltage

Healthy vs. Sick "Cell Battery” Voltage Level

A healthy cell maintains a measurable resting “battery” voltage of about 70 - 100 millivolts (mV).  Depending upon the cell type (heart cells are highest at 90-100mV), with the outer membrane being more positive than the inner membrane. 

In contrast, when a cell is poisoned, injured or nutrient-deprived, the "cell battery” voltage falls to a level as low as 40 mV.   At this level the sodium / potassium pumps will malfunction, cellular energy production will stop, and the cell will either struggle to heal itself or die. In the case of a cancerous cell, the survival mechanism has “kicked in”, enabling it only to multiply, but no longer perform its assigned task.

"Cell battery” voltage falls with age.   Due to the stresses of life, malnutrition and a toxic, unnatural environment, the human cell loses approximately 10% of its original "cell battery” voltage every 24 years, diminishing roughly according to the following chart:

Age: Birth 24 yrs 48 yrs 72 yrs 96 yrs

Percentage of Original Cell “Battery Voltage”






Fortunately, there are methods available to us, which will recharge our depleted cell “batteries”

Beneficial Energy Charges the Cell Battery

The Cell Membrane acts like a Battery

The electrical charge difference or voltage across the membrane of a human cell is called the  transmembrane potential (TMP) or more familiarly, the "Cell Battery” voltage.  The charge difference is determined by a vital imbalance of mineral ions, such as K+, Na+, Ca++ and H+, separated on either side of the membrane.

The "cell battery”provides the driving force for active transport of ingredients across the cell membrane

The imbalance of ions across the cell membrane is maintained by powered membrane transport pumps (gated protein channels) that move ions across the semi-permeable membrane in the opposite direction to their concentration gradient.   Ions can move without help from a higher concentration to a lower concentration (i.e. by diffusion), but need a “push” to move against their concentration gradient. Most ion channels are “gated”, meaning they must be stimulated to open or close by electrical (and sometimes mechanical or chemical) mechanisms.

-    Important membrane pumps (actually enzymes):

•  Sodium Potassium (Na/K) Pump (Na+/K+ -ATPase)

•  Bicarbonate Pump (HCO3 -ATPase)

•  Calcium (Ca) pump-(Ca2+ -ATPase)

For more information on how substances cross the cell membrane:

The Human Cell 101

It is mainly the Na/K pumps (Sodium-Potassium Adenosine Triphosphatase) that keep the "Cell Battery” charged.   Cells maintain a transmembrane potential difference across their cell membranes by keeping a specific balance of potassium ions (K+) INSIDE and sodium ions (Na+) OUTSIDE their cells. This is accomplished by using membrane Na/K pumps to pump Na+ ions out of the cell and K+ ions into the cell against their concentration gradients (i.e. the opposite of diffusion). This maintains a low sodium / high potassium ion concentration inside the cell.

For those quirky people, who would like to see more detail about how the resting potential difference is established, see:

The Cell “Battery” Resting potential

The Na/K pumps are opened or closed by a change in the "cell battery” voltage.   Stimulated by the transmembrane potential, the opening of the Na/K pumpsgenerates an inward current that affects the membrane potential itself (creating a reinforcing positive loop).

The "cell battery” voltage must be maintained at a healthy level to enable delivery (via secondary active transporters) of “outside” supplies (glucose, amino acids and other nutrients) for mitochondrial ATP energy production and for the cell to function.   At least 30% of the ATP energy produced by the cell mitochondria is used to power the membrane pumps.

Cellular Respiration

The "Cell Battery” voltage affects all Electrical activity of the cell.   The membrane resting potential prepares the “excitable” nerve and muscle cells for the propagation of action potentials leading to nerve impulses and muscle contraction. E.g. the heart muscle cells (myocardial cells) require a sufficient membrane potential for the heart to beat; pain messages are passed via nerve impulses.

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Attend to Diet, Lifestyle and Emotional State


Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMFT)


       "The medical kit of the future"

The Body Electric

General electrotherapy health benefits.   Used systemically and/or locally at specific problem areas of the body, its effective application has many benefits:

Detoxification Wellness / Healthy aging Pain relief 
Relief from insomnia Immune system restoral Anti-Inflammatory
Maximizes cellular energy production Accelerated tissue /bone
/scar healing
Stress Reduction
Muscle relaxation / rehabilitation Increased blood oxygen
/ circulation

There are several reasonably affordable electrotherapy devices available for personal use. The following electrotherapies are those that have received a significant amount of positive feedback:

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) applies specific frequency patterns to the head area, with the following benefits:

Balances neurotransmitters Relieves pain Treats depression
Substance abuse withdrawal Relieves insomnia Relieve stress / anxiety
Anti-Inflammatory Fibromyalgia +++