Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is found naturally in the ground as well as in plant and animal life. Samples of stardust collected in space also contain this molecule which has given rise to the theory that PQQ may have an important role in the way life evolved on the planet.1 In the human body, PQQ acts much like an essential nutrient and has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. In the following article, we will take a closer look at some of the extensive effects of PQQ on improving and protecting the processes of cellular energy upon which a healthy life depends.
PQQ and Mitochondria BiogenesisPQQ exists bountifully in nature and in every cell of the body where it plays an important role in the formation of mitochondria. PQQ provides notable energy boosts through the way it improves the functions and conditions of this important cellular powerhouse. PQQ has been found as the only nutrient that stimulates the production of mitochondria. When the brain and body are kept well-supplied with energy at a cellular level, biological processes are optimized and the body from cells to systemic function becomes more resilient to disease. In the brain, mitochondria keep the brain well supplied with the energy it needs to maintain high mental output and perform the maintenance that prevents cognitive decline. The role of PQQ in the health of cellular energy has made it an effective treatment for a variety of conditions of the brain. Studies have found that when deprived of sufficient PQQ in their diet, test mice would suffer from lack of energy and developmental conditions. Reproduction rates would also become diminished with a lack of PQQ in the diet. The good news is that reintroduction of proper PQQ levels in the diet effectively reversed these effects and restored bodily systems to optimal levels. Mitochondrial health and an increased energy capacity were at the center of the improvement.2
PQQ and CoQ10PQQ works alongside Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to keep mitochondrial health at optimal levels. Many supplements that work to increase energy levels will include both of these compounds. In addition to the biogenesis of mitochondria, PQQ protects the cellular energy stations with a powerful antioxidant action.3
A Potent Redox AgentPQQ forms an effective agent in the constant struggle for balance between free radicals that upset cellular health and the antioxidants needed to address them. Some of the most potent antioxidants that must be included in the diet include vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols, and zinc. After PQQ performs its antioxidant action it can then be recycled and recommissioned by another antioxidant, glutathione. Studies have shown that PQQ can be recycled thousands of times before it is used up, which greatly increases its capacity as an antioxidant.
What are the Benefits of PQQ?Because PQQ works to address energy production in the body at a cellular level its benefits touch on many biological processes upon which a healthy human depends. Improving the function of the cellular powerhouse, mitochondria, is an important step in treating and preventing neurological and degenerative conditions.
Improved MemoryAs free radicals are produced through the regular metabolic processes that produce the energy and fuel biological activities, they must be properly disposed of to curb their damaging effects referred to as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can result in damage to the cells of the body and in the brain. This can lead to reduced cognitive functions and loss of memory. PQQ has been studied for its capacity to not only prevent the brain from the damage caused by freed radicals but also work to repair some of the damage left behind by oxidative stress.4
Promotes NeuroregenerationThe complex structures and networks of the brain and nervous system are subject to all kinds of damage from injuries and traumas to the slow decline of functionality caused by age. While not all types of brain damage can be mended, the cells of the brain are kept healthy, well-maintained and to a certain extent, even repaired by neurotrophic factors called nerve growth factors (NGF). Supplementation with PQQ could be an effective way to improve the body’s capacity to regenerate brain tissues and postpone the advent of age-related decline. PQQ has been found effective at stimulating the release and production of NGF and therefore supports a healthy mind with less risk of cognitive decline.5
Neuroprotective BenefitsThrough the advancement of age and the various unhealthy elements of the environment, the brain can be subject to all types of damage. PQQ offers a few important benefits that keep the brain protected from a wide range of damaging agents and potential conditions. Through the improvement of energy levels, the brain is better able to carry out repair work. Additionally, the potent antioxidant power of PQQ works to control free radicals and undo the oxidative stress they cause. It is the antioxidant capacity of PQQ that makes it an important factor in creating a treatment for Parkinson’s. PQQ prevents the production of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which has been connected to the advance of this degenerative condition.6 Furthermore, PQQ may offer important protection to brain cells from the damaging effects of beta-amyloid protein. Damage of this kind is associated with Alzheimer’s.7
A PQQ Healthy DietBecause PQQ is so abundantly found in nature, there are plenty of food choices to suit every diet type. High levels of PQQ in the diet can lead to improved memory functions, better cognitive performance, and stamina as well as better sleep at night. Here are some of the foods to include for more PQQ in your diet:8
- Natto (fermented soybean)
- Green peppers
- Fava beans