PQQ: Mitochondrial Support For Your Body
PQQ: Mitochondrial Support For Your Body
Mitochondrial wellness/support is a relatively new term in the natural health realm. Improving cellular mitochondrial function is involved in healthy aging, with support for numerous body processes and organs. One key player in this area is Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ for short). We will look at this fascinating substance in this newsletter.
PQQ is classified as a quinone, a nutrient naturally formed in the body and closely related to the well-known Coenzyme Q-10. It is considered to have B vitamin-like activity. It has powerful applications for contributing to slowing the aging process and helping prevent age-related disease, increasing energy levels, and increasing/preserving cognitive function, including memory and attention.
PQQ has been shown to both promote formation of new mitochondria (the “powerhouses” of the cell), and help them work more efficiently. Mitochondrial dysfunction may lead to degeneration of the body on many levels.
The brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body. This means that cellular energy in the mitochondria is important for brain cells to support healthy function. Aging mitochondria may contribute to age-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. PQQ may help prevent these diseases by its action on formation of new mitochondria. Increasing PQQ has been shown in studies to reduce brain injury caused by excitotoxicity, nerve cell death caused by overactivity of the neurotransmitter glutamate and other substances. Excitotoxicity is believed to be one cause of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to protection, PQQ stimulates the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), a key protein involved in the growth and survival of neurons. This has profound support for cognitive function and memory and attention. Studies of people taking 20 mg of PQQ daily over 12 weeks showed benefits for verbal memory, attention, and “cognitive flexibility,” the ability to solve problems in different ways.
Since the heart has need of vast amounts of energy, mitochondrial health of heart cells is critical for normal cardiovascular function. PQQ helps heart cells to run more efficiently through its energy production support. Animal studies have shown that insufficient PQQ contributes to worse outcomes in heart attacks. In addition, these studies have shown that increasing PQQ after heart attack can shrink the size of damaged areas in the heart, improve cardiac function following loss of blood flow, and prevent heart muscle death after blood flow loss.
PQQ’s effects on controlling inflammation and reducing oxidative stress have been shown to benefit bones. Aging cells give off inflammatory molecules which weaken the body. Among other damage they do, these molecules may contribute to weaker, fracture-prone bones. PQQ can promote formation and prevent degradation of bones. Animal studies have shown the ability of PQQ to strengthen and thicken healthy bone, prevent bone loss due to low levels of estrogen and testosterone, stimulate new bone formation, slow the development of osteoclasts, and promote formation of bone-building osteoblasts.
Cellular aging, partly due to the inflammatory molecules mentioned above, is a major contributor to aging of the human body. PQQ has shown the ability to block the effects of the harmful inflammatory molecules by interfering with their signaling pathways. Researchers discovered that when inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha were added to cells pre-treated with PQQ, the numbers of aging cells in the culture dropped to significantly less than those in the untreated group. In essence, this shows that PQQ can inhibit cellular aging and thus slow the body’s aging process. Two other studies using roundworms typically used in longevity studies found that giving the worms PQQ extended their lifespan by an average of 30%. Between its effects on reducing cellular senescence and also forming new mitochondria, PQQ has potential for helping to reduce age-related conditions.
Evergreen carries several PQQ products. Life Extension‘s PQQ Caps with BioPQQ has 10 mg PQQ in a vegan capsule. Natural Factors offers a standalone PQQ product, BioPQQ, in a vegan capsule as well as one with CoQ-10, PQQ-10, for extra mitochondrial support. This product is in a gelatin softgel. Jarrow‘s QH-absorb + PQQ offers 10 mg of PQQ combined with ubiquinol CoQ-10 for a powerful antioxidant duo.
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