Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Touted as the next big thing (????_
Is PQQ The Next Nutrient Superstar?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a novel vitamin-like compound found in plant foods that is showing a wide range of benefits to brain and body function based upon preclinical studies and initial clinical evaluation.1Although PQQ is not currently viewed as a vitamin, it is likely to be considered an essential nutrient in the future.
What exactly does PQQ do?
PQQ stimulates growth and serves as a cofactor for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular function including cellular growth, development, differentiation, and survival.1
PQQ is also as an extremely powerful antioxidant capable of catalyzing continuous cycling (the ability to perform repeated oxidation and reduction reactions) to a much greater degree compared to other antioxidants. For example, PQQ is able to carry out 20,000 catalytic conversions compared to only 4 for vitamin C.1,2
Are there any food sources of PQQ?
PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date.1 PPQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya and tofu.3 These foods contain about 2-3 mcg per 100 grams. Green tea provides about the same amount per 4 oz serving.
Is PQQ an essential nutrient?
Based upon the current research there is no question that it plays a critical role in human nutrition.1,4 When PQQ is omitted from chemically defined diets in mammals it leads to growth impairment, compromised immune status, and abnormal reproductive function.5 The nutritional requirements of PQQ are probably in line with folic acid and biotin in terms of micrograms per day versus milligrams per day. Like essential nutrients, the immune system seems particularly sensitive to low levels of PQQ. With PQQ deprivation there are multiple defects in immune function and loss of white blood cells to respond properly.1
What is the most important function of PQQ?
One key action of PQQ involves a direct action on key enzymes involved in the energy producing compartments in our cells – the mitochondria. As a result PQQ improves energy production.1,6 In addition to PQQ’s powerful antioxidant effect protects against mitochondrial damage. But, PQQ not only protects mitochondria from oxidative stress—it also promotes the spontaneous generation of new mitochondria within aging cells, a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis or mitochondriogenesis.1,7,8 This effect is a “fountain of youth” for mitochondrial function.
What are the clinical uses of PQQ?
Current research has primarily focused on its ability to protect memory and cognition in both aging animals and humans. Here are some of the effects noted in the animal studies:
- PQQ reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress and improve performance on memory tests in animal models.1,9
- PQQ supplementation stimulates the production and release of nerve growth factor.1,1
- PQQ protects against the self-oxidation of the DJ-1 gene, an early step in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.1,11
- PQQ protects brain cells against oxidative damage in models of strokes.1,12
- PQQ blocks the formation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), a major source of reactive nitrogen species (RNS) that are so damaging to brain cells.1,13