Benefits of PQQ Supplement (2021 Edition)
PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) is an exciting new molecule that was first recognised in 1964 which helps improve mitochondria function, is found in healthy food and also interstellar dust particles (i.e. the stars)!
Japanese scientists announced in 2003 that PQQ was in fact a previously unidentified B vitamin.
A vitamin is a compound that the human body can’t produce itself which carries out at least one essential biochemical function.
However, it still has not been 100% confirmed that PQQ is a vitamin due to the role of PQQ being a coenzyme in bacteria not extending to humans, but it is vitamin-like.
What Is PQQ?
PQQ is a small quinone molecule that has anti-oxidant properties which was once thought to be a vitamin that acts as a redox agent (capable of reducing and oxidising).
Its job is to protect your cells and mitochondria from damaging free radicals and it’s roughly 5,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C in regards to ability to carry out catalytic conversions.
Also, it does a great job in killing off mitochondria which are not functioning and replicating the healthy mitochondria - acting like a cellular regenerator.
PQQ has been shown to modify oxidation in a cell by binding to certain proteins and modulate many of the functions in the signalling process which go on in the cell.
We can see how important PQQ is to mammalian health when it is removed from our diets because low-levels of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone may lead to:
- Growth Impairment
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction
- Abnormal Reproductive Performance
- Compromised Immune Responsiveness
You can see why people have started to become interested in taking PQQ for anti-aging as a supplement.
Benefits of PQQ
The following benefits of PQQ are:
- Neuroprotective properties in the old
- Anti-Inflammatory properties
- Enhances mitochondrial function
- Promotes neurogenesis
- Improved Energy Levels
- Better Sleep Quality
- Enhancing Memory
Let’s talk about the main PQQ benefits…
1.) May Increased Energy Levels
A study showed that people who suffered from low energy, felt a significant increase in their energy levels after taking PQQ.
This makes sense as PQQ works on optimising your mitochondria which is the core component of energy.
A human study that had 17 participants who had fatigue supplement with 20mg of PQQ for 8 weeks conducted with 20 mg of PQQ for 8 weeks showed improvements in sleep quality & duration.
2.) May Enhancing Memory
A study showed that Pyrroloquinoline Quinone can prevent cognitive deficits caused by oxidative stress.
The study showed an improvement in the ability to learn and improvements in memory function.
As it promotes neurogenesis, the improvement in memory and overall cognitive function would be credible.
3.) May Reduce Oxidative Stress
A study has shown that PQQ works like an antioxidant - lowering oxidative stress - which is crucial in today’s modern-day living where we are exposed to constant toxins.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone was also shown to reduce inflammation in the liver and acted as protection against fatty liver.
4.) PQQ, NRF2 & Damaging Proteins
PQQ also increases Nrf2 - a critical pathway - which increases natural antioxidant production.
Increasing Nrf2 is helpful because it lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone has been shown to prevent the development of damaging proteins that can cause harm to your body.
5.) Mitochondria & PQQ
Many people have believed that mitochondrial biogenesis could only happen from strenuous exercise or extreme calorie restriction.
Researchers found in 2010 that PQQ could protect mitochondria from oxidative damage and also stimulate growth of new mitochondria.
Variations of the levels of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone in diets cause modulation in mitochondrial content.
PQQ also interacts with PGC-1alpha which regulates many of the mitochondrial-related events which regulate genes involved in energy metabolism, blood pressure and also muscle fiber type.
PGC-1alpha is also associated with a reduction in free radicals and acts as a protectant against various mitochondrial toxins.
PQQ has been shown to affect:
- Activity of ras gene (involved in cell signalling pathways that control cell growth & cell death
- Activates mitochondrial transcription factors which lead to increase mitochondrial biogenesis
- Activates other transcription factors (proteins involved in the process of converting, or transcribing DNA into RNA) such as NRF 1 & 2
Under the right conditions, PQQ can carry out the redox cycle continuously - capable of thousands of redox reactions.
Why is PQQ’s redox capabilities significant?
In comparison with other bioactive quinones such as epicatechin in green tea which tend to self-oxidise (run out of steam) or form polymers such as tannins making them redundant for further redox reactions, PQQ can keep going back for more.
Improving the number of mitochondria and their efficiency in our cells can have far-reaching benefits such as a longer life or better energy.
And it appears that Pyrroloquinoline Quinone plays a significant part in as an essential cofactor in one of the many protein subunits that make up Complex I of the ETC.
This is important to know because nearly all of the endogenous (growing or originating within the organism) free radicals are produced at Complex I.
A study in mice showed that a PQQ-free diet led to impaired reproductive and immune function with the growth of the mice being impaired.
More importantly, PQQ-deficient mice had 30% - 40% fewer mitochondria and the mitochondria they did have was abnormally small or appear to function properly.
6.) May Help Lower Inflammation
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone was shown in early studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.
A study in mice who were given PQQ were shown to have less inflammation in their brain tissue compared to the control group.
There was also a human study of 10 people that lasted 3 days who took PQQ which showed C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels dropped.
What Foods Contain PQQ?
Here are the foods with the highest PQQ content in them (micrograms per kilogram):
- Cacao Powder - 800
- Natto (fermented soybeans) - 61
- Parsley - 34
- Green Tea - 29
- Green Pepper - 28
- Kiwi - 27
- Papaya - 26
- Tofu - 24
- Spinach - 21
- Carrot - 16
As you will see from the table above, cacao powder has the highest concentration of PQQ out of the all foods below it.
NAD+ & PQQ
If PQQ leads to mitochondrial biogenesis via the activation of cell signalling molecules such as AMPK which has been purported to up-regulate NAMPT - leading to an increase in NAD+.
This in turn, could activate the sirtuins and lead to an up-regulation of PGC1-alpha which results in an increase of natural mitochondrial biogenesis.
In one study, researchers commented that:
“PQQ treatment caused a concentration-dependent increase in the cellular NAD+ levels, but not the total NAD+ & NADH levels. Our results suggest that PQQ-inducible mitochondrial biogenesis can be attributed to activation of the SIRT1/PGC-1a signalling pathway by enhancing cellular NAD+ formation.”
In other words, PQQ doesn’t increase mitochondrial biogenesis directly, but could be a key factor in the process.
PQQ & CoQ10
Many people combine both PQQ supplements and CoQ10 to help maintain their energy levels.
A study showed that the combination of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone and CoQ10 may lead to memory enhancement & promote cognitive health + brain function.
The recommended dosage to get health benefits from PQQ are 10mg - 20mg a day.
The clinical studies have shown that 20mg of PQQ a day is needed to experience a cognitive benefit.
And one study found that a week’s consumption of up to 0.3mg/kg PQQ (20 mg for a 70 kg male) is perfectly safe.
You can also look to boost your PQQ intake by increasing your intake of raw cacao.
What Are The Side Effects of PQQ?
As PQQ increases mitochondria, some people have said (anecdotally) that it has caused mild insomnia so you may want to take your PQQ supplements earlier in the day to avoid this.
Other people have noted effects related to the brain such as mild headaches.
Summary: Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
There are many promising studies that have been carried out showing PQQ may help as a dietary supplement which is why PQQ is one of the fastest growing supplements right now.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone is a nerve growth factor that researchers are now showing helps promote growth and regulate gene expression.
PQQ supplements are certainly one to look out for!