Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)

Background

Pyrroloquinoline quinone, also known as PQQ or Methoxatin, is a natural compound and redox cofactor, capable of reducing oxidants, found in plant-based foods. PQQ is a powerful antioxidant and activates pathways in the body that can promote cellular energy metabolism. It helps support mitochondrial function (producing more of them and increasing their efficiency). It has a possible neuroprotective role in the aged and also it may have an antiinflammatory role. Supplementing PQQ may also enhance peripheral neurogenesis (nerve growth outside of the brain). It may reduce oxidative stress and even act as a natural sleep aid. PQQ may boost brain power and even lower cholesterol levels.[1]

Benefits

PQQ is associated with a wide range of benefits for the brain and body, for instance stimulating mitochondria biogenesis, production of nerve growth factor, and antioxidant activity.
Actually, mitochondria in your body can be compared to the batteries that supply power to your body. When you age, the number of performance of mitochondria that you have in your cells decreases, and, as a result, it reduces your health and longevity. PQQ is a composite often found in mitochondrial support supplements that increases the formation of new mitochondria and enhances cellular energy production.
The most common health benefits of PQQ include:

  • Enhances cognitive function [2]
  • Relieves inflammation [3]
  • Reduces oxidative stress [4]
  • May extend longevity [5]
  • Promotes mitochondrial function [6]
  • Decreases cholesterol [7]
  • Improves sleep [8]
  • Improves learning ability and memory function [9]
  • Increases nerve growth factors (NGF) [10]
  • May help people who have Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases [11]
  • May protect heart against stroke [12]
  • Possesses potent neuroprotective effects [13]
  • May help fight cancer [14]
  • Improves immune function [15]

Studies show that PQQ helps reduce stress, fatigue and improves quality of life and sleep. The study finds improved quality of life, appetite, sleep, obsession and pain. It shows significant improvement in sleepiness at awakening, sleep onset and maintenance, and sleep duration.[16]

How it works

PQQ has a diversified mechanism of action. Studies demonstrate the unique ability of PQQ to stimulate the formation of new mitochondria and improve the function of existing mitochondria. Studies on animals show that PQQ activated the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha). This pathway is known to regulate mitochondrial biogenesis.[17]
PQQ promotes the growth of new nerve cells through stimulation of nerve growth factor (NGF) in brain cells. Actually, PQQ demonstrate that it is far superior to other molecules that aim at stimulating nerve growth factor in cultures of brain cells. PQQ is very effective in fighting oxidative damage and, as a result, helps protect you from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
A study showed PQQ’s neuroprotective effects that PQQ led to significantly improved neurobehavioral scores after the stroke. The provided data indicate that PQQ may be a useful neuroprotectant in stroke therapy. So, it can be said that PQQ can be given to stroke patients in the emergency room to reduce paralyzing brain damage.[18]

Considerations

PQQ is normally safe and does not seem to produce any adverse effects when used on a short-term basis. However, anecdotally, some users have reported mild headaches and insomnia and such side effects are due to usually either if too much is taken or if they are very sensitive to the effects of supplements. So avoid taking extremely high doses to prevent potential adverse effects. And if you notice any adverse effects, discontinue the supplement and talk to your physician or healthcare provider.

Recommendations

Though PQQ can be obtained naturally from food, if you want to kick up your PQQ intake more, considering supplement is the best way. But, try to be sure when you buy PQQ whether it is from a trusted and reputable brand and opt for a product that is extracted from fermented bacteria over types that have been synthetically produced in a lab.
There is no standard dosage for PQQ supplement. But some experiments indicate it can be beneficial in doses as low as 2 mg. However, most dietary supplements of PQQ are found in dosages between 20–40 mg, which is generally considered safe and effective for most people. In the beginning, lower dosage is recommended, and you can increase your dosage slowly to assess your tolerance. Also some human studies have used other dosage like 0.2 mg of PQQ per kg of body weight, 0.3 mg of PQQ per kg of body weight, etc. Consult your physician or healthcare provider to determine a specific dosage for you.

Sources