PQQ: Is This the Most Underestimated Antioxidant of Our Lifetime?
Fun Fact: 95% of your body’s energy comes from a once-mysterious process that occurs deep in the mitochondria of each cell in your body. You’ve probably heard of it — it’s the ATP-generating process for which CoQ10 is desperately needed. But CoQ10 can only do so much. Every year, our cells have fewer and fewer mitochondria available which means that over time, we can only fuel up so much.
But now, researchers have discovered that one antioxidant has the ability to actually produce more mitochondria within your cells.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a nutrient discovered in 1974, may be destined to become the next supplement superstar, as research in recent years suggests it has a broad range of health benefits. Up until recently, much of the buzz centered on its key action of boosting mitochondrial function, which had been compared to improving the performance of a car engine. But ground-breaking research has found it can actually do a lot more than just boost and optimize mitochondrial function.
Experts estimate that up to 80% of adults are deficient in an essential mineral that is responsible for over 600 vital metabolic reactions throughout your body.
So I’m going to give you some easy tips for identifying a deficiency, and tell you about the safe, natural and inexpensive way to increase your levels of this nutrient to help you avoid unnecessary health issues.
The Critical Role of Mitochondria
A property of PQQ that has generated much interest is its effect on mitochondria, the critically important cell structures involved in energy production. Mitochondria have been likened to a car engine because the energy they produce fuels all the cells in the body, enabling them to perform the functions they were designed to execute. Just as a car can’t run without an engine, so also the heart can’t beat, the lungs can’t breathe, the kidneys can’t filter blood, and the brain can’t think without mitochondria. As you can imagine, when the mitochondria aren’t performing well, all body functions are impaired, a consequence that accelerate aging and play a role in the development of an array of illnesses, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, heart failure and chronic fatigue.
PQQ’s Effect on Mitochondria
Studies show PQQ’s antioxidant properties protect mitochondria from damage, but more remarkably, the compound actually generates new mitochondria, which is a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. The latter discovery is huge because it indicates PQQ is a fountain of youth for these powerhouses within the cells. It is like an old, rundown car becoming revived through the installation of a new engine. Cells with the new mitochondria will have the energy they need to work more optimally. Prior to this finding, the only other ways known to generate mitochondria were through calorie restriction or high-intensity aerobic activity, both of which options are not feasible for those who are elderly or infirmed.
“Bioactive compounds reported to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis are linked to many health benefits such increased longevity, improved energy utilization, and protection from reactive oxygen species. The ability of PQQ to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis suggests that PQQ may be beneficial in diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction,” said researchers in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Superior Antioxidant, Mitochondria Booster and So Much More?
PQQ is a compound with powerful antioxidant properties, but it does a lot more than just ward off free-radial damage. Its unique characteristics enable it to catalyze certain body reactions to a much greater extent than other antioxidants. To illustrate, PQQ can carry out 20,000 catalytic conversions, while vitamin C can carry out only four.
Research is in its early stages, as most of it has been conducted within the past ten years. Studies reveal PQQ can protect memory and cognition in animals and humans. The compound also holds promise for helping people with neurodegenerative disease: Animal studies show it prevents the development of alpha-synuclein, a protein linked to Parkinson’s disease, as well as protects nerve cells from the harmful effects of beta-amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Another animal study indicates it reduces the likelihood of severe stroke. In addition, a clinical trial found that participants who took a daily dose of 0.3 mg PQQ/kg had decreased blood markers of inflammation and increased urinary energy metabolites, an indicator of enhanced mitochondrial functioning.
Food Sources and Supplement Advice
Although PQQ is found in all plants, good sources include tofu, parsley, kiwi, papaya, green peppers and green tea. A 100-gram serving of each food or a 4-ounce serving of green tea contains approximately 2 to 3 micrograms. To obtain the amounts used in clinical studies, the best thing to do is to find a high-quality supplement from a trustworthy brand. Given the popularity of this nutrient (and the fact that it’s expected to be “the next big breakthrough” in heart and brain health), make sure the PQQ being used is in any supplement you consider is made using an all natural fermentation process is purified. Look for a formula that offers a minimum of 8 mg of PQQ, but if you can find a formula that offers 10 mg, all the better.
Have you tried PQQ? How did it help you? Please share your experiences in the comments section.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.