Tiny but incredibly potent, most people are completely unaware of the existence of the PQQ supplement, let alone the myriad of health benefits that it can provide. Besides bumping up energy levels, preliminary research suggests that this compound could also aid in disease prevention, reduce oxidative stress and even act as a natural sleep aid.
Available at health stores and pharmacies across the globe in supplement form, PQQ can also be found in right on your plate in some of the foods you may already regularly enjoy.
Heres what you need to know about this health-promoting compound, plus how you can get more of it in your diet. What Is PQQ and What Does It Do?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone, also known as PQQ, is a compound found naturally in the soil and certain foods that is believed to help aid in the formation of new mitochondria cells. Its also produced naturally in your body from other amino acids and found in your tissues and bodily fluids.
PQQ can bring some serious benefits when it comes to your energy, as the mitochondria acts as the battery of the cell and is responsible for generating power. In fact, you can often find PQQ and CoQ10 combined in supplements that are aimed at amping up energy levels and extending the life span.
PQQ also has antioxidant properties, and taking a PQQ supplement is believed to help reduce inflammation, boost brain power and even lower cholesterol levels as well as provide a host of other powerful health benefits.
Enhances Brain Function
Reduces Oxidative Stress
May Extend Life Span
Promotes Mitochondrial Function
Decreases Cholesterol Improves Sleep
1. Relieves Inflammation
Acute inflammation is a normal response by the immune system that helps fight off foreign invaders and reduce the risk of infection. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can have a detrimental effect on health. In fact, its believed that inflammation is at the root of disease and may contribute to chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. (1)
PQQ has antioxidant properties that can help neutralize harmful free radicals to prevent cell damage and inflammation. In fact, research published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that PQQ supplementation resulted in significant decreases in many markers of inflammation after just three days. In the studies, five men and five women drank a fruit-flavored beverage that was supplemented with PQQ, resulting in potential changes in antioxidant potential. (2) 2. Enhances Brain Function
Although many people start taking a PQQ supplement looking to fight fatigue and kick up energy levels, some research has found that PQQ may actually have a beneficial effect on brain power as well.
A 2016 study found that PQQ was able to increase blood flow to the brain, which could help protect against cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly. In the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, conducted in Japan, 41 healthy elderly people were either given an oral PQQ supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks. The researchers ultimately concluded that the results suggest that PQQ can prevent reduction of brain function in aged persons, especially in attention and working memory. (3)
Similarly, an animal study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that PQQ helped prevent neurodegeneration and improved memory in rats thanks to its ability to decrease oxidative damage in the cells. (4)
3. Reduces Oxidative Stress
PQQ has powerful antioxidant properties, which can help protect the cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by the buildup of harmful free radicals. This could have far-reaching benefits, as studies show that antioxidants play a central role in health and disease. (5)
Multiple studies have confirmed the ability of PQQ to protect against oxidative stress. One test-tube study from Hokkaido University in Japan showed that PQQ helped prevent the death of neuron cells caused by oxidative stress, which could potentially benefit neurological disorders like Parkinsons disease. (6) Another animal study found that PQQ could reduce the risk of osteoporosis by inhibiting DNA damage, reducing cell death and blocking oxidative stress in mice. (7)
4. May Extend Life Span
Impressively, some studies have actually found that taking a PQQ supplement may have benefits beyond brain health, disease prevention and energy production. In fact, promising new research shows that PQQ could even act as a life extender to help you live longer.
PQQ is integral to the function of the mitochondria, which may be involved in controlling both longevity and the aging process. (8) One animal study published in Experimental Gerontology actually found that supplementation with PQQ was able to reduce oxidative stress and increase longevity in roundworms. (9)
Keep in mind, though, that current research is limited to test-tube and animal studies, and more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of PQQ on longevity in humans.
5. Promotes Mitochondrial Function
One of the primary benefits of PQQ is its effect on the mitochondria, which is the organelle that provides energy to the cells. In fact, its often combined with other energy-enhancing compounds like CoQ10 to help enhance mitochondrial health.
It works by stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis, or the production of new mitochondrial cells. (10) According to an animal study published in PLoS One, a deficiency in PQQ can actually impair mitochondrial function. (11) Symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction can include decreased growth, muscle weakness, neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues and an increased risk of infection. (12)
6. Decreases Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found throughout the body that is absolutely essential to health. It makes up the foundation of your cell membranes and is used for the production of hormones, fat-soluble vitamins and bile acids. However, having too much cholesterol can start to clog up your blood vessels, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Some studies suggest that taking a PQQ supplement could help keep your cholesterol levels in check to reduce your risk of heart disease. A study out of Japan, for example, showed that supplementing with pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium salt significantly lowered levels of bad LDL cholesterol in 29 adults. (13)
7. Improves Sleep
If youre constantly waking up and still feeling totally drained, PQQ may be able to help. Not only has it been shown to improve sleep quality, but it may also help you fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.
In one study published in Functional Foods in Health & Disease, taking PQQ for eight weeks improved multiple measures of sleep quality, including sleep duration, sleepiness at awakening and the amount of time it took to sleep, in 17 adults. (14)
Related: Berberine: The Plant Alkaloid that Helps Treat Diabetes & Digestive Problems
PQQ Supplement Uses
Better Brain Power
Natural Sleep Aid
1. Heart Health
PQQ can help reduce cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke while also optimizing heart health. Although research is limited, the animal study published in PLoS One mentioned above also found that PQQ was able to lower triglyceride levels as well.
2. Disease Prevention
Between its ability to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, PQQ can have a powerful effect on disease prevention. In addition to improving heart health and brain function, PQQ has also been shown to be effective against leukemia cells in one test-tube study out of India. (15)
3. Weight Loss
Thanks to the effects of PQQ on energy levels, it may also be able to help you lose weight fast as well by supplying the extra energy you need to get up and get moving. Studies in humans are lacking, but that same animal study published in PLoS One out of the University of California Davis referenced above also found that taking a PQQ supplement was able to increase metabolism in rats.
4. Increased Energy
PQQ is perhaps most well-known for its beneficial effects on energy levels. It stimulates the production of new mitochondria cells, which are responsible for energy production. PQQ has also been shown to improve sleep quality, which can help improve energy levels as well.
5. Better Brain Power
In addition to aiding in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders, PQQ may also enhance cognitive function. In both animal and human studies referenced previously PQQ has been proven to increase blood flow to the brain and improve memory.
6. Natural Sleep Aid
Taking a PQQ supplement or filling up on PQQ-rich foods may be an easy and effective way to improve sleep quality. Taking PQQ for eight weeks has been shown to increase sleep duration, decrease sleepiness at awakening and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, as the study published in Functional Foods in Health & Disease referenced previously showed.
I ordered some. It arrives Friday in the mail. 20 mgs a day is the optimal dose. I want it to promote mitochondrial growth and to help promote better sleep.