Introduction to PQQ
Mitochondria are the powerhouse that fuels the various chemical processes in the body. They provide your cells and tissues with the energy necessary to perform all tasks including the most crucial ones like fighting infections, maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and keeping the brain performing smoothly. As we age, the number of healthy mitochondria in the body drops drastically reducing the efficiency of tissues and organ performance. Certain medical conditions can also damage or reduce the number of mitochondria in the body leading to even more ailments.
But what does all this have to do with PQQ? PQQ plays a crucial role not just in protecting mitochondria and mitochondrial processes but has also been seen to be vital in the formation of new mitochondria. Very little is known about this compound despite its crucial role for a healthy living. So, how can one obtain PQQ? Do you have to fully rely on supplements or are there natural food sources of this compound? What sorts of benefits should one expect from supplementing PQQ?
What is PQQ?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) was initially thought to be a vitamin that aids with energy generation and overall cell growth. Clinical studies showed otherwise and the compound was categorized as a non-vitamin growth factor. As a cofactor, PQQ helps in the synthesis of new mitochondria cells and also benefits the body in various other ways as we are going to see.
Sources of PQQ
Our bodies naturally produce PQQ using amino acids. At certain ages, natural production of PQQ is usually at it’s optimal where supplementation is not necessary. With aging, however, its production diminishes and this is where you will have to rely on other sources of PQQ to meet your body’s demand.
The good news is that it is found in lots of foods that you can easily add to your diet. Vegetables and fruits are usually the best sources of PQQ. You can get PQQ from miso, natto, kiwi, parsley, green pepper, papaya, fava bean, spinach, carrot, potato, sweet potato, banana, cabbage, orange, egg yolk, tomato, and celery.
If you find dieting too hectic or if you just want a concentrated source of PQQ, then you can go online and shop for supplements. You should, however, be careful and get them from trusted dealers and follow the prescribed dosages to avoid overdosing and to keep off other negative reactions.
Benefits of PQQ
- Fights Inflammation
When your tissues come into contact with foreign compounds, the first and natural form of response is inflammation. It is through inflammation that your immune system is able to fight and expel these foreign compounds from the body. This is also known as acute inflammation and it is very useful in keeping us free from infections. In some cases, however, this inflammation may be prolonged in what is referred to as chronic inflammation and this is extremely dangerous. In other incidences, your body may react defensively to harmless compounds in the body resulting in chronic inflammation. Heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes are just but a few of the diseases that can result from chronic inflammation.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone has antioxidant properties that can fight harmful invaders preventing inflammation and cell damage.
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry once published a study involving five women and five men that were done to investigate the impact of PQQ’s antioxidant properties in fighting inflammation. The results were very exciting because not only did it confirm PQQ’s potency but it also showed that in some cases, the impact was observed after just three days!
- Enhances Mitochondrial Functions
This is the most popular benefit of PQQ. Without an efficient mitochondrial functioning, you are likely to experience neurological problems, muscle weakness, decreased growth, more infections, and other GI issues. Mitochondria deficiency also leads to overall weakness and lack of energy.
Scientists explain that PQQ promotes mitochondrial biogenesis a process that involves the production of new mitochondrial cells. This makes sure that your body doesn’t just have sufficient mitochondria but that all of them are healthy and functioning optimally. This makes sure that your cells and tissues are all receiving sufficient and steady energy that ensures all operations are running smoothly.
- Boosts Brain Functions
In 2014, a study was done in Japan involving 41 elderly individuals. A group of these women was given oral PQQ supplements with another placebo investigated separately. At the end of two weeks, the researchers reported that the people under PQQ supplementation reported better cognitive performance compared to the placebo.
PQQ, in the body, promotes blood supply to different body organs including the brain. As your brain gets more blood, it’s able to access more nutrients and oxygen-boosting its performance. For this purpose, PQQ is even more effective when used by the elderly who are more susceptible to dementia and other cognitive issues.
Another research published in the journal of clinical biochemistry and Nutrition involving animals also recorded improved memory and fewer neurodegeneration thanks to PQQ’s ability in protecting cells against oxidative damage.
- Prevents Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress and cell damage are normally caused by free radicals in the body. Research has shown us that with sufficient PQQ in the body, your cells will receive more protection against these radicals keeping you safe and healthy.
A study conducted by Hokkaido University in Japan proved that it helped in preventing the death of neuron cells and repairing unhealthy ones affected by oxidative stress. The compound is hence seen to be a great solution to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Improves Quality of Sleep
If you spend hours rolling from one side of the bed to the other trying to get yourself into falling asleep then PQQ is the solution that you need. Functional Foods in Health and Diseases published a report in which PQQ was reported to be effective in improving the quality of sleep. People using this supplement were also able to fall asleep much quicker compared to other people. The fact that it reduces oxidative stress and improves blood circulation to the brain also means that it keeps your brain at peace which is vital in falling and staying asleep.
Chances of experiencing adverse reactions are very minimal when you are taking it from natural food sources. If you are using supplements then you have are purchasing high-quality supplements and that you stick to the recommended dosages to avoid unwanted reactions.
The commonly reported side effects are usually fatigue, drowsiness, and headaches.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to stay away from the supplement.
The supplement is a vital cofactor with a wide spectrum of confirmed benefits. It’s advisable that you consume it from natural food sources to avoid adverse reactions. If you want high concentrations of the product, you can purchase high-quality supplements that will offer even better results for shorter periods but you have used them as prescribed.