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WHAT IS PQQ?
It’s an injustice how unknown PQQ supplements are. PQQ or Pyrroloquinoline Quinone is also known as methoxatin. When it was first discovered, scientists believed that PQQ was a vitamin since it had effects that are very similar to the B vitamins. Further research showed that PQQ is not really a vitamin. Researchers reported that it was more of an antioxidant compound with vitamin B-like properties.
PQQ is naturally found in soil and certain foods. What’s even more interesting is that PQQ was identified in interstellar dust particles during one of NASA’s missions. The NASA scientists went further to point out that PQQ is found in almost all living things. Even in humans, PQQ is produced from certain amino acids. It is found in bodily fluids and some tissues.
Research studies have shown how beneficial PQQ can be. Of all the benefits, the compound’s ability to boost energy levels is by far its biggest strength. Several trials done on PQQ demonstrated its ability to enhance the production of mitochondria, which is the source of energy for our cells. That is just but one of the several benefits of PQQ, though. As we are going to see, PQQ packs several other benefits, and that’s why the supplements are slowly becoming so popular.
What Are the Benefits of PQQ?
- Improves Mitochondrial Function
Mitochondria is responsible for providing energy to the cells. Unfortunately, as we age, mitochondrial functions are greatly affected, and this reduces our energy levels significantly. This goes as far as affecting growth and causing neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues, and muscle weakness.
PQQ can help reverse this effect. In fact, PQQ deficiency has been linked to impaired mitochondrial function in animal studies.
According to multiple trials, PQQ stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis. In layman’s language, PQQ promotes the production or secretion of new mitochondrial cells.
PQQ is so effective in promoting mitochondrial functions on its own. Still, some people use it alongside coenzyme Q10. When used properly, these two compounds will increase your energy levels tremendously. It’s good to consult your doctor before using this combination, though.
- Reduces Oxidative Stress
Free radicals are very dangerous to cells. They can go as far as damaging brain cells, thereby affecting the functions and performance of this key organ. To protect the cells from free radicals, your body needs antioxidants.
PQQ is an effective antioxidant. This has been confirmed in vitro and animal studies. Not only does it protect the cells, but it can also shield the DNA from the harmful effects of free radicals. The ability of the compound to protect neuron cells has also hinted to the possibility of it being very useful for the treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Promotes Brain Function
The fact that PQQ has antioxidant properties, and it boosts energy levels by increasing the production of mitochondria means that it can be very helpful for enhancing brain performance. The bad news is that studies on the compound for this function in healthy people are very limited. The good news is that PQQ has been shown to be effective for preventing cognitive decline in seniors. In one placebo-controlled double-blind trial done on 41 healthy elderly people in Japan, the researchers observed an increase in blood flow to the brain. They concluded that supplementation of PQQ could prevent a decline in brain functions such as working memory and attention in seniors. These results were consistent with what animal studies had reported.
- Reduces Inflammation
Acute inflammation is very useful. It is your system’s response to pathogens and infections. However, due to several factors, chronic inflammation may occur, and this is anything but helpful. This is when there is prolonged inflammation, which can end up attacking healthy tissues. Chronic inflammation is actually linked to several medical conditions, including cancer and some cardiovascular diseases.
PQQ antioxidant properties help in protecting the cells and tissues against inflammation and damage. Further research is necessary to fully understand how we can use PQQ supplements for this purpose.
- Increase Life Span
According to this interesting animal study, supplementation with PQQ extended longevity or life span in roundworms. This can be attributed to the compound’s ability to protect brain cells against free radicals and inflammation and also for its energizing properties.
While this is very exciting, it’s important to remember that it’s all based on animal and vitro studies. We do not know whether the same effects can be replicated in humans, but it’s definitely very promising. We’d really love to see some human trials done on this particular subject.
- Improves Quality of Sleep
In one study involving adult subjects, oral administration of PQQ for a period of 8 weeks increased sleep quality. Moreover, the researchers observed that the subjects fell asleep much easier, and sleep duration was increased.
This means PQQ can be very helpful, especially in the elderly who have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Boosts Cardiovascular Health
PQQ boosts cardiovascular health in several ways. First, the chemical is known to decrease cholesterol levels in the body. Cholesterol is crucial in various functions. It is involved in the production of bile acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and hormones. Too much cholesterol is problematic, though. It clogs the arteries causing your heart to struggle in pumping blood. As a result, it can cause high pressure, heart attack, and even stroke. PQQ is known to regulate cholesterol levels. This has been observed in various studies. In fact, one trial from Japan reported that PQQ decreased the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
Other than protecting the heart, scientists have also reported that PQQ can help to reduce the damage suffered after a heart attack. PQQ was even compared to another post-heart attack beta-blocker known as Metoprolol in this animal trial. Both of these drugs produced positive results, but in PQQ, the researchers observed better improvement in lipid peroxidation or cellular damage than in the Metoprolol group. Sadly, there are no human trials to support these results.
PQQ Side Effects
PQQ is a generally safe compound with no serious adverse reactions. This has been reported from different research studies, and anecdotal evidence supports the same.
However, some people may still experience some mild side effects. This mostly happens to people who are sensitive to the compound or if one takes too much of it. In such instances, the user will experience mild headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia. Life-threatening effects might occur if PQQ is used in extremely high doses.
The good news here is you can avoid all the side effects by simply adhering to the recommended dose.
Very few PQQ studies have been done on humans. The FDA has also not approved the drug. For this reason, finding the right dose can be a bit of a challenge. In fact, the dosage guideline used at the moment is based on case studies and the few clinical trials available.
Based on that guideline, the recommended dose is between 20mg to 40 mg. The general rule here is to start with the lowest dose possible. This should give your body some room to adjust to the new compound. You can then proceed to increase the dosage gradually as you monitor your body’s response. Do not go beyond 40mg, though, as it can be very dangerous.
Can I Stack PQQ?
PQQ is commonly used alongside the coenzyme Q10. When used together, they produce better results, but you must be careful with the doses to avoid adverse reactions.
In a PQQ and COQ10 stack, you can take 20mg of PQQ and 200mg of COQ10.
It’s advisable to avoid the stack if you’ve never used either of the supplements before.
The enzyme cofactor PQQ is useful in so many ways. It’s also available in foods such as carrot, kiwi, papaya, potato, cabbage, sweet potato, tomato, banana egg yolk, celery, orange, spinach, etc. Sadly, the amount of PQQ we can get from these natural sources is very little. For that reason, most people are forced to rely on PQQ supplements.
With the best PQQ supplements come lots of health benefits. But, we have to remember that human studies on the compound are very limited. Therefore, be cautious of how much PQQ you are consuming. You may also want to speak to a medical provider before using the supplements, especially if you are taking other medications.