PQQ Supplements: Its Brain Protecting and Other Health Benefits

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a vitamin-like compound essential for proper cellular function, growth, and overall health. Bacteria naturally produce PQQ and are found in fruits and vegetables. Without enough PQQ in your diet, you can show symptoms similar to those you would experience in a vitamin deficiency.

Key takeaways:

What are PQQ supplements?

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a redox factor and antioxidant found naturally in a variety of foods, including soybeans, spinach, parsley, and green tea. PQQ supplements are also available and are marketed as a way to support mitochondrial health, cognitive function, and overall energy levels.

Supplements are made from bacteria and manufactured into capsules, tablets, or soft gels. Preliminary evidence suggests that PQQ has a number of health benefits that could protect from diseases and counter the effects of aging.

Benefits of PQQ supplements

PQQ supplements are claimed to support mitochondrial growth and health. This could result in other health benefits like improved cognitive function, heart health, and overall energy levels. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects on humans.

Improves mitochondrial function

Mitochondria are found in most cells and play an important role in converting food into energy. Mitochondrial health is vital for cellular function and is the foundation of a healthy life. Studies done on mice show that PQQ could help the mitochondria to function at their best, and support the development of new mitochondria. More research on humans is needed.

These potential health benefits result in more usable energy to tolerate stress, protect against disease, and support proper functioning throughout the day.

Powerful antioxidant

Antioxidants support optimal brain function, protect from damage from environmental toxins, and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Furthermore, PQQ supplements may repair oxidative damage and protect from oxidative stress. Some studies suggest that it is more effective than vitamin C at fighting free radicals in the body. In addition, mitochondria are vulnerable to oxidative damage, which is one way PQQ supports proper cellular function.

Supports brain health

PQQ is considered a nootropic, supporting brain function and health, especially as you age. Some studies suggest that PQQ, at doses between 10–20 mg per day, increases blood flow to the cerebral cortex in humans.

PQQ has been studied briefly on middle-aged and older people. For example, one study showed that 64 participants saw an improvement in memory, reaction time, and executive function after taking PQQ supplements for 12 weeks.

Evidence suggests that PQQ might be effective in helping repair brain tissue damage. For example, in the wake of a brain injury, PQQ has been reported to improve memory and blood circulation and protect the brain from neurodegeneration.

Improves cardiovascular function

Because of its antioxidant properties and ability to support the mitochondria, PQQ may play a role in supporting heart health. Some animal studies suggest this might be the case. For example, studies on mice have shown that a PQQ-deficient diet might result in heart failure, while supplementing with PQQ protects against heart disease. More research on humans is needed.

Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the body’s response to infection or injury. However, exposure to toxins, poor diet, and autoimmune disorders can lead to chronic inflammation, a condition that leads to other health problems.

Studies done on animals have shown that taking a PQQ supplement has resulted in decreased inflammation. One study found that PQQ was 10 to 100 times more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Can you just get PQQ from foods?

PQQ is found in select fruits and vegetables. First, bacteria in the soil naturally produce PQQ to help fruits and vegetables survive and grow. Then, plants absorb the compound and, in turn, use it for growth and combatting stress. Finally, animals and humans absorb PQQ by eating fruits and vegetables high in PQQ.

Nevertheless, there isn’t enough research to suggest that food-derived PQQ is better than supplements or vice versa. However, many experts believe you can get enough PQQ if you eat a diet rich in foods that naturally contain the vital compound.

Foods that contain PQQ

PQQ is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. The amount of PQQ in these foods varies depending on factors such as growing conditions, processing, and cooking methods. Therefore, it might be difficult to obtain enough PQQ from diet alone to achieve the results published in PQQ studies so far. Here is a list of foods that contain PQQ:

  • Fermented soybeans
  • Legumes
  • Kiwi
  • Parsley
  • Green peppers
  • Papaya
  • Tea
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges

There is currently no recommended dosage for PQQ. However, existing studies have administered between 5 and 20 mg a day. It is generally recommended not to exceed 80 mg a day, as high doses can result in kidney damage.

Speak with your doctor to find the correct dosage for you.

How long does it take for a PQQ supplement to work?

Changes reported from PQQ supplements are extremely varied, and the effects of PQQ may vary depending on the individual and the specific health condition being targeted. Limited studies on humans have reported improved cognitive function in twelve weeks.

Does PQQ have any side effects?

PQQ is regarded as safe to take. However, because little research into drug interactions exists, you should speak with your doctor before taking the supplement.

Some side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Kidney damage
  • Increased testosterone levels
  • Depleted glutathione levels

Research on PQQ supplements is limited, and more human research is needed. However, studies suggest that PQQ supplements might be beneficial for mitochondrial health, cognitive function, and overall levels. Because research is limited, there are many questions that still need to be answered.

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