PQQ: Supplement Benefits & Best Health Uses

Explore the top Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) benefits for brain health, energy, and longevity. See key uses, synergistic supplements and healthy habits.


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What is PQQ?

PQQ stands for Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, a molecule found in many plant foods that has sparked interest for its potential impact on human health. It’s considered a novel cofactor with antioxidant properties, meaning it helps protect cells in the body from damage caused by harmful molecules.

While not a vitamin, PQQ is similar in function, assisting with important biological processes. For example, it plays a role in energy production within our cells, particularly in the mitochondria, which are like tiny power plants inside our cells.

Research has been exploring how PQQ might support brain health, including memory and cognition. It’s also being looked at for its possible effects on sleep, energy levels, and overall well-being.

Curious about how PQQ could benefit you or your patients? Keep reading below to dive deeper into the world of PQQ, its uses, forms, and potential health benefits.

What is PQQ good for?

Mitochondrial Support and Energy

PQQ is known for its role in supporting mitochondria, the energy-producing structures within cells. It promotes the growth of new mitochondria and enhances their function, which can lead to increased energy levels. This mitochondrial biogenesis is particularly important in organs with high energy demands like the brain and heart.

For those looking to optimize energy production, PQQ dosage may range from 10 to 20 mg per day. It’s often recommended to take PQQ with food to improve absorption, particularly with fats, as it is fat-soluble.

Cognitive Health Enhancement

PQQ has been associated with improved cognitive function and memory. It is believed to protect neurons by modulating pathways involved in cell survival and neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form new connections. This makes PQQ a topic of interest for age-related cognitive decline and brain health.

Typical PQQ dosage for cognitive support is around 20 mg per day. Taking PQQ alongside omega-3 fatty acids may enhance its neuroprotective effects due to their synergistic roles in brain health.

Cardiovascular Health

Research suggests that PQQ may benefit heart health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are risk factors for heart disease. It also helps to maintain the integrity of mitochondria in heart cells, supporting heart muscle function.

A PQQ dosage for cardiovascular support has not been firmly established, but studies often use doses around 10-20 mg per day. It’s best taken with meals containing healthy fats to maximize absorption.

Inflammation and Antioxidant Defense

PQQ acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, including arthritis and metabolic syndrome.

While there’s no specific PQQ dosage for inflammation, doses in the range of 10-20 mg are commonly used in research. Combining PQQ with other antioxidants like vitamin C or E may provide complementary benefits.

Reproductive Health and Pregnancy

There is limited research on PQQ’s effects on female reproductive health and pregnancy. However, due to its cellular protective roles, there is interest in its potential benefits for fertility and during pregnancy.

Caution is advised, and PQQ should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There are no established dosages for these specific conditions, and interactions with prescription drugs should be closely monitored. Always check with your primary care provider before making any changes to your supplements.

PQQ benefits

  1. Enhanced Mitochondrial Function
    PQQ benefits the body by stimulating the growth and function of mitochondria, the cell’s power generators. It activates genes that promote the formation of new mitochondria and supports the defense against mitochondrial decay, which is crucial for energy-dependent organs like the heart and brain.
  2. Neuroprotective Effects
    One of the notable pqq benefits is its ability to safeguard nerve cells. PQQ modulates cellular signaling pathways, thereby protecting neurons from oxidative damage and supporting the regeneration of nerve cells, which is vital for maintaining cognitive health.
  3. Antioxidant Activity
    PQQ acts as a powerful antioxidant, scavenging harmful free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. This action helps to protect the body’s tissues from oxidative damage and supports overall cellular health.
  4. Supports Heart Health
    PQQ contributes to cardiovascular health by enhancing mitochondrial efficiency in heart cells and reducing markers of inflammation, which can lower the risk of heart disease.
  5. Improved Energy Levels
    By optimizing mitochondrial performance, PQQ can lead to improved energy production at the cellular level, translating to increased stamina and vitality for daily activities.
  6. Reduced Inflammation
    PQQ can modulate the body’s inflammatory response, potentially reducing the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions. It influences various inflammatory pathways, which can help in managing conditions like arthritis.
  7. Enhanced Sleep Quality
    PQQ may influence sleep quality by regulating the body’s internal clock and reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, which could be beneficial for individuals with sleep-related issues.
  8. Supports Brain Health
    PQQ promotes the growth of nerve growth factor (NGF), which is essential for the survival and maintenance of neurons. This is particularly important for brain health as it can influence learning and memory.

7 ingredients to combine with PQQ

In functional medicine, we often look for synergistic effects between nutrients, where the combined impact is greater than the sum of their parts. Common combinations with PQQ include CoQ10 for energy, omega-3 fatty acids for brain health, and magnesium for cellular function. Other popular pairings are with antioxidants like vitamin C, zinc for immune support, and B-vitamins for metabolic health.

CoQ10 with PQQ Supplement

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and PQQ are a dynamic duo for cellular energy. CoQ10 aids in energy production within the mitochondria, while PQQ promotes the growth of new mitochondria. This combination is especially popular for those looking to enhance physical energy and support heart health. It’s often recommended for older adults, as the body’s natural production of CoQ10 declines with age. However, caution is advised when taken with blood thinners, as CoQ10 can interact with these medications.

Omega-3s with PQQ Supplement

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, and PQQ are beneficial for brain health. Omega-3s contribute to the fluidity of cell membranes and support anti-inflammatory pathways, while PQQ protects neurons and stimulates NGF production. Together, they may enhance cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline. This combination is generally safe, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider during pregnancy or when taking anticoagulant drugs.

Magnesium with PQQ Supplement

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions and is critical for mitochondrial function. When paired with PQQ, magnesium can help optimize mitochondrial health and improve energy metabolism. This combination may be particularly beneficial for those experiencing fatigue or muscle cramps. Magnesium is also important during pregnancy for both mother and fetal development, but it’s essential to adhere to recommended dosages to avoid adverse effects.

Advocates for PQQ

PQQ is gaining attention in the health world for its potential to boost energy, protect the brain, and improve overall well-being. Health Providers like Dr. Michael Ruscio and Dr. Joseph Mercola have shared their insights on why they recommend PQQ to their patients.

Dr. Michael Ruscio for Gut Health

Dr. Michael Ruscio, a functional medicine practitioner, emphasizes the role of PQQ in managing gut health and its connection to the immune system. In his book Healthy Gut, Healthy You, he explores how mitochondrial function, influenced by PQQ, is crucial for the energy supply of gut cells, which in turn supports a healthy digestive system.

Dr. Joseph Mercola for Longevity

Dr. Joseph Mercola, known for his advocacy of natural health, often discusses the importance of mitochondrial health for longevity. He has highlighted PQQ’s potential in his articles and recommends it for its ability to stimulate the growth of new mitochondria. His book Fat for Fuel delves into the ketogenic diet and cellular health, where PQQ’s role is significant.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick for Brain Health

Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who specializes in biomedical science, has a keen interest in the effects of micronutrients on health. She has discussed PQQ in the context of brain health and its potential to protect neurons, enhance cognitive function, and support the production of nerve growth factor.

Dr. Peter Attia for Metabolic Optimization

Dr. Peter Attia is known for his focus on the science of longevity and metabolic health. He has spoken about PQQ in his podcasts, particularly about its role in improving mitochondrial efficiency and its implications for metabolic diseases.

Dr. Chris Kresser for Energy and Wellness

Dr. Chris Kresser, a leader in the field of functional and integrative medicine, often recommends PQQ for its energy-boosting properties. In his practice, he has observed PQQ’s benefits for improving patients’ energy levels and overall wellness, which he discusses in his book The Paleo Cure.

10 Habits that Support PQQ Supplementation

To maximize the benefits of PQQ, integrating certain lifestyle habits can be highly effective.
  1. Balanced Diet
    Consuming a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables can provide antioxidants that support the action of PQQ in combating oxidative stress. These foods enhance the body’s natural defense systems, working in tandem with PQQ to protect cells from damage.
  2. Regular Exercise
    Engaging in regular physical activity increases mitochondrial biogenesis, the process by which new mitochondria are formed, which is also one of the key benefits of PQQ. Exercise, therefore, complements PQQ’s effects, contributing to improved energy levels and endurance.
  3. Adequate Sleep
    Quality sleep is essential for mitochondrial health. PQQ can influence sleep quality, and when combined with good sleep hygiene, it can lead to enhanced energy and cognitive function.
  4. Stress Management
    Practices such as meditation and yoga can reduce stress, which in turn minimizes inflammation and oxidative stress. These practices support the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits of PQQ.
  5. Hydration
    Staying well-hydrated aids in detoxification and supports all cellular functions. Proper hydration is a simple yet effective way to enhance the cellular benefits of PQQ.
  6. Limiting Processed Foods
    Reducing intake of processed foods decreases the exposure to harmful chemicals and preservatives that can induce oxidative stress, allowing PQQ to work more effectively in protecting the body.
  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, through fish or supplements, can enhance PQQ’s role in supporting brain health and cognitive function.
  8. Moderate Sun Exposure
    Sunlight prompts the skin to produce vitamin D, which has been shown to support mitochondrial function. Moderate sun exposure can therefore complement the mitochondrial benefits of PQQ.
  9. Intermittent Fasting
    Intermittent fasting can stimulate autophagy, the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, which can be synergistic with PQQ’s role in generating new mitochondria.
  10. Avoiding Smoking and Excessive Alcohol
    Avoiding these toxins helps protect mitochondria from damage, allowing PQQ to more effectively promote mitochondrial biogenesis and function.

PQQ Side Effects

PQQ supplements are generally considered safe and well-tolerated. The side effects are rare and typically mild when they do occur. However, as with any supplement, individual reactions can vary.

Some individuals may experience mild digestive discomfort, such as bloating or diarrhea, when they begin taking PQQ. This is often temporary and can be mitigated by starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it.

In very rare cases, headaches or insomnia have been reported, which may be related to PQQ’s role in stimulating mitochondrial function and energy metabolism. If these symptoms persist, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider.

It’s important to note that PQQ may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners. Therefore, individuals on prescription medications should seek medical advice before starting PQQ supplementation.

Always be vigilant for any unusual symptoms when starting a new supplement and report any concerns to a healthcare professional.

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