February 9, 2015

305 PQQ – the Newest Vitamin? [9 February 2015]

Lee Know’s book “Life – the Epic Story of our Mitochondria” introduced me to Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) and discussed its role as a possible new vitamin.

Like vitamins, we are unable to produce our own PQQ so must get it from our diet. It is an essential enzyme for the production of collagen, the structural protein found in skin, bone and connective tissue. Animals given a PQQ deficient diet develop brittle skin. PPQ’s role as a vitamin however is contested and has not yet been confirmed.

PQQ is a very stable antioxidant that protects our mitochondria from oxidative damage (see #303 Free Radicals & Aging). Beyond that, PQQ is one of a very few things that actually increase mitochondrial biogenesis (production of new mitochondria) – the others being strenuous aerobic exercise, a severely restricted caloric diet, and a few prescription drugs. This property shows great promise for PQQ as an anti-aging supplement.

PQQ protects heart tissue from damage following heart attacks and ischemia-reperfusion injury (oxidative damage that occurs when oxygen deprived tissue is suddenly resupplied with oxygen following bypass or stent surgery).

PQQ also plays a critical role in protecting brain and nerve tissue immediately after a stroke or spinal cord injury. It also protects the brain from toxins including mercury and excitotoxins. No doubt because of the brain’s high demand for energy and PQQs ability to increase mitochondria, supplementation has been found to improve cognitive function. In a controlled clinical trial done in Japan in 2007, 20mg daily of PQQ improved short-term memory, attention, concentration and mental processing. The addition of CoQ10 significantly enhanced this effect.

PQQ is found in small quantities in a few fruits (kiwi, papaya) and vegetables (green pepper, carrots, cabbage) but the highest food source by far is dark chocolate. It’s possible that much of chocolate’s known health benefits comes from its PQQ content. PQQ is now available in Canada as a supplement, either alone or in combination with CoQ10.

Lee Know “Life – the Epic Story of our Mitochondria
Wikipedia Pyrroloquinoline quinone
Life Extension Magazine Generate Fresh Mitochondria with PQQ

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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