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PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) Review

Overview

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, or better known as PQQ, has been found to be useful for many conditions, most especially the ones related to energy, inflammation, and aging.

pqq for brain health

PQQ was initially isolated as a phytonutrient. In 1979, it was discovered in breast milk, leading to the research into different types of foods that stimulated this spike. It is the third redox co-factor of nicotinamide and flavin in bacteria. Currently, most bacteria produce it. However, humans do not.

Researchers initially thought the PQQ was a vitamin. However, they later revised their statement. Currently, it is listed as a non-vitamin growth factor.

PQQ does many things in the body including improving heart health, prevent disease, increase weight loss, improve energy, and help the brain function well. PQQ is being studied because it had been shown suitable for relieving inflammation, enhancing brain function, reducing oxidative stress, decreasing cholesterol, and improving sleep. It is one of the many reasons why you should use PQQ.

We list several PQQ supplement suppliers below. We feel these companies that make the PQQ are superior in both quality and manufacturing process.

Does It Work?

pqq does it work

It works incredibly well. For many of the things that the PQQ supplement is used for, it shows significant improvement in health. There are over 200 studies that directly cite this growth factor as the contributing factor for improved health.

Over the nearly 40 year history of the supplement being studied, there have been multiple studies that have been repeated to show the standard protective actions and the mitochondrial enhancements that the supplement claims.

More recent studies have been branching out into PQQ’s effect on reducing serum cholesterol levels and inflammation.

How Does It Work?

The primary role of PQQ is in the formation of new mitochondria cells. Mitochondrial function is one of the critical bio-markers to aging. As we grow old, the amount of mitochondrial damage within cells increases. This dysfunction is linked to the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases.

Fortunately, mitochondria replicate themselves quite quickly, and much of this damage can be mitigated and reversed. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that the Pyrroloquinoline Quinone stimulated bio-genesis of mitochondria and stimulated new production. PQQ protects the brain by optimizing the function of the central nervous system and repairing the cognitive damage.

In the Biological Pharmaceutical Bulletin of 2008, researchers published a study showing that PQQ prevented the activation of DJ-1, the Parkinson's gene, through prevention of the self-oxidation, which is an early step of the disease.

PQQ also suppresses reactive nitrogen species and oxidative factor within the brain that contributes to brain damage and strokes. 2009 Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications shows PQQ can help stop and reduce damage done by Nitric Oxide Synthase, which is a significant source of reactive nitrogen species following spinal cord injury. Researchers increased PQQ through both oral and intravenous therapies and showed significant improvement.

Although many people believe that nerves cannot be regenerated, a finding in 1986 showed that there was a discovery of nerve growth factor that influenced the repair and regeneration of nerve cells. PQQ has been shown in studies to boost levels of nerve growth as much as 40 fold.

PQQ is a potent antioxidant, focusing mainly in on the mitochondrial sections of the cell. It has high biostability and can cycle to the redox process multiple times, placing it several 100 to several 1000 more times potent than ascorbic acid, vitamin C.

A 2016 study conducted in Japan showed PQQ increased the blood flow to the brain, which can help prevent dementia and slows the onset.

In a study on rats, PQQ was shown to increase learning ability; and in a separate study, diets for rats that excluded PQQ had severe learning disabilities and early aging.

Other studies are now showing that PQQ is helpful in reducing inflammation for people with autoimmune issues and can help reduce and reverse signs of cardiovascular diseases.

Ingredients

what is pqq made of

When it comes to supplementation, PQQ is primarily bio-synthesized by Gluconobacter oxydans. There are other extractions and separation techniques for purifying PQQ and several companies have developed their own unique and proprietary systems.

When searching out a supplement, make sure to note the pharmacopoeia seal. In the US, the pharmacopoeia standardizes the active ingredient for both quantity and quality.

Where is PQQ Found?

PQQ was found naturally in many places around the world. Many foods contain PQQ as well as it is produced abundantly in various bacteria. Because humans do not create PQQ on our own, we need to get the PQQ from our food.

Some of the most popular foods that contain PQQ are parsley, green peppers, kale, papaya, spinach, fava, beans, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, banana, tomato, eggs, orange, and celery.

Within the food world, natto, fermented soybeans, contain 61 nanograms of PQQ per gram of food. It contains twice as much PQQ as in parley which comes in at 34 nanograms. The amount of PQQ found in green tea is approximately 30 nanograms.

foods high in pqq infographic

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So it is possible to get PQQ naturally from foods. However, supplementation is much more comfortable and much more standardized. Also, if you are eating high amounts of processed food, you are increasing the oxidative damage to the mitochondrial cells. Processed food also has many of the PQQ molecules destroyed because of the processing.

Pros vs. Cons

PROS

  • Improves dozens of health issues
  • Few side effects – rare with proper dosing
  • Becoming better available

CONS

  • Higher Cost
  • Multiple Doses

Safety and Side Effects (Short and Long Term)

pqq side effects

If you were eating foods to get PQQ, there is a very minimal risk of any side effects. In fact, we think you will be healthier because you are getting it naturally.

But for people who need an extra boost, especially as we age, the supplement helps where food cannot.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take the supplement. While there has not been any reported interactions or side effects, the potential exists to cause damage to the baby. PQQ is transferred through breast milk, and an overdose of any particular nutrient can cause damage.

Many of the common side effects of taking PQQ include headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and fatigue. These are minor and are reduced or eliminated when supplementation stops or the dosage reduced.

pqq side effects

Taking high doses of PQQ, far more than the recommended amount or overdosing, has been associated with potentially life-threatening effects, including death, brain damage and kidney and liver failure.

For people with high blood pressure, there is a small risk that PQQ may raise blood pressure. It has not been well documented and only antecdotal. New information shows that it helps regulate blood pressure activity, therefore lowering it in people with high blood pressure and raising it in people with low blood pressure.

When using PQQ, we do not recommend it during an active cancer event or cancer treatment. Mixed studies are showing that antioxidants may promote the spread of cancer, while other studies show that PQQ induces cancer cell apoptosis. If you wish to use the supplement during cancer treatment, we recommend working with a naturopath who will be able to match your precise needs.

Interactions

PQQ does not appear to have any interaction with other medication. However, various supplements may use different binders and fillers, which may interact with certain medications.

Dosage

Varying dosages of PQQ have been used on both people and animals and studies. In general, the recommended dosage is 10-20 milligrams per day. If you are taking it once a day, PQQ should be consumed in the morning.

Be sure to talk to your doctor or a naturopath for your exact needs of when and how to take the supplement. There are a few people who should not take PQQ, and they will help determine that.

How to Take

how to take pqq

We do not recommend taking more than the recommended dose, although the dietary allowance currently stands at 75 to 90 milligram per day for optimal function. There have been instances of overdose recorded.

Most formulations of this supplement are heat stable and shelf stable. You have a variety of ways to take PQQ. We recommend swallowing the capsule whole; otherwise adding it to smoothies or soups.

Stacking

There is very little research or formulations for using PQQ in nootropic stacks. When PQQ has been used in studies with various other supplements and herbal treatments, it showed little to no adverse reaction and often enhanced the ability of the other medication or supplement.

We do not recommend stacking this supplement with high potency nootropics. We recommend trying each one separately before combining.

Reviews

pqq reviews
I have been using the LE PQQ 10mg tablets for approximately 3 weeks and have noticed an improvement in my level of "energy". Due to my heavy exercise load and at 58 years of age I can say that I am keenly aware of my physical "status". I have not changed any other supplements or diet. I can say it has definitely made a difference.

Comparisons with Others

pqq vs other supplements

When it comes to a drug comparison of PQQ versus other supplements, there is no competition. This one nutrient works in a particular way in the body.

Many of the studies testing PQQ and vitamin C * have shown that both of these work on the body very efficiently and have no impact on each other. They are not a replacement for one another, even though both act as antioxidants. Physiologically, they work in different locations in the body, so we recommend if you're going to take one supplement, take the other.

PQQ and Ubiquinol, otherwise known as CoQ10, are often used together; they are similar antioxidants. In the process, however, they have slightly different mitochondrial functions. CoQ10 has an affinity for the heart where PQQ has an attraction for the brain. It was also shown that PQQ optimizes mitochondrial function where CoQ10 regulate reproduction. They often work together enhancing the benefits of both.

Niagen * is a supplement that can be taken and is known as nicotinamide riboside. Ningen supposedly increases NAD production, thus increasing mitochondrial function. Both of these supplements work well together. However, they cannot be substituted one for the other.

Where to Buy?

Many manufacturers make PQQ. You can buy the PQQ supplement in various places from individual manufacturers’ websites to Amazon *. Be sure to check shipping regulations before you check because some locals may prevent or delay shipment

We recommend purchasing from this manufacturer *, as we have researched the safety and effectiveness of their supplement.

Pricing

Like many other supplements, PQQ has a range of prices and formulations. Better formulations of PQQ are expensive because they reduce the fillers and allergens. You can find the supplement for a couple of dollars all the way through nearly a $100 per bottle.

We recommend purchasing quality supplements like what we have here to avoid problems and interactions.

Things to Know

pqq what is it

PQQ is often found in many foods. Most of them are healthy vegetables and fruits along with fermented foods. Naturally increasing these healthy foods will increase your PQQ intake. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to make PQQ at home.

Because of the high potency and effectiveness of the supplement, we recommend starting off at low doses and increase over time. It will help avoid any reaction to the supplement, and you will be able to note the changes in your body faster.

Conclusion

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone or PQQ is a supplement that is well worth the money and shows excellent benefits to your health. It can help reduce the aging process, reduce mental problems like dementia, improves your cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation.

There are minimal side effects and interactions with other medications. Overall, this supplement has a very high safety rating and very high effectiveness.

You May Also Like These Posts:

What is PQQ? What is it good for? How it protects the brain? Can you get PQQ from food? Which foods contain it? What is PQQ supplement? Does it work? Find out all the answers and much more in our revealing article.
About the Author: Christina Major is a Holistic Nutritionist, Traditional Naturopath, and Herbalist. She has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and an advanced degree in Traditional Naturopathy. Further certifications in herbalism and metabolic typing. She owns and operates Crystal Holistic Health Consulting based in PA, the USA since 2010.
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • ROBERTO VALENCIA DELA CRUZ June 22, 2018, 1:45 pm

    JUST ASKING, PQQ CAN HELP RECOVERY FROM APHASIA DUE TO MILD STROKE IN 2015. MY SPEECH MOTOR OF THE BRAIN AFFECTED AND UNTIL NOW I CAN NOT SPEAK BECAUSE OF APHASIA. I NEED YOUR COMMENT PLEASE. THANKS AND GOD BLESS.

    • Christina Major July 1, 2018, 2:39 pm

      Hey Roberto!

      Just to be clear, PQQ may be able to help recovery from aphasia. It may not work for all people depending on the cause of the problem, but it does show some potential. If your improving means that it worked for you, congratulations and we hope you continue your recovery.

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