PQQ is a natural nutrient that supports long-term brain health. No wonder they call it the “longevity vitamin!” PQQ enhances memory and learning. It can also help you feel more energized and alert. Keep reading to find out more about this nutrient superstar and PQQ benefits for brain health.
What Is PQQ?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is an essential nutrient for our development. You could think of PQQ as a helper molecule. It stimulates cellular growth. It also helps a special class of enzymes, called quinoproteins, process alcohols and sugars.
PQQ is produced naturally by soil bacteria. Through the soil, it enters many of the foods we eat. PQQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, leafy greens, kiwi, tofu, papaya, and green tea. You can also get PQQ through herbal supplementation.
9 Health Benefits of PQQ
In the 2018 article Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins, University of California, Berkeley Professor, Dr. Bruce Ames named PQQ the “longevity vitamin,” thanks to its many healing benefits for long-term brain health. Learn more about what makes PQQ such an important nutrient to include in a healthy diet.
1. It protects long-term brain health.
The PQQ vitamin is a neuroprotectant. It supports the growth of brain cells. PQQ also showed promise in regenerating new brain cells and increasing the lifespan of healthy ones. No wonder they call it the “longevity vitamin!”
2. It supports cell energy centers.
Most of the cells in our body contain mitochondria—the powerhouses of cells. They help turn the energy we get from food into fuel that cells can use to do their jobs. PQQ helps mitochondria process energy more efficiently by transferring unused energy from one cell to others that need it. It also protects the mitochondria, which improves their long-term health, like a fountain of youth for the cells.
3. It helps you feel energized.
Since PQQ supports cell mitochondria, it also helps your brain process energy efficiently. Taking PQQ can help you feel more energized on a cellular level, so you feel more alert throughout the day. A 2012 study found that participants who took oral supplementation of PQQ reported higher energy levels and less fatigue.
4. It helps detox the brain and body.
Chemical reactions in the body can produce free radicals that damage cells. As an antioxidant, PQQ helps remove those harmful free radicals and keeps cells healthy for longer.
Naturopathic practitioner Dr. Michael Murray, ND considers PQQ “the next nutrient superstar” thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties. It supports healthy detoxification to a much greater degree than other antioxidants. For example, PQQ can carry out 20,000 catalytic conversions (the removal of harmful compounds) compared to only four for vitamin C.
5. It increases blood flow to the brain.
Scientists used imaging to observe the changes in blood flow to the brain after taking PQQ in healthy participants between 50 and 70 years of age. They saw an increase in blood flow to the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex which helps with complex functions. More cerebral blood flow means the brain gets more of the essential nutrients it needs to function and do its job, for better attention, thinking, and memory.
6. It enhances memory and learning.
PQQ can help improve our memory and learning. A study observed healthy elderly adults who took PQQ supplements over 12 weeks. Results suggest that PQQ can protect brain function in aged persons, especially when it comes to learning, attention, and working memory.
7. It helps alleviate symptoms of stress.
Our bodies are equipped to handle stress. But over time, long-term chronic stress can cause health problems, especially when it comes to our brains. Taking PQQ can relieve the effects that stress has on the body by regulating levels of cortisol—the body’s stress hormone.
8. It supports a good night’s rest.
A study found that those who took PQQ over eight weeks experienced better quality sleep. They stayed asleep for longer. They also woke up feeling less groggy.
Healthy sleep patterns play a big role in protecting brain health. During the day, active brain cells surge with activity and create lots of “trash.” Sleep gives your brain a chance to take out the trash and flush out toxins that accumulate throughout the day.
9. It supports the “three brains.”
Did you know we have three brains? The cephalic brain in our head, the cardiac brain in our heart, and the enteric brain in our gut all work together to help us perceive the world around us. PQQ supports all three brains! It enhances thinking and memory in the cephalic brain. It protects against cardiac damage in the heart. PQQ also supports growth performance in our enteric brain in the gut.
You can get your daily dose of PQQ to support brain health through supplementation. Leading neurologist, Dr. Dale Bredesen recommends 10 mg of PQQ, twice daily to see its benefits.
Keep in mind that supplementation works best when accompanied by other healthy lifestyle habits, like getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet. All of these habits play together as an all-encompassing lifestyle strategy to protect your brain and overall health.