With its powerful antioxidant and neuroprotective effects, this popular up-and-coming ingredient may be the ticket to better health and aging.
- by Heather Eastman, NSCA CPT, CF L1
PQQ is a naturally occurring compound and an essential component of mammalian development. Renowned for its potent antioxidant effects, PQQ is present in the earliest stages of development and seems to serve protective and supportive roles in the body despite having a somewhat undetermined primary function.
For this reason, when asking ‘is PQQ worth taking?’ or if PQQ is safe, the answer (based on the research) seems to be a resounding yes.
What is PQQ?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ is a natural compound similar to vitamins in its structure. Sometimes referred to as methoxatin, PQQ is found in human breastmilk, although it also occurs in the soil and can be found in a variety of common foods such as soybeans, spinach, dark chocolate, green tea, parsley, celery, papaya, and kiwis.
PQQ is involved in a variety of cellular processes and has a protective effect for nerve cells. For this reason, PQQ supplements are often marketed as being able to improve brain health, energy levels, and longevity. PQQ also supports proper mitochondrial function and the development of new mitochondria within the cell.
Is Taking PQQ Safe as a Supplement?
Researchers have studied the effects of early supplementation with PQQ pre and postnatally and found an increase in metabolic flexibility in the PQQ supplement group compared to the control group and a corresponding decrease in body fat and liver lipids. The same study also showed a decrease in oxidative stress and proinflammatory genes even after the subjects were weaned. This suggests PQQ may play a protective role against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
In terms of supplements, PQQ is classified as a nootropic. Nootropics are substances used to support brain health and enhance cognitive functions such as mental focus, memory, focus, and creativity. PQQ supplements are manufactured via a unique bacterial fermentation process. Certain bacteria naturally produce PQQ as a byproduct of their metabolism, and this byproduct is then harvested for use in supplements.
The few human trials that have been conducted show no adverse side effects, and according to WebMD there have not been any reports of allergies or toxicity.
Does PQQ Really Work?
As mentioned above, although PQQ is essential for human health and development, there are limited human studies on supplementation and therefore it’s difficult to determine the full health benefits of PQQ supplements.
That said, early research does suggest that PQQ may help reduce inflammation and improve mitochondrial function. Early research also shows PQQ might be even more effective at fighting free radicals than Vitamin C, although since antioxidants tend to work synergistically it is tough to know if PQQ works as a stand-alone health supplement.
An 8-week study also found that taking 20 mg of PQQ daily showed self-reported improvements in sleep quality and fatigue for a small cohort of participants.
Despite the limited research, early signs show PQQ has potential health-related benefits in the following areas:
Fighting free radicals
Supporting mitochondrial function
Enhancing brain health
Improving sleep and mood
Is PQQ Worth It?
The jury is still out on whether or not PQQ functions well as a standalone supplement, but is PQQ worth taking as part of an antioxidant or anti-aging formula? Absolutely. The biggest benefit of taking supplements that are specially formulated with these goals in mind is they contain ingredients that work together synergistically to help reduce inflammation, protect cells against oxidative stress, and boost mitochondrial function.
The recommended starting dosage for PQQ is 10mg, although it can be found in 10mg, 20mg, and even 40mg dosages in some supplements. As with many nootropics, it may take a month or two to really notice the benefits of supplementation.
BioStack Labs offers the NAD Regen formula in convenient subscription form to ensure you stay consistent and continue to experience the benefits of anti-aging compounds every day.