In my post regarding COVID-19 I mentioned PQQ. Many of you have been asking “What is PQQ?”. PQQ, Pyrroloquinoline quinone, is a pseudovitamin or cofactor to enzymatic biochemical reactions produced by bacteria. It is found in food (natto, parsley, green peppers, kiwi, papaya and spinach), soil and human breastmilk. According to a paper written in 2018 by biochemist Bruce N. Ames, PhD, PQQ should be classified as a “longevity vitamin” as it is necessary for long-term health in that it reduces the accumulation of chronic oxidative damage. This is in contrast to “survival vitamins” necessary for immediate survival, e.g. Vitamins A, B, C, D, E & K.
PQQ stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and function. That is, it causes cells to increase energy-producing organelles known as mitochondria and helps them produce energy necessary to combat fatigue. In addition, it is a REDOX agent, capable of both reducing and oxidizing chemical reactions. It can reduce oxidative stress as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and inhibit IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine implicated in the pathogenesis of viral inflammation. PQQ has about 20,000 potential catalytic redox cycles in comparison to 4 for Vitamin C – another antioxidant. As a brain modulator, PQQ is considered a “nootropic” – a “smart drug” that enhances cognitive performance, memory and attention which it does via neurogenesis and neuroprotection of brain cells. A deficiency in PQQ impairs mitochondrial function, leading to decreased growth, muscle weakness, neurological problems, GI issues and an increased risk of infection. Ideally, the best way to get PQQ is by eating foods rich in this excellent cofactor.
Patel, K. (2018, October 10). Pyrroloquinoline quinone. Examine. https://examine.com/supplements/pyrroloquinoline-quinone/
Ames B. N. (2018). Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(43), 10836–10844. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1809045115M