A recently discovered, vitamin-like compound known as pyrroloquinoline quinone-orPQQ-shows promise for boosting mental performance and memory.
This naturally occurring compound is an essential cofactor in cellular functions and has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. Parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya, and tofu are especially rich sources, containing 2-3 mcg per 100-gram serving. Green tea provides the same amount per 4-oz serving.
What Does PQQ Do?
Studies show that PQQ is a key regulator of cellular function and is capable of neutralizing free radicals to a much greater degree than many other antioxidants such as vitamin C.
When PQQ is omitted from diets in animal studies, it leads to growth impairment, compromised immunity, and abnormal reproductive function. The daily requirement of PQQ seems to be similar to that for folic acid (400mcg). As with other essential nutrients, the immune system seems particularly sensitive to low levels of PQQ.
PQQ for Energy and Anti-Aging
Another key action of PQQ involves mitochondria-the energy producing compartments in our cells. In addition to PQQ's powerful antioxidant effect, it also promotes thegeneration of new mitochondria within aging cells, a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis. This effect makes PQQ ripe for further study in the anti-aging field.
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Brain Benefits with PQQ
Current research has focused primarily on PQQ's ability to protect memory and cognition in both aging animals and humans. Here are some of the effects noted in the animal studies involving PQQ:
- Blocks the formation of several compounds that are extremely damaging to brain cells.
- Protects against the self-oxidation of the DJ-1 gene, an early step in the onset of Parkinson's disease.
- Protects brain cells against oxidative damage.
- Reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress and improves performance on memory tests in animal models.
- Protects the brain against neurotoxicity from glutamate, mercury, oxidopamine (a potent neurotoxin used by scientists to induce Parkinson's in laboratory animals), and other powerful toxins.
- Prevents development of a protein associated with Parkinson's disease.
- Protects nerve cells from the beta-amyloid protein, which has been linked with Alzheimer's disease.
3 Tips To Improve Your Memory
NO. 1: Take fish oils. High quality fish oil supplements can help improve brain function as well as help ward off Alzheimer's disease. Take 1,000 mg of EPA+DHA daily.
NO. 2:Eat blueberries. Blueberries and other berries are rich in plant pigments known as anthocyanidins that have been shown to improve mental function in numerous clinical studies.
NO. 3:Control blood sugar. The brain is critically dependent on a constant and steady supply of blood sugar (glucose). When people are on the blood sugar rollercoaster, it's difficult to stay focused and concentrate. One supplement that can help even out blood sugar is PGX.
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Quality of Life LabsVitaPQQ This award-winning supplement has a hefty 20mg of PQQ per capsule. It's also gluten-free and vegetarian. Try one capsule daily.
Michael T. Murray, ND, is the author of more than 30 books on natural health, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition. He is regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine, and is a sought-after lecturer and educator. Visit him online at doctormurray.com.