Cognitive Supplement Spotlight, Vol. 4: PQQ

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PQQ, or Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, is a popular supplement which may at some point be considered another vitamin, or essential nutrient.  PQQ is naturally found in plant foods:  kiwi, parsley, cabbage, papaya and others, which deliver small amounts (fractions of the dose found in the supplement).  
 
PQQ was discovered in 1979 by a member of the group which originally discovered CoQ10.  Actually, PQQ and CoQ10 are closely related in their function:  both support redox reactions, which lead to energy production. 
 
What’s the Evidence?
 
PQQ has been shown not only to increase energy production in mitochondria, the “battery” of the cell, but to increase production of mitochondria themselves.  This finding, while seen until now only in mice, is particularly compelling, as mitochondrial dysfunction is a central component of cognitive decline.
 


 
PQQ has also been shown to inhibit the production of alpha-synuclein, associated with development of Parkinson’s Disease, and appears to protect nerve cells against damage from beta amyloid, or plaque.
 
A small study showed that 20 mg of PQQ for 12 weeks improved attention and blood flow in the cerebral cortex in human subjects.
 
How Much Should I Take?
 
PQQ is typically dispensed in 10 mg or 20 mg doses per capsule.  I recommend starting with 20 mg a day, with or without food.  Higher doses are sometimes taken, but there is no evidence that these doses confer additional benefit.  
 
BioPQQ is the most popular product on the market, and has the most research behind it.  Some products combine PQQ with CoQ10.  I typically recommend CoQ10 (as Ubiquinol) as part of a cognitive support protocol (Bredesen) anyway, so most of my patients have that onboard already.  I endorse the Life Extension and Jarrow brands.
 
Please feel free to visit my Wellevate page to order PQQ or other products from trusted professional product lines.  For my Signature Supplements, please contact the office, 860-584-5746, using option 3 on the answering system, or sending an email.  Be sure we have your credit card information on file.

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