When a city’s power grid goes down and everything electric stops working it’s big news and a serious emergency.
Unfortunately, your body can sometimes find itself in a similar situation. However, in the body, it’s your mitochondria, the organelles that supply power to your cells that break down. When they do, the resulting malfunction can throw your organs into an energy-starved crisis.
Of course, the human body contains a host of systems that protect the mitochondria from going offline. And now research shows that there’s one crucial nutrient that ensures your mitochondria can fend off threats to their well-being. This nutrient, which some researchers think is important enough to be considered an essential vitamin, can also stimulate a generation of new mitochondria to help supply the body’s energy needs.
Trouble is, most people have never heard of it.
Research shows that the nutrient pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is critical to help your body maintain the flow of energy that mitochondria supply to every organ of the body.
For example, lab tests in in Asia have shown that PQQ is so important for helping keep the heart muscle strong that it may prove useful as a treatment for heart failure.1
The researchers carrying out this study note that studies of heart function indicate that “mitochondria are the power plant of the heart; however, like an old battery, the heart will eventually be depleted (of mitochondria) in patients with chronic heart failure.”
And that’s where PQQ comes in.
Revitalizing the Heart
According to this study, PQQ acts as an antioxidant that keeps free radicals (in this case, harmful oxidative waste products) from accumulating excessively in mitochondria. In this process, PQQ penetrates the mitochondria and clears them of destructive, oxidative free radicals.
Added to that, PQQ can help the heart’s mitochondria reproduce and make more of themselves – giving the heart muscle access to an expanded energy supply that may offset the slowdown leading to heart failure.
The researchers conclude that all these benefits mean PQQ could be useful in “preventing the occurrence of chronic heart failure.”
Help For a Healthier Liver
Researchers are also finding evidence that PQQ may find a place in the treatment and prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL).
When you carry around too many extra pounds of body fat and have blood sugar problems, your risk for this type of liver issue – caused by fat collecting in the liver – increases dramatically. NAFL can lead to cirrhosis, liver scarring and life-threatening liver failure. Right now, because so many people in the U.S. are drastically overweight, scientists estimate that 100 million Americans have NAFL.
What’s more, you can pass this problem down to your kids. But tests at the University of Colorado show that PQQ may interrupt this inter-generational problem.2
“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease worldwide and affects approximately 35 percent of obese children in North America alone. Despite its growing prevalence, no effective treatment exists to date,” warns researcher Karen R. Jonscher, PhD “Our results suggest that supplementation with PQQ, particularly during pregnancy and lactation, might help slow the advancing epidemic of NAFLD in the next generation.”
Along with this study in Colorado, other research indicates that PQQ could help prevent liver damage from high blood sugar that can occur in people with diabetes.3
Supporting the Health of the Whole Body
A wide range of studies have now shown that PQQ has the potential to improve the health of just about every part of the human body – too many benefits to list here. However, some of the most notable include:
- Improving bone health. Lab tests show that PQQ may help stop bone loss that leads to osteoporosis after menopause. In this research, the nutrient supported extra bone formation and lessened the risk of bone loss.4
- Supporting better brain health. A 12-week study in Japan found that PQQ supplements could improve the memory, attention span and cognitive function of older people (average age of 70).5
- Reducing inflammation and improving immune function. A review study by researchers at Oklahoma State University found that PQQ could lower markers of inflammation and boost the immune system’s defenses – so much so, that the Oklahoma researchers note that PQQ possesses “strong potential as a therapeutic nutraceutical.”6
Taking Advantage of PQQ
Many different foods contain small amounts of PQQ. Those rich in this nutrient include parsley, spinach, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, green tea, and carrots. If you decide to take supplements, do not megadose. There have been some concerns that in very large amounts, PQQ could damage your kidneys.7 So, follow package directions and proceed with caution.