Powerful Protection Against Cellular AgingOctober 2012
By Michael Downey
Conclusive evidence now indicates that PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) activates cell signaling pathways that have the potential to reverse cellular aging!1
PQQ has previously been shown to promote growth of new mitochondria within aging cells,1-3 up-regulate cellular metabolism,1,2 protect neurons,4-7 and repair DNA!1,8
These and other synergistic signaling effects have the combined ability to promote longevity at the critical subcellular level.
PQQ has been found in all plant species ever tested. Scientists have gone so far as to state that PQQ may be "vital to life."3
An Essential Anti-Aging Nutrient
Scientists have found that PQQ, a critical coenzyme, plays a leading role in boosting critical cell signaling mechanisms.3
These signaling pathways regulate a variety of physiological and molecular processes throughout the body10—processes that have an impact on key biomarkers of aging, such as mitochondrial function11-16 and cellular defense against oxidative stress.10
Through these effects, the cell signaling power of PQQ targets aging at both the cellular and subcellular levels.
New research confirm that humans can obtain these multiple benefits after even just short-term supplementation.17
A wealth of studies now confirm that PQQ's cell-signaling activity translates into substantial protection against degenerative and age-related conditions, such as mitochondrial dysfunction,1 heart degeneration,18-20 brain injury, and cognitive decline.21-40 As one example, research shows that 20 mg of PQQ daily may reverse age-related cognitive decline in aging humans!
Since PQQ cannot be synthesized by your body it is necessary to obtain PQQ from outside sources.24,41-43 Fortunately, compared to other plant compounds, PQQ has greater solubility and bioavailability. PQQ is water-soluble and therefore, more easily absorbed at low supplemental intakes.1,44,45
Let's take a look at the modes of action behind PQQ's multiple effects.
Cell Signaling Pathways
Early studies revealed that animals deprived of PQQ exhibit signs of accelerated aging in the form of elevated plasma glucose concentrations, impaired oxygen metabolism, stunted growth, compromised immunity, impaired reproductive capability, reduced numbers and survival rate of offspring, and a decrease in energy-producing mitochondria in their tissue. Reintroducing PQQ to their diet reversed these effects, increasing mitochondrial numbers and restoring systemic function.46-48
PQQ is now linked to favorable effects on cell development, metabolism, and mitochondrial biogenesis. It provides the potential to reverse cellular aging and age-related disease by:
- Stimulating spontaneous growth of new mitochondria within aging cells.1
- Regulating gene expression.3
- Promoting tumor cell death from apoptosis.49
- Supporting mitochondrial protection and repair.1
- Providing powerful antioxidant support to mitochondria and other body molecules—with up to 5,000 times the effect of other antioxidants,4 and protecting the brain's cells and neurotransmitter systems against neurotoxicity5,39,50 and amyloid-beta protein.36
The end result of PQQ's activity is subcellular anti-aging and enhanced longevity.
(For more on these beneficial pathways, see previous box titled, 'PQQ and Cell Signaling.')
PQQ's cell signaling activities produce measurable health improvements, especially cardio-protective and neuro-protective benefits.
For example, research with animals found that supplementation with PQQ decreased the size of the area of the heart injured by acute coronary artery blockage. This protective effect was found whether PQQ was given before or after the event—suggesting taking PQQ within the first hours following a cardiac event could deliver invaluable benefit to patients.18
Following up on this research, scientists then tested both PQQ and the common post-heart-attack treatment metoprolol (Lopressor®). They found that, while both reduced the size of the damaged area, there was a greater increase in mitochondrial energy-producing functions with PQQ.
And only PQQ lowered lipid peroxidation!
The study team concluded that "PQQ is superior to metoprolol in protecting mitochondria from ischemia/reperfusion oxidative damage."19
These same scientists found in later animal research, that "PQQ reduces oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell death" in cardiac muscle cells.20