PQQ Supplements: Help Bring Back Your Youthful Energy

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, as the saying goes, and this is particularly true for your energy levels. When was the last time you leapt out of bed in the morning or danced all night? If your answer is, “at least several decades,” you’re certainly not alone. Feeling a bit less feisty is a normal part of growing older, thanks to a decline in cellular energy.

But you don’t have to take this age-related decline in vim and vigor lying down. To keep those cells youthful and running at full speed, you need to support the health of your mitochondria—the tiny, rechargeable “power packs” in your cells.

How do you do that? Cue the PQQ! This (adorable) acronym stands for pyrroloquinoline quinone, which is a health-promoting nutrient known for protecting delicate mitochondrial DNA from oxidative stress and encouraging mitochondrial biogenesis, the creation of new mitochondria.

You can take PQQ capsules to help restore your body's cellular energy. Because your mitochondria produce the energy almost every cell in your body needs to function optimally and remain healthy, PQQ is outstanding at supporting energy synthesis.

Here’s everything you need to know about PQQ, whether you can get it from food, and how to choose the right supplement to support your energy needs.

What is PQQ?

Pyrroloquinoline quinone, also known as methoxatin, is a tiny but incredibly powerful energy-producing substance essential for human health. A small molecule once considered a vitamin, PQQ exists naturally in soil. It is manufactured by bacteria and then absorbed from the Earth by plants.

Interesting history lesson: pyrroloquinoline quinone is said to be the stuff of interstellar dust, making it as ancient as early biological conception and evolution itself! It is even found in breast milk.

PQQ is most well-known for its ability to confer antioxidant protection to your cells, promoting ideal energy levels. It does this by supporting the energy powerhouses of your body, your mitochondria. But your body can't produce this potent antioxidant PQQ. And while you can get it from PQQ-rich foods like fruits such as kiwis, bananas and papayas as well as vegetables like soybeans, green peppers, carrots, spinach, celery, and parsley, dietary sources provide inadequate amounts of PQQ.

As you age, functional mitochondria decline, making PQQ supplementation an important part of an anti-aging strategy. Some preclinical research suggests that as a supplement, PQQ offers physiological importance, and is therefore vital to life.

What are PQQ supplements?

Pyrroloquinoline quinone capsules are dietary supplements that have recently gained much attention in the health and wellness community. They are manufactured using a bacterial fermentation process; the PQQ is harvested from the bacteria that naturally produce this compound as a byproduct of their metabolism.

While more research is needed, preliminary studies show that PQQ supplements can reduce oxidative stress and encourage a healthy inflammatory response, promoting overall well-being. PQQ plays a vital role in encouraging youthful energy levels, heart health, brain health, and longevity.

How does PQQ help with energy production?

To understand how PQQ helps us produce energy, we first need to talk about how mitochondria work. Your mitochondria are responsible for the energy metabolism of almost every cell in your body. They produce the bulk of energy needed for optimal health and performance. PQQ supports mitochondrial function, meaning it beneficially interacts with genes directly involved in mitochondrial health.

Lifestyle choices such as diet, sleep, stress and exercise can all affect mitochondrial health. Plus, your body is constantly being bombarded by environmental stressors. Supplementation with pyrroloquinoline quinone promotes youthful energy at the cellular level by keeping those mitochondria healthy—and supporting our mitochondrial proteins. Pyrroloquinoline quinone also supports the growth of new mitochondria and their proteins, a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis.

Did You Know?

Mitochondria are as essential as they are fascinating because they have their own DNA set. The DNA in mitochondria is entirely different from the DNA found in our cells. And unfortunately, mitochondrial DNA and its proteins are incredibly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which can impact mitochondrial-related health.

PQQ supplements support favorable gene expression, protecting the delicate mitochondrial DNA against oxidation.

Does PQQ protect against free radicals?

Yes! One of the benefits of PQQ supplementation is free radical protection. Your body makes free radicals when it breaks down food to produce energy. When the body cannot naturally eliminate the free radicals, it can impact your health. Because of the enormous amount of energy your mitochondria generate, they are constantly exposed to free radical activity. This results in the decay of mitochondria proteins as you age.

PQQ to the rescue! This potent antioxidant helps your body fight against free radicals. Studies have shown that PQQ supplementation helps support heart and brain health and protects nerve cells.

Do PQQ supplements really work?

Yes! Research has shown that the cell signaling effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone translate to protective benefits for every system in your body. Plus, PQQ supports a healthy inflammatory response. That sounds like a win for everybody.

Mainly, pyrroloquinoline quinone supplements work to protect mitochondria by modulating genes involved in mitochondrial health, especially under stressful situations. We all know our bodies are constantly subjected to stressors; PQQ supplementation helps your cells fight oxidative stress.

Other possible benefits of PQQ supplements

As we've mentioned, PQQ supplements are a go-to for energy support because they promote youthful mitochondrial proliferation (the production of new, healthy mitochondria). The powerful antioxidant effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone also support mitochondrial DNA and protein defense against free radicals. This is especially important as we age.

But the benefits don't end there. Scientists are still researching the biological role of PQQ in humans. In addition to antioxidant protection and enhanced energy, studies suggest it supports:

  • Cardiac health
  • Immune function
  • Liver health
  • Muscular function

Additionally, pyrroloquinoline quinone supplements may also act as nootropics. Nootropics help increase blood flow to the brain, which encourages better mental focus, memory, creativity, mood and quality of sleep.

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How to take PQQ supplements: Dosage and tips

Because dietary sources alone aren't enough to get the PQQ necessary to get the mitochondrial protein support your body needs to stay healthy and youthful, supplementation is a good idea for anyone seeking more youthful energy.

PQQ supplements are usually encapsulated powders that are made through a bacterial fermentation process. While it has a good safety profile, more research is needed.

We recommend taking anywhere from 10-20 mg of pyrroloquinoline quinone daily, but your best resource will always be your physician or other healthcare professional. Be sure to always follow the directions that are on the manufacturer's label.

Why take PQQ with CoQ10?

Talk about the perfect pair! Combining PQQ with CoQ10 is a dynamic way to help the hard-working cells of your vital organs produce essential energy and grow new mitochondria. While PQQ acts as an antioxidant, assisting the body in promoting mitochondrial biogenesis, CoQ10 supports energy production. This dynamic duo supports energy production at the cellular level.

Because mitochondrial function declines with age (as do CoQ10 levels), supplementation with both nutrients is critical. As we've seen so far, PQQ helps build more mitochondria. Where does CoQ10 come in? Your body produces CoQ10 naturally, and it acts as a free radical scavenger, protecting your cells from oxidative stress and promoting youthful cellular function. In doing so, CoQ10 helps support mitochondrial energy production.

Not sure what energy supplements are best for you? Take a health needs quiz for personalized recommendations.

About the Author: Krista Elkins has 20 years of experience in healthcare, both as a paramedic (NRP) and registered nurse (RN). She has worked on both ground and helicopter ambulances (CCP-C, CFRN), and in ER, ICU, primary care, psychiatric, and wilderness medicine. She practices and has a devoted life-long interest in preventative medicine. She is a conscientious, research-driven writer who cares about accuracy and ethics.

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