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The simplest way to explain PQQ-or pyrroloquinoline quinone - is to compare it to the engine of a car. Without PQQ, many cellular metabolic processes won't be driven to completion. This non-protein chemical, called a cofactor or coenzyme, can be described as a helper molecule. It aids enzymatic reactions that fuel biochemical processes. PQQ is especially important to mitochondrial health and is a key factor in cellular and metabolic function. Like many biochemicals involved in mitochondrial chemistry, it also possesses powerful antioxidant properties. The human body constantly recycles PQQ, yet many people are in dire need of this important molecule.

The Function of PQQ

Scientists have observed that PQQ activates cell-signaling pathways and stimulates the regeneration of mitochondria in aging cells, a process referred to as mitochondrial biogenesis. Until recently, only aerobic exercise, strict caloric restriction, and certain medications were understood to have this effect. PQQ also neutralizes oxidizing agents (free radicals and reactive oxygen species) through its antioxidant activity. The molecule gives researchers hope for finding ways of achieving healthy living with the possibility of slowing the aging process.

Here are a few of the benefits of PQQ:

Mitochondrial Health

The mitochondria produces cellular energy which manages basic and complex metabolic processes. Without essential biochemicals, the mitochondria becomes worn down and the rate of cellular aging increases. This causes systemic stress, consuming large amounts of energy in an effort to stabilize the cellular process. A disrupted metabolism destabilizes cellular health, having a dramatic effect on organs such as the heart, brain, liver, and kidneys, as well as the nervous, endocrine, and digestive systems. This leads to poor health and accelerated aging.

Promotes Brain Health

PQQ prompts CREB, a protein that regulates DNA function and gene expression. CREB stimulates new mitochondrial growth and plays an important role in the formation of neural pathways and long-term memory. This has made PQQ of special interest in Alzheimer's disease research. Amyloid-beta peptides (aka Abeta) figures prominently into neural cell death associated with dementia. Researchers tested PQQ on Abeta. They found it recovered cells from Abeta-induced cell death and reduced the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Supports Heart Function

Researchers have isolated PQQ for testing on heart cells. So far, studies in animal models indicate that PQQ protects against oxidative stress through its rejuvenating effects. Further research on human subjects is needed to understand if it has specific heart health benefits, or if it simply provides overall health benefits by stimulating mitochondrial function.