Stop memory loss: 3 powerful ways PQQ improves brain function
(NaturalHealth365) According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are currently living with cognitive impairment – while another 5.5 million are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Along with difficulties in learning new things, concentrating and making decisions, these conditions can be accompanied by memory loss – a frustrating problem that can make independent living difficult or impossible.
The bad news: with many baby boomers hitting the 65-year mark, the number of people who suffer from age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is expected to skyrocket. So, what’s the good news?!
Recent studies have shown that a little-known nutrient called PQQ is amazingly effective in combating the neurodegeneration that can affect the aging brain. Let’s take a closer look at PQQ’s ability to ward off age-related brain diseases – and even help reverse memory loss.
How PQQ reduces the risk of memory loss
Your health, energy level, brain function – and even your longevity – is governed by the quality and quantity of your mitochondria, tiny organelles inside cells that convert nutrients to energy.
Unfortunately, the number of mitochondria you have – and how well they function – decreases steadily with age. In fact, research has shown that people over 70 have 50 percent more mitochondrial damage to brain cells than middle-aged individuals!
And this is where PQQ, a vitamin-like antioxidant nutrient, comes to the rescue. PQQ (or pyrroloquinoline quinone) reduces brain aging by helping mitochondria work more efficiently – but it doesn’t stop there.
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Researchers report that PQQ not only rejuvenates existing mitochondria, but helps to create brand new ones – a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis.
In addition, PQQ activates nerve growth factor in brain cells, thereby supporting healing processes in the brain and helping to maintain brain “plasticity” – which is vital to learning and memory.
Researchers have discovered three distinct mechanisms by which PQQ helps rejuvenate the aging brain.
PQQ improves cognitive function by increasing brain blood flow
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), age is supposedly the ‘greatest risk factor’ for cognitive impairment and memory loss.
According to conventional wisdom, this is due to the fact that age-related conditions, such as atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction, interfere with vital blood flow to the brain – potentially affecting cognitive function (while raising the risk of stroke).
But, the fact of the mater is, we should not considered the negative aspects of aging as a ‘normal’ part of getting older.
Recent studies confirm PQQ’s ability to boost blood flow to the brain.
In a clinical trial published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 41 healthy, elderly participants took either 20 mg of PQQ a day – or a placebo.
After 12 weeks, the PQQ group had significant improvements in their working memories – and in their ability to focus on tasks without becoming distracted.
In a follow-up study, the team used near-infrared spectrometry to measure blood flow in the brain.
They learned that the PQQ group had increased blood flow to the right prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain that handles higher cognitive functions. In other words, good nutrition does help to keep the brain healthy.
PQQ protects against glucose-induced vascular damage
Experts say that people with type 2 diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop dementia than their non-diabetic counterparts – an alarming statistic. In fact, this effect is so pronounced that some researchers refer to Alzheimer’s disease as “type 3 diabetes.”
Increased blood sugar (glucose) levels appear to promote formation in the brain of abnormal tau and beta-amyloid proteins – both of which are implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to Western medicine. (Yet, they continue to ignore – too often – the importance of balancing sugar levels with good nutrition.)
Elevated blood sugar also damages cells in the fragile blood vessel lining (or endothelial layer), which regulates blood flow and blood pressure. In one intriguing cell study, brain endothelial cells were treated with a concentrated sugar solution – which caused many cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death.
But, when added to the cell cultures, PQQ wasted no time in correcting the destructive effects of the sugar.
The team noted that the nutrient reversed cell damage, prevented apoptosis, decreased production of harmful free radicals and reduced chemical stressors – thereby showing that it protects against the sugar-induced blood vessel damage that can lead to declining brain function, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
PQQ acts against neurotoxicity to preserve brain health
Exposure to bacterial toxins and environmental pollutants – such as heavy metals – can damage brain cells and contribute to neurodegenerative disease. This is exactly the reason why we, at NaturalHealth365, sound the alarm about mercury-based, silver fillings plus many other life-threatening environmental toxins that increase the risk of health problems.
Thankfully, PQQ can help to reduce neurotoxicity and “calm down” excitotoxicity – the over-stimulation of brain cells that can lead to neurodegenerative conditions and strokes.
In a 2017 animal study published in the scientific journal Heliyon, mice with Alzheimer’s disease-like symptoms were given PQQ, along with other antioxidant nutrients, for 12 weeks.
The team found that the mice in the PQQ group displayed reduced motor deficits, reduced cognitive impairment, faster learning and better recall than the control group. Significantly, the team reported that the mice in the PQQ group also had smaller deposits of tau proteins in their brains.
The researchers concluded that the PQQ supplementation effectively ameliorated motor deficiency and cognitive impairment in the mice – while protecting mitochondrial function in their brains.
How should I take PQQ to promote brain health?
PQQ is found in varying amounts in all plant foods. However, green tea, parsley, potatoes, kiwifruit, tomatoes and papayas deserve “special mention” for their abundant amounts. (choose organic – whenever possible.)
Many natural health experts recommend supplementing with 20 mg to 40 mg of PQQ a day in order to boost mitochondrial health and ward off age-related cognitive decline. However, you should get the go-ahead from your own integrative healthcare provider before supplementing – and choose a high-quality formulation from a reputable company.
Natural healers may also advise PQQ to reduce inflammation, increase energy, lower harmful LDL cholesterol and promote restful sleep.
Although valued by many integrative physicians and forward-thinking researchers, PQQ is not particularly well-known to the general population. But, hopefully, with the recent studies confirming PQQ’s therapeutic value – that is likely to change.
Bottom line: this under-recognized compound can play an important role in protecting and preserving your priceless memory and powers of cognition – especially as we age.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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