Five brain health ingredients on the rise: Page 5 of 7

May 7, 2019

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PQQ Improves Spatial Awareness and Promotes Neuronal Health

Cognitive health supplements find easy adoption among biohackers, but more conservative or traditional consumers who are a little more cautious and skeptical may not be as likely to try new ingredients—unless that ingredient is PQQ. Even the hardest-to-reach consumer is familiar with vitamins, and that’s where PQQ may boast an appeal that other cognitive health supplements don’t have.

“PQQ is the first new vitamin discovered since 1948,” says Dan Lifton, president of Maypro Ventures (Purchase, NY). “It was found to exist in human tissues and bodily fluids in 1992, and in 2003, PQQ was shown to be an essential co-factor in important enzyme-catalyzed reduction-oxidation reactions.”

Recent research is indicating that PQQ plays an important role in preventing—or even reversing—age-related cognitive decline. Other studies have shown that PQQ improves brain functions like memory, attention, information processing, and spatial awareness.

One double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group study7 followed 71 healthy adults between the ages of 45 and 65 who did not show signs of dementia. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a food supplement containing 20 mg of PQQ, 20 mg of PQQ plus 300 mg of CoQ10, or a placebo, once daily for 12 weeks. Participants were assessed using word memorization tests, recall tests, mental stress tests, measures of oxidative stress, the Stroop test, and the CogHealth test at baseline, week 4, week 8, and week 12.

The study authors found that while both the PQQ and PQQ/CoQ10 groups performed significantly better on word memorization and recall tasks relative to the placebo group, only the PQQ/CoQ10 group saw a statistically significant improvement on Stroop test scores. Both the PQQ and PQQ/CoQ10 groups performed better on the CogHealth test than the placebo group; however, the PQQ/CoQ10 group saw a more significant improvement on certain components of the CogHealth test that the PQQ group did not see.

Materials provided to Nutritional Outlook by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (Tokyo, Japan), supplier of the BioPQQ ingredient, explain that PQQ activates mitochondrial biogenesis and boosts Nerve Growth Factor, thereby increasing the amount of energy in brain mitochondria and promoting neuronal development and health. Mitsubishi Gas Chemical notes that PQQ’s functional benefits include improved short-term memory, improved sleep, reduced stress levels, and increased word recall.


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