Don’t let the peculiar name throw you off—pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a vitamin-like nutrient that shows a lot of promise for boosting mental performance and memory.
This naturally occurring compound is an essential cofactor in cellular functions and has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. Parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya, and tofu are especially rich sources, containing 2-3 mcg per 100-gram serving. Green tea provides the same amount per 4-oz serving.
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PQQ Puts the Squeeze on Free Radicals
Studies show that PQQ is a key regulator of cellular function and is capable of neutralizing free radicals to a much greater degree than many other antioxidants, including vitamin C.
When PQQ is omitted from diets in animal studies, it leads to growth impairment, compromised immunity, and abnormal reproductive function. The daily requirement of PQQ seems to be similar to that for folic acid (400 mcg). As with other essential nutrients, the immune system seems particularly sensitive to low levels of PQQ.