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PQQ Effects on Cell Growth and New Mitochondria

Mitochondria can produce damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a by-product of normal function. Over time, ROS degrade mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), interfering with cellular energy production. When a cell loses mitochondria, eventually apoptosis or cell death can occur. Most cell’s strategy for dealing with damage is to “recycle” or turnover mitochondria on a regular basis.

Mitochondria replicate more often than the cells in which they live. In small animals, this occurs between one and a half to three days in liver cells, and two to four weeks in mature brain cells. Generally, the faster the mitochondria turn over, the better. In other words, it is better to replace mitochondria before too much mtDNA damage accumulates. Regarding turnover, the best data science has is related to caloric restriction. Studies have shown that calorie restriction speeds mitochondrial turnover (e.g., if calories are not used, less need fo mitochondria). In contrast, exercise slows mitochondrial turnover and appears to promote mitochondriogenesis. Appreciate, however, that these changes are not huge. A change as little as 5 to15 percent can be dramatic from a normal energy perspective.

So what are the effects from PQQ supplementation and withdrawal?

The only data that we have are from animal studies. Giving rats a supplement of pyrroloquinoline quinone that were previously fed diets devoid of PQQ, increases muscle and liver mitochondria about 10 to 20 percent somewhere between half a day to one and a half days. In contrast, methoxatin depletion causes reversal and multiple gene changes in about one to two days.

With regard to humans, there are ways of scaling data from rats to humans. Using those procedures, our best guess is that the withdrawal response in humans from a typical pyrroloquinoline quinone supplement (e.g., 10 milligrams) is somewhat rapid, probably within a week. Assuming circumstances short of starvation, the mitochondrial amounts will return to their relative basal levels. We need to clarify this as “relative basal levels” because the level may depend on the degree to which the respective person is exercising or taking other mitochondria stimulating substances.

Interview with Barbara Lippard about SCORE

Barbara Lippard is a member of the Board of Directors of SCORE. SCORE is an amazing small business resource. They are a nationwide, non-profit organization with 13,000 counselors and approximately 400 chapters in the United States. They offer free mentoring and low cost educational workshops to aspiring and existing small business owners. Before SCORE, Barbara was an Investment Manager at Time, Inc’s Venture Capital Group, investing in high tech companies with Board of Director responsibilities for several portfolio companies. She was also a Vice President, Director of Corporate Development at Time, Inc’s Selling Areas-Marketing Inc. (SAMI) division. During her successful career she has provided a wide range of consulting services to small and medium sized businesses from strategic planning to assistance with funding and financial management.


Here are my 5 questions with Barbara and my summary of her answers:

1) In your experience as a SCORE advisor, what can you suggest an entrepreneur do better to prepare themselves to maximize their experience with SCORE? In other words, are there common, simple steps that you consistently see people skip (that they shouldn’t have) when you meet with fledgling entrepreneurs?

There are two types of entrepreneurs that come to us, those that are just starting out and those that have current opportunities or problems that they need help with. For those just starting out I suggest that they attend our introductory free workshop on start-up basics (these are offered in different locations nationally, check your local SCORE website for more details). This workshop will walk you through the pros and cons of owing your own business. It is part of a five part series SCORE launched called SmartSTART. After the first session a potential entrepreneur will at least have the chance to develop some basic questions that will assist them in making a relationship with SCORE more beneficial.

For entrepreneurs that already have at least developed a concept, or are already in operation and have come to a situation that requires assistance, come to your SCORE meeting prepared. Bring any piece of information you think could be relevant to the discussion. We are here to help. We are not a judging panel, so there is no reason to be intimidated. If your documentation is rough notes on the back of an envelope, that’s fine, at least that gives us a starting point to help the entrepreneur moving in the direction they would like to be. Without good information a lot of time is wasted, which could have been spent on allowing us to help the respective business.

2) Are there any misconceptions about SCORE, or preconceived notions about SCORE, that you find people have when they contact you for assistance?

There are some, I’ll give a few examples:

  • We don’t write business plans for clients. People have come in with an idea expecting us to draft their business plan for them. Putting together a business plan defines your business. We help with the process but we don’t create business plans.
  • We do not provide, and cannot help for profit companies with getting business grants. There are outfits there that make claims there is free government money to start a business. This is simply not true.
  • We do not provide funds for startup or in business entities. We will help identify banks that may be lending to small businesses, make available information on SBA loans and community development centers and suggest how to access angel investors and venture capital groups.

SCORE is a volunteer research organization existing to help all entrepreneurs solve their problems. We consult on a variety of business matters but the actual doing is left to the entrepreneur.

3) Based on the adage success leaves clues, what are some common traits you have seen in most successful businesses you have helped begin and/or grow?

The most common universal activity I have seen that leads to success is gaining knowledge and experience in a particular industry before entering it. Furthermore, people lacking in management skills need to develop these skills. Entrepreneurs that take the time to learn general business and managerial knowledge, plus the specific knowledge needed to succeed in the industry significantly reduce their chance of failing. You would think this would go without saying, but you continually see people risk a lot without any real skill, experience, or knowledge of the industry they hope to succeed in.

Three common traits are hard work, patience, and perseverance.

Finally, success is assisted by developing the right team, including a great lawyer, accountant, SCORE counselor, a friendly banker, and a trustworthy insurance contact.

4) Are there any other free or low cost resources that you can suggest to budding entrepreneurs that they might useful?

Yes, here are just a few:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government entity that provides varying levels of assistance to small businesses to help them succeed.
  • Small Business Development Centers assists small businesses with solving a variety of issues including marketing, organization, financial, engineering, technical and production problems.
  • Women’s Business Centers is a national network of educational centers to help women start and build small businesses.
  • The Woman’s Initiative provides effective social support, counseling services and education to empower women to change challenging life situations into opportunities.
  • The HUB is a social enterprise that hopes to inspire and support creative enterprising initiatives that help make society a better place.

5) One of SCORE’s goals is to help start one million successful new businesses in 2017. What initiatives has SCORE taken in an attempt to meet this goal? Are there any new opportunities at SCORE regarding this goal that entrepreneurs can take advantage of?

Yes. We are excited to launch our new website in March which includes a site redesign including a new logo. The new redesign will also influence all of our regional websites. We are reaching out to more corporate sponsors in the hopes of more corporate involvement. We have realigned our mission statement, as well as our slogan, which is now, “SCORE, FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR BUSINESS”. We are engaging in “shoe-leather” marketing by making sure our members are getting out in the community and letting people and businesses know we are here and ready to help. One of the most exciting opportunities is that we are improving our communication system and improving upon the way our current database disseminates information. We are also making efforts to expand on the current number of counselors that are currently available. SCORE has an exciting future ahead.

Interview with Margaret Moore about Wellness Coaching

Margaret Moore (also known as Coach Meg) has established herself in the world of prevention, health and well-being by founding Wellcoaches Corporation. Wellcoaches is widely known for setting the gold standard for training and credentialing of professional wellness and health coaches, and trains more than 1000 coaches per year. Margaret is also the co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and its annual coaching conference. Furthermore, she is a founding adviser for the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School which was the result of her collaboration with Edward Phillips, MD, to build a Harvard CME course that teaches basic coaching skills to physicians.


Here are my 5 questions with Margaret and her answers:

1) There still seems to be some confusion about what a “coach” actually is, and is not. There are different types of coaches, and within these segments varying levels of expertise. With that in mind, when someone decides they desire a wellness coach what are the right questions to ask in the hope of optimizing the chance of a successful engagement?
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There are really four things you want to ask when looking to engage a coach:

1) What expertise and knowledge does a coach have relative to your particular interest?

2) What coach training and credentialing does s/he have? What have they learned, and what is their philosophical view of coaching? In other words, do you like the story they tell about what they do and how they’ve helped other clients? Does it resonate with you? Does it sound like it’s something that would work for you? Coaches vary widely in their personalities, their training and education, expertise, and their ability to engage and help people go beyond what they think is possible. So you have to get a sense of what your coach does and where they are coming from. In short, ask yourself, “Does their approach sound like something that would work for me?”

3) Ask them about their life experience. What else have they done in their education and career? Coaches have interesting and diverse backgrounds, and their stories may inspire you as well. You want someone that’s going to be energizing, and a role model. Someone full of ideas, full of positivity, zest, and things that will energize you. When you get through all of the above, at this point it really goes to your gut feel, leading to…

4) Does this seem like the right match for me? You really should feel a little excitement when you are introduced. You mind should be saying, “My gosh, this person can help me, this is cool!” Coaches, generally, in initial conversations move immediately into a coaching mode. They ask interesting questions; they try to understand what you are looking for; they try to get into a dialogue that feels more like it’s a coaching interaction – they shouldn’t be trying to sell you. If there’s a hard sell then it’s not coaching. If you find your energy going up in the initial conversation and you are getting excited about the proposition of working with this coach there is promise that it will a good fit. When you make contact with a coach and the chemistry does not feel right, keep looking.

Last, ask for references and talk to them. Coaching is like most helping professional services, the best coaches attract referrals.

2) Is there any pre-work or preparation you can do to get ready to be coached and enrich the experience for both yourself and the coach?

That’s an interesting question. Before you find a coach, no, not necessarily. If a coach has a website s/he may have things available to read. Do a little playing around on the Web to find out what coaches do. Most coaches have a body of homework and assignments to augment their coaching, and if you want more than is being offered it is just a matter of asking. We’ve all got plenty of tools for people to think about themselves and help them along. It is not always immediately offered, because the truth is some people will do homework and others won’t. And so we have plenty of homework that could be done if you’re really interested… again, it is usually just a matter of asking. I personally have a set of pre-coaching questions you can ask your spouse, your friends, and/or colleagues, which help you bring yourself into the experience and help you think about where you are going.

As for reading materials, if you have the appetite to read books, ask for recommendations for books that might be appropriate given your situation. You like reading articles and blogs better? The Web is rich with information. I share my blogs with potential clients at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bloggers/margaret-moore and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-moore). I often give my clients a book or a DVD, something that is relevant for them. Clients that want to develop mental processes and are ready to really expand their knowledge are great to work with. The journey is much more fulfilling (for them and the coach) if they are learning and exploring, in addition to pursuing their goals, in between coaching sessions.

3) What are some important success measures a client should have to gauge their progress? And what is an appropriate tracking mechanism and frequency to evaluate progress?

That’s something that you really want to build into the coaching process and a good coach will help you imagine what your better future looks like: visualize it, put it into words, and figure out how to measure success. A great coaching question is: how will you know when you get there? Is it you want more life balance, you want more energy, you want more vitality or zest… what is it that you want more of? Furthermore, what will success look like and how will you know when you get there? Some things you can measure with numbers. You can measure your blood pressure, you can measure your waist size and body fat percentage…. However, a lot of things that people desire are subjective. Therefore we need to create scales to quantify things that are not easy to quantify. Asking questions like, “What is your energy level today out of 10, if 10 is the peak? …that being the case, where are you right now?”

I remember working with a client with fibromyalgia. When we started a coaching program she rated her energy level as a 3. Three months later she rated it as a 7. We parsed it out a bit because it turned out that her mental energy and her physical energy were different numbers. We were able to get her mental energy up to a 7 and her physical energy got up to a 5. We recorded our sessions and that allowed both of us to follow the change of energy in her voice. That was very meaningful for her because the transformation was objective. Sometimes it is easy to forget the 3 when you’re at the 7. In fact, you actually do forget that you’re in a new place. It is rather easy to lose track of how far you’ve come. So using a ruler or scale like that is a nice way to capture something that is hard to quantify. It gives you a sense of “gosh, I’ve really changed here for the better, this is different than what it was!”

4) How is the current innovation happening in positive psychology influencing wellness coaching?

Positive psychology is central to wellness. The latest research in Positive Psychology concludes that 80% of us aren’t flourishing. This means only 20% of adults are flourishing and now we know the main ingredients. We actually know what drives flourishing and can measure it via the Positivity Ratio. In fact, the wonderful thing about the Positivity Ratio is that it’s a number that can be measured over time as one works on increasing positivity. Not that it’s easy to develop positive emotion habits, but if you work at it, like any new habit your brain will change and you can shift to a more positive frame of mind more often. You can savor more; you can connect to your purpose more; you can be more mindful and appreciative in your relationships; you can empower yourself to get more out of your connections every day. You can stop and enjoy your coffee in the morning instead of spilling it on the carpet because you’re rushing around. You can relish the things that make you thrive.

I’ve always viewed wellness coaches as the army of agents to really deliver on the scientific mechanisms of flourishing in the world. Also, I’ve envisioned wellness coaches as unique in tackling both physical and mental issues together. Let’s move mental flourishing out into the open, from behind the therapy door, to help lots of people create a more positive future including resilience, confidence, purpose and all those type of things. Let’s make flourishing a focus of coaching to change the world.

Optimizing physical and mental health together, wouldn’t it be amazing how our paradigm would change? I think that cognitive psychology has provided a scientific framework for coaching. It provides the basis for understanding where people can take their minds. When it comes to emotional flourishing, –everybody’s got their own recipe for purpose, strengths, flow, relationships, flourishing, and positivity. Once you understand in yourself what makes you thrive, what are the main wellsprings that make you feel good every day, what are the main toxic things that drag you down… once you really have a command of these things, you can make some real progress because now you have clarity about where you want to go.

5) You are currently heavily involved in translating science and research into coaching practice at Wellcoaches and the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Why is this important?

Like a subject out of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I am a person who was at the right place, at the right time, with the right talent, who put in the 10,000 hours, and in that journey helped to build a robust scientific foundation for coaching in health and wellness. My legacy will probably be, at least one piece anyway, the polishing and translating of theory, theoretical concepts and evidence – bridging the science and the practice of coaching. My colleagues and I are innovators as well as translators of important theoretical, evidence based concepts into practice.

I started Wellcoaches 10 years ago and this year we’ll hit 5,000 coaches trained in ~33 countries. My hope is that we find a way to produce a master’s degree in coaching in the not so distant future and then maybe before I’m done there will even be a PhD. Wellcoaches is where I started, and from there I was looking enthusiastically for an academic home for coaching (because it is an important step in order to further credibility). So what came out of teamwork to create a new theory for coaching, which we call relational flow, was collaboration with Carol Kauffman at McLean Hospital. Dr. Kauffman is a professor at Harvard Medical School, a psychologist at McLean for ~30 years, and she and I started what is now the Institute of Coaching with a $2M dollar philanthropic donation by The Harnisch Foundation to give out coaching research grants. And we’re just about to launch the Institute of Coaching Professional Association, which has an amazing rich set of resources for leadership, health and wellness, and positive psychology coaches… where we are really translating science into practice for the masses. We are fostering coaching research and fostering re-education around the science of coaching.

Most recently I helped to start a national team to build a national certification and training and education standards a for health and wellness coaches. This effort is now 80 organizations strong. We hope to have a national certification board in the not so distant future. We are on the move to create a scientific foundation, robust training and education programs that produce masterful coaches. Then the research, curriculum, and standards will become global accepted. That is probably 10 years for now, which will be 20 years in the coaching game for me by then. Before I am done we’ll have established the professional health and wellness coach as an accepted part of the healthcare and consumer wellness landscape.

Live Life Love | Volume Fourteen

Hello Everyone,

It has been a fun challenge trying to personally reconnect with all of you that get this; even if it was in part a thinly veiled way to have the opportunity to ask some of you to support my sport supplement project. I must admit that last quarter’s newsletter lacked a bit of authenticity, and for that I apologize. It didn’t lack integrity by any means… it was just a bit blasé about the details. In my opinion, the holidays are reserved for positivity and giving. It is fair to say that this project for the most part is ‘taking’. I ask you to take a little bit of your valuable time each quarter to read what I have to say. In return, I do what I can when you ask me to. December wasn’t the time to unload tribulations.

Truth be told, the end of last year was actually quite intense. I had just enrolled in a PhD program to further study human performance. I returned from the Athens Marathon in November to discover that my company had completely moved operations offshore, leaving me without a job. Meanwhile, on the side I had been hammering away trying to get an entrepreneurial project together which has cleared me of my savings. There were a couple other major personal setbacks as well – basically an onslaught of challenges. None-the-less, it did little to shake my resolve. Something that deserves mention is one of the chief reasons I didn’t crack is my wife Anna. As many of you know she is an unsung hero in all of this. One of the consistent attributes of successful people is their ability to surround themselves with people smarter than they are. In this regard, I count my blessings. My gratitude goes out to her, and all of you, for your help along the way. For the last two decades I have lived my life using Rudyard Kipling’s If as my creed. It continues to serve me well for this final adventure, but I have made the commitment to find a suitable replacement moving forward (as its utility has run the course). Any suggestions in that regard are welcomed, preferably something with a little more serenity baked in.

Here are this quarter’s deliverables (if you need a refresher about what this Project is all about I have posted a brief summary here):

Health and Wellness: This quarter’s wellness interview is with Margaret Moore (also known as Coach Meg). Ms. Moore is the CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, which is widely known for setting the gold standard for training and credentialing of professional wellness and health coaches. Click here to read my interview with Margaret Moore about wellness coaching.

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Barbara Lippard. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of SCORE, a nationwide, non-profit organization with 13,000 counselors and approximately 400 chapters in the United States. They are a remarkable small business resource, click here to read my interview with Barbara Lippard about SCORE.

Life Experience: Regarding life experience this quarter, the Myers, Anna, and I went to Scotland for Hogmanay. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve – a celebration and carnival rich in Middle Evil tradition and one heck of a kick butt party. Highly recommended!

Hogmanay 2011 | Edinburgh, Scotland | Michael Rucker

Hogmanay | Edinburgh, Scotland | 2011

 

Contribution: This quarter’s contribution came in the form of sponsoring the child of an old college buddy Rob J. in his effort to jump rope for the American Heart Association. The request came in as, “I’m excited about raising money for other kids – kids with hearts that don’t exactly work right.” How do you say no to that? I sponsored Jill L. in her Bay Area half marathon effort. I also made a small donation to Sweet Relief which provides financial assistance to career musicians who are dealing with illness, disability and/or age-related problems.

So the next chapter begins: With lint left in my pocket, can I find the right job, pull off becoming a PhD and build another mini empire on the side? With luck, good friends like you, a great partner, and a little tenacity I’m not too worried. It’s not all good, but it’s pretty close!

A quick plug: To my friends on the cognitive science side of things, just a quick reminder that the SharpBrains 2011 Summit is next week. If interested in attending, you can receive 15% off admission by using the reference code rhb2011 at checkout.

Warm regards,
Michael

Fire Your Customers (okay not all of them)

Although a cliché, it is true that for the most part companies exist to solve problems and serve their customers. Profit is the life blood of any business and capital comes from the people you serve. A cliché that isn’t always necessarily true in business is, to make a large impact you need to cater to as large a market as possible. On the contrary, having a sizable audience is not always a good thing. Having a large customer base that do not appreciate your goods or services, feel unsatisfied, and yet continue to engage you because of your competitive advantage in the market are usually a waste of time. A wise entrepreneur will foster relationships with customers who are genuinely interested in their offerings and brand.

Properly targeting the right customers can make your efforts much more effective and efficient. It starts by knowing who your right customers are. So, how do you define the “right” customers? The right customers are those who are loyal and generally help your business. Loyal customers are those who repeatedly purchase your goods or services or subscribe to your offering. In addition, they help your marketing efforts by becoming social advocates for your brand. They also are repeat customers, requiring no cost of acquisition to make the sale. If you are looking for exposure through Internet marketing, what better way than a customer recommending your products on their blog or Yelp? With the rise of interactions from social media sites, any good praise helps increase exposure thus increasing chances of conversion.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame states in his book, “When you properly target your clients, you will discover that you no longer have to work with jerks… Clients who don’t respect the value you bring, don’t pay on time, and don’t do their part will drag your marketing business down faster than any other business dynamic.”

Keeping your great customers happy and “firing” the rest frees up valuable time to improve existing relationships and seek out additional good customers. This allows you to focus your marketing efforts specifically on those customers you would like to attract creating a synergistic loop that ideally will increase sales volume and sales total per transaction.

Laugh and Smile!

Smiling and laughing are physical manifestations of being happy. One of the easiest short cuts to tricking the mind out of a bad mood is to find reasons to smile and laugh.

Why smile? Well, why not? While stress has been linked to a lot of health issues, smiling, laughing and being positive is associated with longevity, positivism and other health benefits that promote wellness in both our minds and bodies.

Laugh and Smile!

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows the benefits of smiling and laughing. For one, laughter lets the body discharge endorphins (a neurological biochemical that naturally alleviates stress). When we are tense or anxious our pulse rate goes up, our body heat rises, and our nervous system is hyperactive; it is difficult to perform optimally in this state. On the other hand, smiling and laughing allows us to relax, and induces a feeling of happiness (surprisingly it works even if you aren’t really happy) thus removing stress. Laughing moderates the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, a study has shown that laughing boosts our immune system by increasing the number of immune cells and antibodies we have (thus developing the body’s resistance to stress, illness and disease).

Intuitively, smiling also gives us a greater feeling of harmony with our environment. That is because smiling can affect the way people see us — as well as having a positive natural effect on other people’s mood too. Outside of the proven benefits of performance, smiling is often a signal of your friendliness, approachability and good character. So smile, charm the world, while reaping its health benefits and performing better!

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Digestion is the way us humans process food into energy. When our digestive system is functioning optimally, it is the biological fueling system that keeps us active and engaged. Probiotics (basically ingestible bacteria) are a well known element in helping most of us improve upon this system. When ingested in the proper proportion, probiotics can be quite beneficial for a healthy individual.

Some of the purported benefits of probiotic intake include:

  • Management of lactose intolerance
  • Prevention of diarrhea
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer
  • Lowering of (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improved immune system function

However, it is important to note that some of these potential benefits are being reported from preliminary research. The theory behind taking probiotics is to balance good and bad bacteria (also referred to as pathogens) in the gut. However, there is some proof that probiotics can be harmful for certain populations. For instance, in the study Probiotic prophylaxis in predicted severe acute pancreatitis, a correlation between the consumption of probiotics (in people with an existing illness) and mortality was shown. Because of this study and others like it, please consider your own health before considering probiotics.

If you think probiotics might be right for you consider taking prebiotics as well. Prebotics are indigestible carbohydrates that usually encourage the growth of probiotics in the body. Prebiotics can be found naturally in certain fruits and vegetables such as oats, wheat, garlic, bananas, asparagus, tomatoes and onions, and they can also be obtained from grains and legumes. Because of probiotics’ ability to live inside the body and prebiotics’ ability to encourage the growth of probiotics, both have gained popularity in the field of health and wellness.

Telomeres and Pyrroloquinoline Quinone

A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome. Telomeres protect the ends of a given chromosome’s DNA from deterioration (although the shortening of chromosome telomeres normally occurs during chromosome replication). All cells that make up tissues undergo some degree of turnover (replication and apoptosis, i.e. programmed cell death). Cells are more easily destroyed when their telomeres are shortened, compromised, or defective. Some cells have ways, however, of evading normal programmed destruction and replacement. During replication, telomeres lose some of their genetic material but are repaired by an enzyme, telomerase. Some cancer cells maintain their telomeres and become so-called “immortalized” because of differences in telomere maintenance or the relative expression of telomerase levels.

Likewise, mitochondrial integrity is linked to apoptosis. There is little evidence, however, that directly links telomere integrity and telomerase activity to mitochondriogenesis or mitochondrial turnover. Telomere truncation and a reduction in cellular mitochondria, both contribute to apoptosis, but by separate, although coordinated by independent processes. Longer-lived cells often have more
mitochondria.

With regard to PQQ, to the extent that pyrroloquinoline quinone can stimulate mitochondriogenesis, then one may speculate that PQQ may slow aging. If true, a likely mechanism is better control of maintaining reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can affect many aspects of cellular activity. Does PQQ affect telomere integrity? This question has not been specifically examined, but in one large gene array experiment using a rodent model (Biochem J. [2010] 429:515-26), no specific modulation of telomere-related proteins were detected. Mitochondria-related ROS modulation, however, might have an indirect
effect.

With regard to Coenzyme Q or ubiquinone, the primary effect is on the electron transport chain and aerobic cellular respiration. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way and involves CoQ10. Tissues with high energy requirements usually have higher CoQ10 concentrations. It has been shown levels of CoQ10 seem to correlate with ROS production. Low dosages of CoQ10 reduce cellular ROS levels and DNA double-strand breaks (note – a different process than telomere maintenance). With this said, however, CoQ10 supplementation only has been associated with increased lifespan in mice or rats with very mixed results. The take-home message here is that for a defined response, if an organism has enough of a given substance taking more (of that substance) may not have an effect (and in some cases have an adverse adverse effect).

With regard to “feeling” better or worst in response to a supplement or change in a diet or activity – the answer is always a relative one. It is always important to ask – what are the thresholds that I am trying to achieve? If it is protection from disease or optimizing cellular maintenance, you may not know the answer until the end of life. Some times the best we can do is infer that the effects will be positive based on the scientific data available at the time.

PQQ Testimonials and Reviews

As pyrroloquinoline quinone gets more popular, it is interesting to hear what people are saying about this intriguing compound. If you would like to describe how PQQ has helped (or not helped) you, leave a comment below and we will add your thoughts to this pyrroloquinoline quinone testimonial page:

I recently started supplementing with PQQ and have noticed two profound effects. Firstly, a small white, slightly raised area on my lower lip which has been there since I was a teenager (I am now 59) completely disappeared within a week. I find this incredible. Secondly, there has been a significant improvement in my long vision. Previously I had difficulty seeing the letters and digits on car number plates more than three cars in front of me. In fact, at my last appointment with my ophthalmologist late last year I mentioned the deterioration in my sight and she checked my prescription and said it was fine. Now I can see number plates around 6 to 7 car lengths in front of me.

John E. – Sydney, Australia

I’m an amateur runner who has struggled for a long time to increase my my VO2 max and aerobic capacity. I have tried different means to make positive strides through both physical training plus changes and augmentation regarding nutrition, with mixed results. The two supplements where I feel like I have gotten the strongest benefit are methoxatin (PQQ) and alpha-lipoic acid. I have as tried rhodiola rosea with mixed results. The three helped in different ways but pyrroloquinoline quinone in isolation seemed to help with recovery allowing me to exert more effort during a subsequent workout, which in theory should help increase the efficiency of adaptation.

Mike R. – Berkeley, CA

I have been taking 20 mg of pyrroloquinoline quinone along with 300 mg of ubiquinol daily for about two months. As yet I have not noticed any effects, however I am age 82.

Doug G. – Maine

I supplemented my Parkinson’s regimen of Stalevo and Azilect with PQQ and soon felt an increase in nausea and off times.

Bob S.

I’ve been consuming pyrroloquinoline quinone along with resveratrol, carthinine and CoQ10. I’ve noticed increased stamina and a drop in blood pressure. It has also made me very calm. I am a 53 yrs old bodybuilder and can work out without getting tired.

Mike G. – Tampa Bay, FL

PQQ is amazing! I take 10 milligrams at 8am and also at noon. I benefit from improved mood, concentration, focus, stamina. even my complexion has improved.

Georgie – Virginia

What is special about quinone structure and compounds?

Quinones are derived from aromatic compounds, such as benzene and naphthalene. There are thousands of aromatic compounds. Although a thorough discussion of organic chemistry related to quinone structure and aromatic compounds is somewhat beyond the scope of this informational site about pyrroloquinoline quinone, it is important to appreciate some of the following quinone structural characteristics. Electrons within aromatic structures can move from one site to another very rapidly. The arrangement of atoms in aromatic structures makes such compounds very stable from a chemical perspective. Aromaticity, as a chemical property, results from rings of atoms (usually carbon and other small atoms that are capable of forming stable multiple chemical bonds) being linked by conjugated doubled bonds (…-C=C-C=C-…). The adjacent double bond arrangement (=) allows electrons to resonate (move back and forth and around the ring). Quinones can be structured as a part of this arrangement and occur upon the conversion of an even number of –CH= groups into –C(=O)– groups (with any necessary rearrangement of double bonds). Quinones are conjugated (i.e. they maintain the –[C-H]= or –[C=O]– single-double bond arrangements), but when quinone functions are introduced, their structure can lose other aromatic properties.

Quinones are commonly named with a prefix that indicates the parent aromatic hydrocarbon (“benzo-” for benzene, “naphtho-” for naphthalene, “anthra-” for anthrocene) and quinone as the suffix. Quinone structure can be arranged in ortho, meta, or para positions around an aromatic ring, as shown in the following example:

Quinone Structure

Derivatives of quinones are common constituents of biologically relevant molecules. Some examples are vitamins K and E, compounds directly involved in oxidative metabolism, such as CoQ10. Some have accessory structures, such as phytyl side chains, which are long carbon-containing lipophylic chains that facilitate association with specific sites in cellular lipid membranes. In nature, quinones act as coloring substances and, similar to CoQ10, as redox (electron shuttling compounds). Many of the antioxidants found in foods are quinones (e.g. flavonoids and flavanoids). Among these compounds are derivatives of quercetin (in fruits and vegetables), resveratrol (in red wine), catechin and epicatechin (in chocolate and tea), and compounds derived from amino acids, such as tyrosine and tryptophan (hydroxytyrosol, 5-hydroxytryptophan, and one of our favorites of course, PQQ).

The ability of quinones to accommodate electrons in novel ways often imparts antioxidant potential. A good example is vitamin E, which inhibits membrane lipid oxidation. In a more general context, oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which can initiate chain reactions that also damage other cellular components. Antioxidants terminate chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are also often reducing agents. Chemical stability, due to aromatic character, and rapid election movement (resonance), and the ability to carry out redox reactions contribute to making these compounds nutritionally important and often “protective” as antioxidants or redox facilitators.

With regard to biofactors, such as PQQ, resveratrol, and hydroxytyrosol that can function to stimulate given steps in mitochondriogenesis, it remains unclear exactly what the quinone function does. It may be important in interacting with redox sensitive sites on specific receptor proteins important to mitochondrial cell signaling pathways. It is obvious that the structure of the compound that is quinone-containing is also important regarding how these compounds get recognized and used in biological systems.

More broadly, one may also ask whether a given vitamin or biofactor containing a quinone moiety provide multiple functions? For some quinones, the answer is definitely yes. Blood plasma containing trace amounts of pyrroloquinoline quinone has antioxidant activity in chemical assays, in contrast to plasma devoid of PQQ. In some bacteria, PQQ acts as a redox cofactor for enzymes called dehydrogenases. An example is the oxidation of substances containing alcohol groups (–CH2OH) to aldehydes (–CHO). Such reactions involving methoxatin have not been observed in animal tissues; however, PQQ can be important to cell signaling. In animal cells, vitamin K is a redox cofactor in reactions important to blood clotting and bone formations, whereas vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and possibility a cell signal molecule. Certain quinone containing plants seem to be involved in the conversion of light energy to chemical energy and are antioxidants when consumed by animals as a part of their diets.

In summary, nature uses quinone-structured compounds in a number of diverse pathways and functions. The aromatic nature of the many of these compounds imparts chemical stability, which is exactly what is needed if they have to function in an oxidative environment and efficiently engage in repeated reduction-oxidation reactions or as anti-oxidants.