Guillain-Barré syndrome & PQQ

Guillain–Barré syndrome can occur with rapid onset and result in severe muscle weakness due to damage to the peripheral nervous system.  In some individuals, the symptoms may occur in as little as two to three days.  Physiologic functions can be altered ranging from breathing to muscle weakness (usually beginning in the feet and hands).  The current view is that Guillain–Barré syndrome may be considered an autoimmune disease and represents immune dysfunction caused by an attack on the peripheral nerves and damage to the myelin sheet.

Whether compounds such as PQQ would be of any benefit, unfortunately there is nothing in the current medical literature that would support and/or allow one to make that assertion at this time.  No nutritional supplements per se have been shown to have much value, except for strategies to deal with iatrogenic-related eating behaviors suchas poor food intake (induced inadvertently by standard medical treatments for Guillain-Barre syndrome).  Amantadine (trade name Symmetrel) has been shown to have some benefit, but it has to be administered with a number of caveats and its exact mechanism of action is not clear.  Information found in a recent summaries regarding to approaches to diseases with peripheral neuropathy as a component may be of some additional help (e.g. Interventions for fatigue in peripheral neuropathy, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014; 12: CD008146).

Why take a PQQ supplement?

Pyrroloquinoline quinone, also known as PQQ, is a novel factor found in a variety of different foods. In humans, the benefits reported from PQQ supplementation range from improvements in cognitive function to an overall reduction in internal inflammation. Recent published research also suggests that taking a PQQ supplement has the potential to stimulate mitochondrial function (the primary energy source in cells) and protects from excessive oxidative damage, a major cause of rapid cell aging.

PQQ supplement

Like many vitamins and regulatory factors, PQQ was first recognized as a cofactor (a component essential to enzyme action) in bacteria. It has also been examined as a potent plant growth factor. In humans and animals, PQQ acts in a similar fashion to resveratrol or quercetin (so-called food biofactors) in that it serves as a mimic-signaling molecule important to sustaining cellular functions and mitochondrial action.

For animals and humans there has been a constant exposure to PQQ. For example, soil bacteria that have a symbiotic or mutually favorable relationship with plants make it. PQQ-like substances have even been identified as components of stellar dust. This is important because unlike many other healthful biofactors, that lends proof that each of us has had exposure to PQQ. Accordingly, it is not surprising that when fed diets devoid of PQQ, a broad range of biological functions with apparent survival benefits (optimal growth, development, and reproductive performance) are diminished and compromised. As a supplement, PQQ has many of the same benefits as the beneficial flavonoids found in chocolate and green tea.