Europe has one of the largest ageing populations. In fact, it is estimated that the population of individuals over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 15 in the WHO European region, according to a new WHO report. As a result, this older subgroup will be faced with a host of new social, economic and health challenges putting the spotlight on healthy ageing to reverse the impact of an ageing population.
To complement tried-and-true habits such as healthy eating and regular physical activity, consumers today are turning to nutraceuticals at an increased rate to help optimise overall health and wellness, extend their health span and improve longevity. As people look to add natural supplements to enhance cognitive function, memory and mental focus, this shift indicates a greater need to target the body’s key power source, mitochondria, which naturally weakens and decreases as we age.
Mitochondria have long been referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, but what important functions do these organelles provide the body?
Healthy mitochondria are responsible for regulating cognitive function, physical performance and ageing. A healthy body continually creates mitochondria in a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis. As people age, their mitochondrial function declines, which leads to impaired functioning of the brain and other vital organs. Damage to mitochondria can lead to a host of health issues, including sarcopenia, infections, diabetes, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. So, properly functioning mitochondria are crucial for longevity and minimising age-related diseases.
What are ways that consumers can reenergise mitochondria to help slow down the ageing process?
To create more mitochondria, regular physical activity is important, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and aerobics. When performing these activities, mitochondria receive a healthy dose of proteins, which causes one’s energy to increase and ageing at a cellular level to be delayed. Another way to help promote mitochondria is to eat foods rich in antioxidants, like blueberries, apples and nuts.
Alternatively, consumers could integrate supplements with ingredients that target mitochondria. For example, one ingredient called pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ, has been shown to help promote mitochondrial biogenesis and boost mitochondrial function by increasing the number of mitochondria in cells.
What is PQQ and how does it help mitochondria?
PQQ is found naturally in trace amounts in vegetables, fruits and meat and was commercialised as a nutraceutical by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co Inc (MGC) in Japan. Studies have shown that the PQQ compound may play a role in preserving and improving cognitive function, in both humans and animals, and delaying ageing. Other studies have found that this ingredient may also support heart health, reduce stress and improve sleep.
What kind of testing and data is there on PQQ to support these health benefits and is it safe for consumption?
Scientists have long been interested in the positive effects PQQ has on the development and health of mitochondria. MGC has been a pioneer in the research for more than 40 years and developed a natural source of PQQ, which is marketed under the brand name MGPQQ in Europe. MGC’s product has been well-studied and validated for quality and safety; in fact, the vast majority of scientific research for this ingredient has been conducted using MGCPQQ specifically.
While other forms of synthetic PQQ are available on the market except for Europe, there is no guarantee that the reagents and solvents involved in these processes are recognized as food-safe or devoid of hazardous chemicals. It is why MGCPQQ is still the only PQQ included on the European Union’s list of Novel Food Ingredients and remains the lone ingredient of its kind that can be lawfully sold in the EU. Products using MGCPQQ have trademarks on their packaging, which helps customers choose the most reliable one.
What type of results can consumers expect by adding PQQ supplements to their diet?
Countless studies have shown MGCPQQ can fuel cellular activity in the body and help activate mitochondrial biogenesis for improved memory and longevity.
While results vary from person to person of all ages, studies have indicated that adding a supplement with MGCPQQ to your daily routine may provide a wide range of health benefits. A most recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study measuring cognitive function in adults between 20 and 65 years found positive results for both young adults and the elderly.
For example, adults aged 20 to 40 experienced advances in their cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and execution speed while adults aged 41 to 65 showed improvements in complex and verbal memory. Other studies have shown MGCPQQ can offer other health improvements like adding vigour while reducing fatigue, anxiety and depression.
While there are many PQQ knockoffs that claim to improve cognitive function and help decrease the acceleration of ageing, consumers should choose supplements containing ingredients that are well-established, controlled and documented. To date, MGCPQQ is the most researched and tested ingredient of its kind on the market, and the more than 1,000 vitro, animal and human clinical studies linking it to myriad health benefits further demonstrate the product’s safety, superior performance and quality.
This article was written by Atsushi Sugimoto, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. To learn more about this mitochondrial enhancer and its importance for healthy ageing, visit MGCPQQ.eu.
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