PQQ: Long COVID Supplements to Regain Health
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY DISEASE.
Long Haul COVID isn’t a unique phenomenon. In fact, chronic fatigue syndrome has symptoms that closely resemble Long COVID. These two diseases are nearly identical, in fact. Though fatigue sometimes manifests on its own, chronic fatigue syndrome almost always emerges after a viral infection. It isn’t especially uncommon for a person to experience lasting symptoms or chronic fatigue after recovering from a viral infection, so Long Haul COVID could be treated in a similar way as chronic fatigue syndrome.
PQQ has been studied for chronic fatigue syndrome and has shown great success as a therapeutic treatment. Due to the specific nature of the COVID-19 virus, development of chronic fatigue syndrome and accompanying symptoms after infection isn’t surprising, but there are some effective treatments, such as PQQ, that can help get you back on your feet.
What is PQQ/pyrroloquinoline quinone?
Pyrroloquinoline quinone, otherwise known as PQQ, was discovered in 1964 by J.G. Hauge. In the years following, various other research teams also found and isolated this substance, a redox cofactor (the third, after nicotinamide and flavin, more commonly known as vitamins B3 and B2, respectively). It is also known as methoxatin and is currently approved for use as a supplement and food additive in Europe, the US, Canada, and Japan. In Europe, the only approved brand of this nutrient is MGCPQQ, while in Japan a different brand known as BioPQQ is most popular. BioPQQ is also one of the most easily accessible brands in Canada and the United States, where it is also available.
Although some circles consider PQQ to be a vitamin, a nutrient that is essential to life, other people only consider this nutrient to be conditionally essential, or only essential as part of long-term survival but not one of those nutrients necessary for short-term survival. It has not formally been recognized as a vitamin in any community, but nevertheless, PQQ is a valuable part of our discussion of the treatment of Long Haul COVID and other post-infection respiratory illnesses.
How PQQ is Used Therapeutically
One of PQQ’s primary functions in the body is to help reenergize the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of every cell in our body, and when they are weak or compromised, we suffer from symptoms of fatigue, a depressed immune system, and memory problems, among other issues.
There are various ways that the mitochondria can be reenergized, but PQQ happens to be a particularly effective supplement for reenergizing the cells from the inside out, among other important functions in the body. Some other notable nutrients that can help repair and support mitochondrial function include acetyl L-carnitine, vitamin C, choline, alpha-lipoic acid, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), magnesium, and resveratrol.
In addition to Long Haul COVID, some of the ailments that PQQ may be used to treat as part of a protocol include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome / fatigue
- Foggy thinking / poor focus
- Memory problems
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Muscle weakness
- Inflammation (particularly when due to oxidative stress)
- Cytokine storm (PQQ is immunomodulatory)
- Growth impairment
- Immune dysfunction
- Reproductive disorders
PQQ can also improve overall brain health and mood. Studies have shown that PQQ can reduce levels of IL-6 in the body (a pro-inflammatory cytokine) and also nitric oxide, a toxic compound that causes pain and fatigue (inexplicable feelings of lactic acid build up or “soreness” are often caused by nitric oxide being stored in the body). It has antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-melanogenic, growth-promoting, anti-degenerative, and anti-cancer properties in the body.
PQQ not only helps reenergize cells and relieve symptoms of fatigue, but it can also improve sleep quality. According to one study that examined the relationship between chronic stress, anxiety, and mitochondrial dysfunction was able to prove that anxiety levels can increase in cases where the cells in the brain and muscles are not performing at an optimal level. In other words, when the mitochondria in these cells are not energized, the low performance of the cells can lead to feelings of anxiety. When the mitochondria are energized, such as through supplementation with PQQ or by other methods, they will produce energy more effectively. More energy in the cells equals reduced feelings of anxiety, even if stress is still present.
Patients who are suffering from Long Haul COVID have experienced long periods of physical stress (not to mention emotional and mental stress) in addition to having depleted energy due to relatively recent illness. PQQ can help treat the side effects of this chronic stress and help Long Haul COVID patients feel more energized, clearer-headed, and calmer.
Another consideration is the way that the SARS-CoV-2 virus interacts with host cells. Specifically, this virus takes over the mitochondria of infected cells and uses them for viral replication and protection, among other functions, thus using all of the energy directed toward the cell for viral growth. For people who have Long COVID, damaged mitochondria can lead to excess fatigue or persistent symptoms of COVID (like coughing or respiratory depression). PQQ is specifically able to relieve the fatigue caused by mitochondrial dysfunction.
Sources of PQQ/Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
PQQ is not found in especially high quantities in food, so most people who choose to use this nutrient therapeutically opt to take a daily supplement as part of a treatment protocol. Most readers will likely have access to PQQ supplements, given that this nutrient isn’t necessarily recognized as a vitamin yet, it isn’t outlawed anywhere either and is even occasionally acknowledged by conventional medicine in some places.
In food, PQQ is present in small quantities in kiwifruit, parsley, green peppers, tofu, and papaya. Green tea also has some PQQ present. PQQ is also sometimes found in the soil in which fruits and vegetables grow, which can contribute to either higher or lower quantities of PQQ being present in those foods. PQQ is also present in human breast milk (suggesting that it is indeed important to human survival). Although PQQ is found in food, Long Haul COVID patients should consider a PQQ supplement in order to increase mitochondrial function most effectively (a higher dose will be considered therapeutic in this case).
Dosage of PQQ for the Treatment of Long Haul COVID
In one study that successfully demonstrated the positive effects of PQQ on the body, study participants were given a dosage of 0.3mg of PQQ per kilogram of bodyweight on a daily basis for 3 days. This dosage would equate to approximately 20mg to 30mg daily. Most supplements vary between 20mg to 40mg per serving, so start with a dosage according to this measure. You may double the dosage if needed.
Do not take PQQ with any oxidant therapies because PQQ is an antioxidant that specifically suppresses ROS medicines. Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) /Chlorine Dioxide (CDS) and Artemisia annua are both oxidant therapies that should not be used at the same time as PQQ. If you are taking maintenance doses of MMS, you may continue to do so, but make sure that you wait at least 2 hours before and/or after taking the MMS before taking the PQQ or any other antioxidant medicine.
Other Important Posts:
Wikipedia (2021). Pyrroloquinoline quinone. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrroloquinoline_quinone
Harris, C. B. et al. (2013). Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24231099/
Naveed, M. et al. (2016). The life history of pyrroloquinoline quinone (pqq): a versatile molecule with novel impacts on living systems. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://medcraveonline.com/IJMBOA/the-life-history-of-pyrroloquinoline-quinone-pqq-a-versatile-molecule-with-novel-impacts-on-living-systems.html
Akagawa, M., Nakano, M., Ikemoto, K. (2015). Recent progress in studies on the health benefits of pyrroloquinoline quinone. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09168451.2015.1062715
Matsukawa, S. (2020). Link between mitochondria and mental health in a COVID-19 world. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://www.vitafoodsinsights.com/ingredients/link-between-mitochondria-and-mental-health-covid-19-world
Tranchitella, T. (2021). Part III: Long COVID and Mitochondrial Dysregulation. Retrieved September 30, 2021 from https://www.zrtlab.com/blog/archive/long-covid-and-mitochondrial-dysregulation/