Over the past few years, the European Union has been undergoing a demographic shift. Due to an increase in life expectancy and lowered fertility rates, currently one in five Europeans are aged 65 or above; by 2050, this number will be closer to 30 percent, as reported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
This growing older generation helps propel market trends, with research identifying significant growth in consumers adopting a proactive approach to their health as well as a rising demand for holistic wellness solutions. The increased awareness for health and wellness has triggered interest in the benefits of natural supplements, especially those that enhance cognitive function, memory, and mental focus.
According to Coherent Market Insights, the European health supplement market is projected to see robust growth, with a CAGR of 5.8 percent by 2030. When breaking that down further, it is forecasted that a “Geriatric Nutrition” segment could expand and hold a dominant position to mirror the growing ageing population.
Impacts of the inevitable
Ageing is a natural phenomenon; for the average adult, brain development peaks at age 25, and after age 40, brain volume begins to decrease at a rate of five percent per decade. Neurons and their connecting pathways start shrinking, and after age 70 the rate of decline increases even further.
Impaired mitochondrial function is also considered a major characteristic of ageing. A healthy body continually creates mitochondria in a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis, crucial for enhancing cognitive function, memory, cell longevity and minimizing age-related diseases. However, as we get older, our mitochondrial function declines, much like overall energy levels, which leads to impaired functioning of the brain and other vital organs.
Therefore, by understanding how the health of mitochondria relates to ageing, consumers can choose natural supplements containing ingredients that help improve mitochondrial function, thus extending their health span and improving longevity.
The might of MGCPQQ
One ingredient that has proven to energize the mitochondria is pyrroloquinoline quinone, commonly known as PQQ. This ingredient is found naturally in certain fruits, vegetables, and meats, and has been commercialised as a nutraceutical.
A naturally derived and pure source of PQQ was developed by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc. (MGC) in Japan, under the brand name MGCPQQ in Europe. MGCPQQ is produced through a proprietary patented fermentation process that does not include chemical synthesis. While other compounds of
PQQ produced synthetically can be found on the market, the majority of scientific research over the past 40 years has been developed by testing MGCPQQ specifically.
Studies demonstrate that by incorporating a supplement containing MGCPQQ in a daily routine can provide a wide range of health benefits:
- Helps to improve selective attention and working memory after 12 weeks of taking 20 mg of MGCPQQ, according to a study of 41 healthy elderly subjects.
- Significantly improves short-term memory in a group of 67 elderly people after taking 20 mg of MGCPQQ per day (over a six-month period).
- Helps to reduce confusion, anxiety, and depression, and improve vigor after taking 20 mg a day of MGCPQQ for 8 weeks, according to a study of 17 adults.
- Helps to increase memory recall, prevents the decline in cognitive function and improves overall higher brain functions like spatial awareness after taking 20mg a day of MGCPQQ for 24 weeks, according to a study of 71 healthy adults aged 45-65.
A series of clinical studies also show the ingredient can activate mitochondrial biogenesis and boost Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein that is critical to the development and health of neurons, especially our sensory neurons. Further, MGCPQQ’s antioxidative, neuroprotective and mitochondria-supporting functions and enhancement of NGF have been shown to have a positive impact on memory recall and brain functions such as spatial awareness.
MGCPQQ is the only PQQ included on the European Union’s list of Novel Food Ingredients, attesting to the ingredient’s quality and safety, and it remains the only ingredient of its kind that can be lawfully sold in the EU. The same safe and effective ingredient is registered as BioPQQ in North America and Japan.
As the population’s age in Europe continues to trend upward, the demographic brings its own health demands to the market. With greater focus on supplements that maintain holistic health and boost cognitive wellness, brand manufacturers must be ready to meet these growing interests. While there are many ingredients that promote healthy ageing, MGCPQQ is unique because it has proven time and time again that it can stimulate mitochondria and support cognitive performance.
Supplement manufacturers and nutraceutical professionals looking to add a safe, well-studied ingredient to their product formula that has been widely tested and validated for its quality and efficacy can learn more about MGCPQQ by visiting stand 3.0L71, Food ingredients at Fi Europe, 28-30 November in Frankfurt, Germany.For more information about MGCPQQ, visit www.mgcpqq.eu.
 Source: R. Peters, “Ageing and the brain.” Postgrad Med J. 2006 Feb; 82(964): 84-88.