New Vitamin for Infertility?
Japanese scientists have discovered a new vitamin that plays an important role in fertility in mice and may have a similar function in humans.
The Tokyo-based Institute of Physical and Chemical Research confirmed that pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a substance discovered in 1979, can be categorized as a vitamin.
Mice deprived of PQQ suffer reduced fertility and roughened fur. Vitamins that have an important effect on mice usually act in the same way in humans, the researchers said.
PQQ is the first new vitamin to be discovered since 1948. It is thought to belong the to B-vitamin group. Vitamins are defined as organic substances needed in small quantities for health and growth. They must be obtained from food because they cannot be produced by the body.
PQQ is not usually found in multi-vitamin tablets. The best source of PQQ discovered so far is "natto," a pungent Japanese dish of fermented soybeans. Other foods rich in PQQ are parsley, green tea, green peppers, kiwi fruit and papaya.
Source: Reuters Health News, March 24, 2003