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Potential Benefits of Taking a PQQ Supplement and/or Increasing Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Intake

Searching for PQQ information?

If you are the type of person that concerns themselves with optimal nutrition, you probably have noticed that a few forward thinking nutritional companies have added some sort of PQQ supplement to their line of products. Pyrroloquinoline quinone is quickly gaining in popularity as a potent antioxidant, rivaling both resveratrol and quercetin as the most beneficial nutraceutical of the three.
PQQ capsules
PQQ capsules

The purported benefits of pyrroloquinoline quinone supplementation include:

  • An overall improvement in energy levels
  • Improved cognitive function and memory
  • Reduction in mitochondrial degradation
  • Cardiovascular improvement
  • Increased skin elasticity
  • Potential neuro-protectant
  • Enhanced nerve growth

There have been almost 200 scientific studies publish on PQQ

So what do we know for sure so far about PQQ? We know pyrroloquinoline quinone is required in the human diet; without PQQ our biochemical functions would cease to operate properly. In the 2003 Nature article Nutritional biochemistry: A new redox-cofactor vitamin for mammals the researches Takaoki Kasahara and Tadafumi Katopropose proposed that PQQ should join niacin and riboflavin under the umbrella of B vitamins. However, it is now generally accepted that pyrroloquinoline quinone is not a vitamin.

The original claim by Kasahara and Katopropose was likely due to misinterpretation of the data in the Nutritional biochemistry: A new redox-cofactor vitamin for mammals article. It is now generally believed in the academic community that (rather than a vitamin) pyrroloquinoline quinone is better classified as one of a few bio-available compounds that can act as a cell signaling molecule.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone is prevalent in many foods associated with a healthy diet, so people that eat well-rounded meals should get enough to sustain their biological need. It is a water-soluble compound making it difficult to achieve PQQ toxicity. In short, if you would like to take a PQQ supplement — absent of health problems — there should be little concern. Pyrroloquinoline quinone is now being heavily marketed to those concerned with “aging well”. That is despite the fact that to date no published research exists using any type of whole organisms that addresses whether or not methoxatin has an independent or direct influence on aging. All of the work linking pyrroloquinoline quinone to aging is inferential and is based on PQQ’s ability to optimize mitochondrial function.

If you have any questions about pyrroloquinoline quinone, please leave them in the comments section below and I (or my father) will try to answer them as quickly as possible.

Comments

Irma G Fox
Reply

What are the anti-aging benefits of PQQ?

Michael Rucker
Reply

The claims being made regarding anti-aging is that some PQQ studies show improved mitochondriogenesis. With that said, there have been no studies on PQQ and aging yet per se. However, in 2010 there were over 400 PubMed cited mitochondria-related/aging publications.

Susan
Reply

For myalgia (painful muscles) caused from a reaction from a statin drug, could this supplement rid the painful muscles by reducing mitochondrial problems? Does it depend on what type of muscle problem there is from the statin drug? Of course adding in the CoQ10 is a given as well as Lipoic Acid, L Carnitine. The study in UC Davis showed that mice replenished their mitochondria by taking PQQ. So I am doing my own research project to see if myalgia is lessened by it.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hello Susan, what great questions! To answer them correctly requires consideration of a number of complex variables. Also, let’s be clear that before you experiment with any nutraceutical or food supplement you should confer your choices with a doctor that is familiar with your particular circumstance.

Studies show PQQ does stimulate cell-signaling pathways that can initiate the potential for increased mitochondrial production. In independent pathways, the production of other factors important to mitochondrial production or function must also be considered. Specifically regarding Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the rate of total synthesis can be compromised when statins are used (e.g. to address issues related to excess cholesterol production), because CoQ10 utilizes a part of the cholesterol synthesis pathway for its synthesis.

For perspective, for a person of about 150 pounds, the typical total body cholesterol synthesis can range between 1 to 2 grams per day, and the total body cholesterol content is about 30 to 40 grams. For Coenzyme Q10, it is estimated that about 3-5 milligrams of CoQ10 are utilized daily. In addition, there is some evidence that as one ages, the body’s production of CoQ10 is decreased. Because CoQ10 and cholesterol both share parts of the same synthesis pathway, the use of statins can also decrease the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 (e.g. by as much as 30-40%). Statins act to inhibit the initial stages of cholesterol synthesis, which unfortunately also affects CoQ10 synthesis.

Because of the potential reduction in CoQ10, it is often recommended by health professionals to use dietary supplements of CoQ10. However, not all CoQ10 products are absorbed efficiently. To replace the CoQ10 that is not made because of statin use, 100-300 milligrams CoQ10 per day is often suggested. This amount is recommended, because only 3-4 % of most CoQ10 products are absorbed and additional amounts are lost internally. If you are interested in using PQQ to augment the effects of CoQ10 you can experiment with 10-20 milligrams per day (again confer this choice with a medical professional familiar with your medical history). That amount is based on the best clinical studies available regarding its effects on mitochondria. If you are in your 20s-30s consider taking in 100 milligrams daily of CoQ10, and if you are over 50, consider 200 milligrams or greater. Hope that helps!

Fred McKee
Reply

Is the additional cost of Ubiquinol over CoQ10 worth it?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Ubiquinol is an electron-rich (reduced) form of CoQ10, but they are basically the same thing. The natural Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 is 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-poly prenyl-1,4-benzoquinol, where the polyprenylated side chain is 9 to 10 units long in mammals. CoQ10 exists in three redox states, fully oxidized (ubiquinone), partially reduced (semiquinone or ubisemiquinone), and fully reduced (ubiquinol) and there isn’t strong research to show empirical that one form is better than the other so it is really a matter of choice and what you personally believe.

Shannon
Reply

Very thorough information! I’m currently pursuing a degree in Medicine, and appreciate how you present your knowledge/findings on pyrroloquinoline quinone. You are my first blog crush!

Michael Rucker
Reply

Thanks Shannon! Really appreciate the feedback. Warm regards, Mike

Corrie Schueler
Reply

What is the recommended dosage of PQQ?

Lee
Reply

Is there any truth to the belief that the only effective and real CoQ10 is manufactured by the Japanese? Japanese biocultured CoQ10 (ubiquione) is purported to be the only real choice. “The fraud is cheap, unstable ubiquinol (an alcohol) rather than real ubiquinone (a ketone). Yes, CoQ10 does break down into ubiquinol when you take it. But you can’t use ubiquinol, as it is unstable and has no shelf life. There is ZERO published science behind ubiquinol.”

Michael Rucker
Reply

Lee, the short answer to your question is no. There are quality sources of CoQ10 manufactured outside of Japan.

In the body ubiquinone is converted to ubiquinol. There are three redox states of Coenzyme Q10: fully oxidized (ubiquinone), semi-quinone (ubisemiquinone), and fully reduced (ubiquinol). There are a number of factors the affect CoQ10 levels (plasma and tissues), for example:

– The use of statin drugs reduce CoQ10 levels because CoQ10 depends on the cholesterol pathway for its synthesis
– Aging reduces CoQ10 levels
– UV light (sun) exposure reduces CoQ10 levels in the skin

Ubiquinol supplements are now usually made by dispersing ubiquinol in oils. Are you worried about ubiquinone from fermentation?

Rachel Madison
Reply

I hardly ever leave comments on blogs, but I visited your site about PQQ which was recommended by my friend, lots of valuable details, thanks for putting this together!

Tony
Reply

Regarding ubiquinol vs ubiquinine (CoQ10), studies have shown much greater absorption of ubiquinol. A recent study from The International Society of Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology showed that just 150 mg per day of ubiquinol would provide virtually the same high CoQ10 blood levels as 1200 mg of enhanced-delivery ubiquinone.

Scott Holden
Reply

What a solid effort with the pyrroloquinoline-quinone.com website! I’ve bookmarked this page on Digg. You guys are doing a marvelous job, thanx for sharing this information and keeping it up to date.

GFganesh
Reply

Greetings,
I was recently referred to this website. I have been taking CoQ10 for nearly 20 years. Fortunately, the cost has decreased alot. I currently take 300mg per day versus 30mg years ago. I powerwalk at 58 and keep up with much younger walkers. I recently started taking Jarrow Formulas Ubiquinol and it seems much lower doses are needed 50mg as compared to CoQ10 300mg/day. What I am not clear about is what exactly PQQ offers that is better than Ubiquinol and how PQQ works as compared to Ubiguinol? Can you clarify?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi GFganesh,

I hope you didn’t powerwalk today. I checked out your site and noticed we both live in Berkeley. I got caught running in the hail today and it wasn’t fun. I digress… regarding CoQ10 dosage, over the years there have been improvements in the delivery systems and stability of preparations of CoQ used in supplements. CoQ supplements can be made by dispersing ubiquinol (a chemically reduced form of CoQ) in oil. The good news is that the biological availability of the reduced form of CoQ (ubiquinol) in supplements has improved, although in clinical studies, amounts in excess of 100-200mg per day are often used. The caveats are that even with the improved products, there remains variability in delivery from oral administration to tissues. Also, outside factors can effect CoQ levels… the use of statins reduces CoQ10 levels, aging reduces CoQ10 levels, even UV exposure lowers levels (reduces CoQ10 levels in the skin)… other oxidative processes may reduce CoQ10 levels in other tissues as well.

Regarding metabolic actions (CoQ vs. PQQ), one can think of CoQ10 as an accessory factor to those proteins important to ATP production (energy generation). It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in oxygen requiring cellular respiration. Lipid membranes are essential to ATP production. CoQ is designed to fit into lipid membranes and it’s other chemical characteristics (ability to undergo repeated electron transfers) makes it ideally suited to act as a coenzyme or cofactor, or perhaps better stated, an accessory factor for electron transport and ATP production.

PQQ’s mode of action is quite different (compared to CoQ10). It is highly water-soluble. Although as a quinone, it possesses the chemical attributes to effectively engage in electron transfer reactions, PQQ is not known to function directly as an accessory important to ATP production. Rather, PQQ acts as a cell-signaling molecule that seems to initiate or optimize mitochondrial production. There are number of compounds that fall in to this category (Resveratrol from wine, Hydroxytyrosol from olive oil, Quercetin found in many fruits and vegetables). When present, they interact with protein factors that may stimulate mitochondrial production (mitochondriogenesis), if it is needed. Does that answer your question?

Mazuru Gundidza
Reply

How can I get your supplements here in Johannesburg, South Africa?
Best Regards,
Professor Mazuru Gundidza

Michael Rucker
Reply

Professor Gundidza, I do not know of a South African supplier of PQQ unfortunately. Sorry that I cannot help you.

Ivan
Reply

What do you think about nasal administration of PQQ? It is water soluble, hardly crosses the brain blood barrier, acts very quick in vitro… My idea is to deliver more PQQ to the brain.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Ivan, as a concept there might be some merit, but nasal administration is not recommended for a host of reasons. The most compelling is the unknown factors. There are many cases where administering nutraceuticals through intranasal means has led to undesired results. One popular example was in June 2009, when the FDA advised consumers not to use a certain intranasal zinc product because of potential olfaction impairment. There have been many other cases where harm has been done by nasal administration. Until there is research to warrant the benefit of nasal administration, this method is not advised. Furthermore, just an FYI I edited your link because the folks emailing from Africa are looking for the website of Dr. Don Colbert, a televangelist (apparently popular there) that has his own pyrroloquinoline quinone product. A Google search for ‘Dr. Don Colbert PQQ’ will quickly take anyone to his product if they so desire, which we do not endorse in any way, shape or form. However, apparently this guy is on television purporting PQQ’s benefits as well which is driving traffic to this site.

JOHN EGAN
Reply

I recently started supplementing with PQQ and have noticed… MODERATOR NOTE: John we have moved the rest of your comment to the PQQ Testimonials section.

Michael Rucker
Reply

There are a lot of questions about Methoxatin piling up. Please bear with us, we’ll try to get to most of them this weekend. The moderators of this site are all based out of California so for the repeated requests to provide locations of supplement stores near Johannesburg that carry PQQ will go unanswered, because frankly that information is unknown to us.

Sorry we cannot be more helpful in that regard. In the meantime, please check out our new post about quinone structure and let us know what you think.

John
Reply

I have been taking CoQ10 for many years. Now taking Ubiquinol. My question is, since this molecule is far too large to get through cellular membranes including those of the cellular organelles of the mitochondria, how can CoQ10 help energy production?

RE: Pyrroloquinoline quinone I recently started taking Life Extension Bio-PQQ, 10 mg, 1-2 per day. I also take Prozac, Risperdal and Immipramine. I noticed after perhaps 30 days of administration of PQQ what seemed like an increase in Norepinephrine and a decline in mood. I stopped taking the PQQ and Ubiquinol (just to be safe re Ubiquinol).

Does PQQ affect action of any enzymes that breakdown Norepinephrine or any pharmaceuticals? I would love to take PQQ for the mitochondrial benefits but I can’t take the mood change.

Any info you can provide would be a great help.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hello John, first off I’m cautious about giving you any specific information. Medicine and nutraceuticals often have profound synergistic / negative interactions. With your current regimen, it would be nearly impossible to given you any useful advice. This one should really be sorted out with the medical professionals that are familiar with your medical history and the ins and outs of the pharmaceutical mixture you have been subscribed. That said, here is simply information pertaining to some of your concerns:

Regarding CoQ10 versus Ubiquinol, keep in mind that as soon as you ingest CoQ10, much of it is reduced to Ubiquinol anyway, there are specific transporters that are designed to transport and deliver lipids, such as CoQ10 derivatives in and out of cells. If CoQ10 is consumed in a nutritionally available form, it is probably getting to where it needs to be. In total, our bodies absorb about 95% of most lipids (dietary fats) that are consumed. There are a number of ways to get lipids like CoQ10 into the body and eventually to a given cell.

Regarding pyrroloquinoline quinone, there remains much to be know and researched about how PQQ influences pathways related to catecholamines and their actions, such as norepinephrine. Anyone who has or suspects an adverse reaction to any supplement or nutraceutical, because of potential drug-related interaction, should immediately talk to the physician who prescribed the pharmaceutical(s) about the nutraceutical(s) being ingested, which is what is encouraged here.

John Black
Reply

I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to a mitochondrial disorder. About 50 – 60 % of all my mitochondria are destroyed. Do you recommend PQQ to get new functioning mitochondria to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? What dose per day do you recommend? Are there any side effects from pyrroloquinoline quinone?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Mr. Black, as you are probably aware complex conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) involve multiple genes and a number of metabolic and/or signaling pathways. One would obviously like mitochondrial oxidation to be optimized in CFS, but to achieve that kind of response, given compounds may have to influence a number of specific components (e.g. metabolic signaling and other pathways) that may be amiss, and possibly vary somewhat from individual to individual.

It is doubtful that PQQ in the amounts available in supplements would act as a pro-oxidant. Here are a few studies (chemical and in vitro) that test this question:
Kinetic Study of the Quenching Reaction of Singlet Oxygen by Pyrroloquinolinequinol (PQQH(2), a Reduced Form of Pyrroloquinolinequinone) in Micellar Solution.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone prevents oxidative stress-induced neuronal death probably through changes in oxidative status of DJ-1.
Comparison of pyrroloquinoline quinone and/or metoprolol on myocardial infarct size and mitochondrial damage in a rat model of ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone has been shown to induce protein oxidative modifications in a model peptide and protein in chemical assays. It is suggested that the mechanism of protein modification by PQQ is redox cycling-mediated oxidation (Note – This is a reasonable assumption). PQQ may contribute to the regulation of intracellular protein functions through its “pro-oxidant” action. However, appreciate that in chemical systems, one can set the stage to favor oxidation versus reduction. Even vitamin E or ascorbic acid can act as a pro-oxidant. However, in the reductive environments of cells, PQQ should act more like the descriptions in the antioxidant-related references cited above.

Even in a sedentary state, normally it is oxygen delivery to tissues and not mitochondrial amount that is rate limiting. However, your condition, and perhaps mitochondrial oxidation potential, now makes it the rate limiting issue.

In mice and rats – PQQ does increase mitochondrial amount at low levels of intake. Further, pyrroloquinoline quinone’s potential mechanism of action seems similar to resveratrol, which has been more extensively studied than PQQ (but was needed at levels 100 times or more that for PQQ in vivo experiments). In a CFS mouse model, resveratrol improved hippocampal atrophy in chronic fatigue mice by enhancing neurogenesis and inhibiting apoptosis of granular cells (Biol Pharm Bull. 2011; 34:354-9). Daily running activity was also increased by more than 20%, and the animal’s hippocampus was enlarged.

PQQ has been reported to have similar effects in normal mice, although it has not been used specifically in the CFS experimental model. We have tried to give you enough data points and information to decide if pyrroloquinoline quinone might be worth a try, the ultimate decision is between you and your doctor.

Jamie Gabriel
Reply

Please forgive my ignorance, I’ve tried to read all the comments here but still have some questions about PQQ. My mother has congestive heart failure and emphysema. Could pyrroloquinoline quinone help her or should she be careful about taking it? Also, for a “healthy” person, are there other supplements you need while taking methoxatin? Thanks for all the good insight. I’m sure it’s not as complicated as I’m making it.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Jamie, sorry for the delay in getting to your questions. It turns out that none of these relationships are easy and it is complicated. We will always argue that there are no “magic” bullets and one’s approaches to natural supplements (PQQ or otherwise) should always be thoughtful and careful. The issues range from quality control of the products themselves to their actual efficacy. Appreciate that a lot of the claims are based on isolated cells in culture or a mechanistic animal model or experiments wherein the goal is to study the phenomenon in very controlled settings and often at the limits (maximum or minimum) to make data interpretation clearer.

With that said, there are a scattered few clinical studies that specially address your questions. It has recently been shown that resveratrol administered to smokers with COPD might be superior to corticosteroids in COPD therapy, because resveratrol more efficiently reduces the release of inflammatory mediators. Appreciate that some of the actions of methoxatin are similar to those known for resveratrol. Thus, there is an indication that compounds like PQQ may have promise in mitigating some of the effects of COPD. However, without more information, we would truly be guilty of overly speculating here. Congestive heart failure in COPD requires multiple approaches to treatment. Pyrroloquinoline quinone in the 10-20 mg range is safe in young healthy individuals. It may be worth giving it a try, but only after conferring with your mom’s medical caregiver.

bob sobo
Reply

Encouraged via TV by Don Colbert, I supplemented my Parkinson’s regimen of Stalevo and Azilect with PQQ and soon felt an increase in nausea and off times. Any thoughts?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Yes, stop taking PQQ. There is no reported adverse effects when one abruptly stops methoxatin and if you are experiencing an adverse reaction to pyrroloquinoline quinone, then this supplement is obviously not for you. I will also add your experience to the testimonials page.

Anthony
Reply

How long do the effects of cells growing new mitochondria last after you stop taking PQQ? Or would you have to keep taking it?

Michael Rucker
Reply

That is a great question Anthony and inspired our latest post: PQQ Effects on Cell Growth and New Mitochondria. Other Pyrroloquinoline Quinone site visitors, there are currently ~eleven unanswered questions. We promise to try and get to them by the end of the month. Sorry for the delay.

Roger S
Reply

I was given Levaquin for heavy chest mucus and got some of the side effects – bad ankle and knee joints, damaged tendons and ligaments, random shooting pains and painful joints all over*, memory and vision degradation, extreme energy reduction. (I’m male, age 72; items with an * have improved a lot). Levaquin (and Cipro and all of the fluoroquinolones) is reported to damage DNA in all body cells, and carry the damage forward through cell apoptosis/mitosis. See references at http://www.fqresearch.org/ftrf_dna.htm.

My question is: Would PQQ, CoQ10, Ubiquinol (or a combination of them, ala the Life Extension Magazine special winter edition 2010 article) be a significant aid in restoring the Levaquin damaged DNA, especially in regard to energy production?

Thanks for sharing your time and exceptional knowledge.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hello Roger, I wish we could give you a better answer than “I don’t know” but ill effects from pharmacology are beyond the scope of the information on this site. The best we can offer is consult your physician about the possibility of supplementing your diet with pyrroloquinoline quinone, and see if you feel any positive effects (if she/he gives you the okay). If you don’t feel any positive benefits, stop supplementing with PQQ. There isn’t any information to point you to unfortunately, and given your condition this is really something that should be considered with your personal health care professional.

Clarence Baloo
Reply

Can a diabetic consume a PQQ supplement?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Clarence, yes, a diabetic can supplement with methoxatin. However, as goes with anyone with a medical condition, it should be under the supervision and guidance of a health care professional.

Rich
Reply

I’m leaning towards trying PQQ as a supplement, in addition to Resveratrol, and ellagic acid (and quercetin, and Curcumin as well). No, I am not saying all at once, but maybe some overlapping here and there, with my main focus the past 2 months being Resveratrol. No, no testimonies here at this point, but rather a comment and question regarding Idebenone. My comment is that I will be co-supplementing PQQ with Idebenone rather than CoQ10. My question is, without looping back to Quercetin, what do you think of them apples? No, I am not as knowledgeable as those writing on this website, that is for sure, and neither do I feign to be. So thought you might want to articulate your observations and opinions between Idebenone and CoQ10, though I have researched a little bit already.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Rich, not to sound like a broken record but when you are dealing with pharmacology it is best to make these type decisions in conjunction with your physician. Idebenone is a synthetic analogue of CoQ10 and therefore replacing CoQ10 with pyrroloquinoline quinone in your particular situation doesn’t seem intuitive. There could be some possible synergistic benefits to taking methoxatin with CoQ10 in a healthy individual but, again, since you are on medication I recommend asking your physician if your purposed regimen experiment makes sense.

Daimon Jones
Reply

Hi, I understand cellular biology a little bit and was just wondering; when a cell divides and reproduces itself repetitively over someone’s life, their DNA gets progressively more and more damaged until the cell just dies right? So, shouldn’t the mitochondrial DNA get progressively more damaged, in the same way, the more times it replicates itself? Could PQQ speed up the aging process of mitochondria then? Kind of burning them out in like a blaze of glory or something? Thanks for your opinion

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Daimon, take a look at Pyrroloquinoline Quinone and Mitochondria. I think we answered you question there, but if not please ask your question other way so we can address your concerns. You have some challenging questions, good to see you thinking.

Brunetta
Reply

Will PQQ help stroke victims in the area of memory and expressive speech?

Michael Rucker
Reply

PQQ has never been tested in this regard. There are several animal studies and one human study that suggests pyrroloquinoline quinone seems to be helpful in tests for improvements in short term memory, but these studies were done in healthy animals and senior (but healthy) human volunteers.

Sugiono W
Reply

I have some optic nerve damage due to glaucoma. It seems to me PQQ can potentially promote nerve (including optic nerve I presume) growth/regeneration and protection. Can this help me?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Sugiono, all I can say at this point is that PQQ does seem to stimulate nerve growth in recent scientific studies. No studies specific to glaucoma have been conducted. You’ll find more information about nerve growth in our latest post answering whether or not PQQ can be used for neuroprotection.

reynaldo
Reply

Are there any other vitamin supplements that are synergistic with PQQ, for example would r lipoic acid go well with pyrroloquinoline quinone, or something like vitamin c or other antioxidants? What are your favorite antioxidants?

JD
Reply

To PQQ Mod: Earlier you stated “The link made to anti-aging is the PQQ studies showing improved mitochondriogenesis. With that said, there have been no PQQ and aging studies per se. However, in 2010 there were over 400 PubMed cited mitochondria-related/aging publications.”

Are you referring to over 400 on PQQ? I noticed this from PureCaps: “Recent studies indicate that PQQ supports cognitive function. In one study involving rats, PQQ supplementation supported performance in a water maze test. In a randomized, double blind study of 71 middle aged individuals, PQQ supplementation over 12 weeks promoted mental processing. In the same study, a combination of PQQ and CoQ10 was more effective than either agent alone.”

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi JD, the PubMed citation count refers to the use of mitochondria and aging (and other combinations) as keywords. For the first 6 months of 2011, there have been about 250 mitochondria and aging related papers.

Mark B
Reply

I teach and coach at a college in Illinois. I keep hearing great things about PQQ and would like to include a section in my classes as well as offer my athletes information as to its benefits. Your website gives some great info but I would like to know how much more effective are the benefits of PQQ when combined with CoQ10? I’ve seen studies conclude that there is increased effectiveness but with college students there is always the cost/benefit aspect. The combination supplements are MUCH more expensive than PQQ alone. Thoughts?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Mark, thanks so much for finding us. My interest in PQQ is more about exploring athletic endurance than anything else so I’m glad you found the site. Similar to the claims pyrroloquinoline quinone can slow aging through potentially stimulating mitochondriogenesis… along the same line one can speculate that PQQ may improve endurance as well. I believe I am one of the first to start experimenting with it for this purpose and have been fairly satisfied. I continue to achieve personal bests although I’m hardly taking pyrroloquinoline quinone in isolation. Previously we’ve reported that ubiquinone’s primary effect is on the aerobic cellular respiration and electron transport chain. As you probably already know 95% of the human body’s energy is generated this way. Areas of the body with a high need for energy usually have corresponding large CoQ10 concentrations. Furthermore, varying levels of CoQ10 seem to correlate with reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. CoQ10 reduces cellular ROS levels and studies are pointing to an increased effect when combined with PQQ supplementation (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Prevents Cognitive Deficit Caused by Oxidative Stress in Rats). Now with all that said, I want to be careful about my endorsement. CoQ10 alone has pretty much been debunked as an effective ergogenic aid. Study after study has proven that CoQ10 alone does little to increase athletic output:

- Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance, VO2max, and lipid peroxidation in trained cyclists.
- Does exogenous coenzyme Q10 affect aerobic capacity in endurance athletes?
- Effects of coenzyme athletic performance system as an ergogenic aid on endurance performance to exhaustion.

Anecdotally I was pretty unimpressed when taking it alone, in my case study of one… no real noticeable improvement in any measurable output. At Functional Supplements we are working on a mitochondrial enhancer and will include CoQ10 (even if it doesn’t directly improve performance it is a great antioxidant). With that said, as an ethical supplier of supplements I have made a case based on the empirical evidence available that if you are only able to supplement with one of the two because of budgetary concerns, my choice would be to eliminate CoQ10.

Anthony Juszczyk
Reply

I have heard that PQQ can enhance the expression of the sirt3 gene. Is this really true? I know that pyrroloquinoline quinone enhances mitochondrial biogenesis not by way of PPAR gamma but instead through the expression of cyclic AMP, and cyclic AMP and AMP kinase are much different. All that I’m asking is do we know for sure that PQQ does in fact interact with the sirt3 gene. I appreciate this thread very much. Thanks.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Anthony, regarding your question, I had to call in a favor (hence the delay), it simply is above my pay grade… so I hope the following helps… Signaling molecules, such as the sirtuins or SIRTs are intimately involved in mitochondrial function. SIRT3 has probably gotten the most attention, because like SIRT4 and SIRT5, it is located in the mitochondrial matrix and implicated in regulating metabolic processes, such as adaptive thermogenesis, particularly in so-called brown adipose tissue. If the question is whether PQQ influences SIRT3 directly, there is no evidence to suggest that any of the proteins in the sirtuin family of cell signaling proteins is directly influenced. What is know is that pyrroloquinoline quinone influences genes important to cellular stress, mitochondriogenesis, cell signaling via the JAK (Janus kinase)/STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathways, as well as a number of genes important to cellular transport. STAT3 seems to be a target. Most likely, if STAT3 is highly activated, leading to increased mitochondriogenesis and perhaps function, then indirectly SIRT3 might be influenced albeit indirectly. This is the best I can do for you and should only be considered informational. Some additional references that might help are: Identification of transcriptional networks responding to pyrroloquinoline quinone dietary supplementation and their influence on thioredoxin expression, and the JAK/STAT and MAPK pathways and Pyrroloquinoline quinone stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis through cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and increased PGC-1α expression.

JD
Reply

Is there a source for pyrroloquinoline quinone in bulk/powdered form in the USA?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Yes there is JD, but you didn’t leave me an email or website to respond to.

Anthony Juszczyk
Reply

Michael Rucker thank you so much for this valuable piece of information. This really provided me with a lot of information regarding PQQ’s true target and what genes it does target. I am very grateful for your response.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Everett, a number of essential nutrients and some bio-factors may be cancer promoting or facilitating. However, there is no evidence that they are cancer initiating which is what it seems like you are trying to imply. Folic acid is a good example of this point. I’m currently supplementing with folic acid because I’m trying to produce a child with my wife, but would avoid this supplement if I had cancer. With that said, currently there are no published studies on PQQ and tumor growth or replication either in vitro or in vivo. The question is an important one though and I’m glad you are doing your due diligence.

Anthony Juszczyk
Reply

I noticed a few things that I should report while taking PQQ. FIrst I noticed a dramatic increase in the smoothness in my face. Secondly I noticed that my hair seemed to grow more thicker after a couple weeks. Thirdly I noticed more muscle mass on my arms. I also have a very noteworthy question that I world like to add. I know that pyrroloquinoline quinone is a cofactor for redox cycling. And I came up with an interesting thought in my head. Couldn’t PQQ convert the supplement niacin into Nad+ thus allowing a constant supply of Nad+ since NADH is converted to Nad+ which would allow us to have more energy as the Nad+ to Nadh ratio would be higher since PQQ is capable of carrying out thousands of reactions because of its molecular stability. Is this a sound idea?

Berno I. Pettersson
Reply

I have read your comments with admiration. Most present their views to the exclusion of others to promote an agenda; You are commendably different! As a leader in transdermal delivery systems I see some real applications in the utilization of PQQ. I could incorporate the NAD+ ; NADH, also my systems are dependent upon cGMP & cAMP functions. Last can you give me source for pyrroloquinoline quinone in bulk?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Dr. Pettersson, I have yet to find a good bulk source. I have gotten my hands on a little bit of pharmaceutical grade PQQ for the sake of testing (hope to have a video up soon), but I’m afraid the earthquake in Japan and the US demand has made sourcing difficult. I will not remove your link so that any opportunist that knows another angle (and may be able to source for you) can find you via your link. I won’t publish your email so that you do not get spammed. If I find out any new information on pyrroloquinoline quinone sourcing I let you know and/or will create a post about it.

Jahahreeh Finley
Reply

I’m new to the discussion and had to comment on your previous and thoughtful post on PQQ. Another interesting thought is that since PQQ leads to mitochondrial biogenesis through the activation of cell signaling molecules that likely include AMPK, the activation of AMPK by pyrroloquinoline quinone would lead to the up-regulation of Nampt, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of NAD+. This increase in NAD+ would in turn serve as a substrate for the Sirtuins (SIRT1,3,4), thus activating the Sirtuins. SIRT1 and SIRT3 activation would then lead to the upregulation of PGC1-alpha. PGC1-alpha has been shown to increase mitochondrial biogenesis, as evidenced by an increase in NFR1, NRF2, and mtTFA. Your thoughts?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Jahahreeh, your ideas were a bit above my pay-grade so I had to ask for some help, hence the delay. Hopefully it was worth the wait. I have attempted to contribute to your theory via the site’s latest post: PQQ, AMPK, Nampt, NAD+, Sirtuins, and PGC1-alpha. Please let me know what you think.

Sarge
Reply

Mother suffers from Alzheimer’s, family about to give up on her! Would there be any potential benefit for someone with Alzheimer’s to take PQQ?

Semper Fi,
Sarge

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Sarge, I’m really sorry to hear about your mother. I have worked with people suffering from cognitive decline and I know it is hard. You are not going to find hope in an over-the-counter bottle, whether it be pyrroloquinoline quinone, or something else. Once the disease onsets nutraceutical intervention is not an option unfortunately.

Connie T
Reply

I cannot comment on the efficacy of PQQ, no matter who supplies it, but I do want to correct your characterization of Dr. Don Colbert as a “televangelist” in your comments.

Dr. Colbert is a licensed medical doctor and author, board certified in Family Practice and Anti-Aging Medicine, who has been practicing in Florida for over 20 years, and who also happens to be of the Christian faith, and as such has appeared in his medical capacity as a expert guest on various Christian TV broadcasts, which has allowed to him to become known worldwide. He also happens to have his own line of supplements, a division of his health & wellness organization, and offers up talks & seminars promoting good health — not so different from what you and many others in the health profession do.

Anyone is welcome to their own opinion of him and his products or organization but characterizing a licensed practicing physician as a “televangelist” simply because he’s been seen on Christian TV shows is unfair.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Connie, thanks for the comment and the clarification on Dr. Colbert. I really have no opinion on him and/or his products due to lack of knowledge. I was getting a lot of requests from people located in Africa due to a broadcast of him that took place there, with local viewers anxious to get a hold of PQQ in Africa (and unfortunately couldn’t be more help to them). We appreciate you setting the record straight regarding his lack of evangelicality.

Peter Strozyk
Reply

I take Warfarin (6mg for 5 days, 3mg on two days). Does pqq interact with warfarin? Who are you Michael Rucker? What are your qualifications?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Peter, I cannot answer your question about Warfarin because this interaction has not been studied. This is a topic that is best discussed with your primary physician. Regarding my qualifications, you can learn more about me at michaelrucker.com.

Richard
Reply

I’ve read that PQQ is found in parsley. Just how much parsley would one have to eat to achieve therapeutic benefits of pyrroloquinoline quinone?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Richard,

A rough estimate is that for humans the total intake of PQQ including its derivatives, which are seldom measured, may amount to about a milligram or more a day with non-derivatized PQQ representing only a small portion (maybe 10-20% at most).

Parsley contains about 30-40 nanogram of non-derivatized PQQ per gram, which is relatively high compared to other foods. For reference, a nanogram is one-millionth of a gram. Much of the data that compares PQQ contents in food comes from a paper by Kumazawa and colleagues (Levels of pyrroloquinoline quinone in various foods, Biochem. J. (1995); volume 307, pp. 331-333).

However, consider that today you may consume 1600-2000 kcal, the equivalent of about 400 grams of food… To come to a conclusion about parsley, 20 grams of parsley a day would probably be a very high amount as a component of most diets. That amount (as fresh parsley) would only be about 7-8 calories and lets say 0.6-0.8 microgram of non-derivatized PQQ (data taken from the paper mentioned above). Thus, even a high amount of parsley as a component of your typical diet would only contribute 0.5 percent (1/200th) or less of the total daily intake. Please let us know if that answers your question.

Leonidas Halikiopoul
Reply

I have mitochondrial myopathy.

Is PQQ helpful for this condition and at what dosage?

Thank you.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hello Leonidas,

We’ve tried to answer your question about mitochondrial myopathy in the following post: Mitochondrial Myopathy and PQQ. If you have any additional questions about the topic please leave them in the comments.

Hope you find our post helpful.

April Santos
Reply

Does PQQ stimulate bacterial growth as well as mitochondrial growth? If so, would there be any interactions between eating fermented foods or probiotics in conjunction with PQQ?

Andrej V
Reply

You said: “pyrroloquinoline quinone is better classified as one of a few compounds that act as cell signaling molecules.” If I may ask what are some of those other compounds that act as cell signaling molecules other than PQQ? (besides Resveratrol)

Michael Rucker
Reply

The most efficient way of addressing your question is to refer you to a series of articles that have been published in an easily accessed and free journal, California Agriculture. The short answer to your questions is that there are 100s of dietary compounds that seem to have biological effects; many of these have cell-signaling properties in a wide variety of cellular processes.

Go to: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org or ‘California Agriculture Online’ via Google. You will find articles, such as “Biofactors in food linked to health benefits
”, “ Well-functioning cell mitochondria promote good health”
, and “Biofactors in food promote health by enhancing mitochondrial function
”. Each article can be downloaded as a PDF and should address your question as well as we can.

Jeff
Reply

I’m looking for bulk sources of PQQ to run experiments on plants. The chemical suppliers I’ve found to carry it charge exponentially more then whats purportedly in the supplements. If you have any leads I’d sure appreciate it if you would share them with me, I’d rather not have to grind up pills.

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Jeff, bulk suppliers of raw PQQ are hard to come by, right now you might be better off making your solution from consumer supplements. A farm grade version of pyrroloquinoline quinone does not exist to my knowledge. If I find out more I’ll let you know.

Ken
Reply

Question on pyrroloquinoline quinone: I have a dog with FCE (spinal stroke) who is doing great and I want to add this product to his treatment, mainly to promote cell / nerve regrowth, would PQQ help?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Ken, often we respond to questions by noting that there are few experimental data from which to draw an inference or response. For your question, however, there are a number of studies that indicate that PQQ may be efficacious. In experimental animal models, good nerve regeneration and improved sciatic nerve function have been reported following PQQ supplementation. There is also evidence of nerve regeneration of transected peripheral nerves. Regarding oral dosages, 10 mg per 1000 kcal should be sufficient. One thousand calories are about the daily requirement for a 20 Kg dog. If you go to Google and do a search using PubMed as a keyword, once you access PubMed, you can read abstracts for the papers to validate our impressions of PQQ’s potential usefulness. Pyrroloquinoline quinone and nerve are useful keywords to use once you access PubMed.

In particular review:

1: Zhang et al. Resveratrol attenuates early pyramidal neuron excitability impairment and death in acute rat hippocampal slices caused by oxygen- glucose deprivation. Exp Neurol. 2008; 212:44-52.
2: Zhang et al. Neuroprotection by pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) in reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion in the adult rat. Brain Res. 2006; 1094:200-6.
3: Li et al. Pyrroloquinoline quinone enhances regeneration of transected sciatic nerve in rats. Chin J Traumatol. 2005; 8:225-9.
4: Liu et al. Enhanced rat sciatic nerve regeneration through silicon tubes filled with pyrroloquinoline quinone. Microsurgery. 2005; 25:329-37.

Bob B.
Reply

Hi Mike – amazed that you’re still here after 2 years answering questions. Forgive me that I glazed over about halfway down, so if you’ve answered this already, I apologize. I have a rather unique situation. Was put on HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection in February. This consisted of not one toxic drug (AZT) but four. Kaletra and Combivir dual drugs. AZT is well known for causing Mitochondrial Toxicity and Myopathy in people who take it a long time, but there is no data on healthy people who take it short term. Simply put, I havent been well since that 4 week course. I self diagnosed because the doctors could find no abnormal bloodwork (aside from Elevated ACE and IGF-1), and MRI and EMG were normal. I have had bodywide muscle spasms now for 2 months with no weakness or atrophy. Also some peripheral neuropathy and joint and muscular pain. I decided that since AZT is so well known for “MT” …that I would begin on a course including PQQ. Also Carnitine, CoQ10, Riboflavin and Thiamine, R Lipoic Acid, etc. All of these are suggested in mitigating AZT induced mitochondrial toxicity. I made the assumption that PQQ is a perfect adjunct to all the others. Any thoughts on this?

PowNed
Reply

1. Which food supplement brands companies in Europe and USA do you deliver / sell PPQ or Ubiquinol that are NOT produced in Japan or Korea ? I ask this very serious question, because of nuclear radiation contamination due to the Fukushima disaster. I want 100% guaranteed uncontaminated products, because supplementation is all about MAINTAINING and GAINING HEALTH.

2. Is the best PQQ, pyrroloquinoline quinone made from natural herbs / plants and is it stabilized / stable?

3. Which is better for the body and more bio-available: the CoQ10 from yeast sacharomyces cerevisae, tobacco-plant or synthetic?

4. Which form of CoQ10 has the best bio-availability, ubiquinol or ubiquinone?

5. Does a fermentation manufacturing process rob CoQ10 of it’s oxygen? Is this kind of CoQ10 therefore anaerobic?

John D. Pilla
Reply

Hi Michael,
My sister-in-law has MS – I saw a YouTube video where Dr. Terry Wahls virtually “cured” her MS with lots of Calciferous vegetables which she also states helps with Mitochondria. PQQ, according to Life Extension, also supports Mitochondria. Might PQQ also help with MS?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi John, there is no evidence to support pyrroloquinoline quinone would help improve multiple sclerosis symptoms. I wish I had better news for you.

Joan Hampton
Reply

Have not read all the posts, but did notice the one about Cipro (and Levaquin-whatever that is), causing permanent DNA damage. Phew. Glad I refused to take Cipro several years ago for a bladder infection. None of the medicines worked – finally used vitamin A for 10 days in therapeutic doses (per advice of Shallenberger). What scared me off was the warning about Achilles tendon rupture. I notice Best Pills/Worst Pills says don’t take it. I am a soccer ref and didn’t want to take that chance. Of course, the doctor didn’t pay any attention to the caution about not prescribing to patients over 60. PQQ is a very interesting molecule. I’ll stick to natural sources especially since I notice that I regularly eat all the ones Passwater listed, except natto. I’m determined to find a way to prepare it to get it down. With K2, nattokinase and all the other good things in natto it’s worth the effort. Is natto the best food source of PQQ, or just one of them? Also, glad to know the mechanism for statins interference with CoQ10 synthesis. My husband’s cardiologist (actually the nurse), says that CoQ10 also interferes with Coreg CR, so I assume the reverse is also true. How? Same way? The doctor wanted him to take that and Lipitor (in spite of the fact that he has never had high total or LDL cholesterol levels), but we both steadfastly refused. I know you have to say consult the doctor, but doctors here go strictly by the book and don’t think outside the box. We have to go armed with research papers to justify refusing more drugs. This in spite of the fact that he is doing great without the “extras” they push. He works full-time, at 73, climbs ladders, heaves a maddox, etc. Love your blog, but having some trouble following it. Only took one course in bio-chem (by mail from UCLA with Harvard Prof overseeing) over 20 years ago. My husband and I are both chemists – me MS (inorganic emphasis) and him PhD (organic). Unfortunately, he does not apply it to nutrition. I promote that. Looking forward to response about Coreg and PQQ in natto when you get time. Thanks!

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Joan, thanks for the post! Have you thought about celery as a substitute for natto?

Corey
Reply

Hello, I was wondering what company manufacturers BioPQQ? I am looking to buy it from a wholesale source and was wondering if you knew of a couple? Also what do you think of mixing the pyrroloquinoline quinone with ubiquinal, coconut oil, lecithin and nattokinase, and tocotrienals?

Michael Rucker
Reply

BioPQQ is a brand… I believe owned by a company called Life Extension. Of course we would like you to buy your pyrroloquinoline quinone from Functional Supplements.

Bernadette
Reply

Just passing through and love all of the conversations about PQQ. Our company has just launched a product that contains PQQ. We also make customized products based on DNA – and I wanted to comment about the CoQ10 Ubiquinone vs Ubiquinol. We all have a gene – NQ01 – who’s job it is to convert Ubiquinone so we can utilize it’s benefits. If you have a deficiency with this gene – you will not be able to convert (reduce) ubiquinone and taking it will do nothing for you. You’ll need to have the ubiquinol form because it’s already reduced. So if you don’t have your DNA knowledge, might be best to go for the Ubiquinol form.

Tony Mackenzie
Reply

Congratulations on an excellent informational website. IT has taught me a lot!

Just to advise (ref an earlier question) about the TM for BioPQQ I think you will find that it is held by Mitsubishi.

I hope to be offering retail and wholesale at competitive prices soon along with our other well researched cutting edge anti-aging prodcuts (cycloastragenol.resveratrol, etc) and if you can see any area we could co-operate for mutual benefit I would be glad to hear from you.

Joan
Reply

How does PQQ/BioPQQ interact with Thuga Occidentalis? Can I use both at the same time?

Michael Rucker
Reply

Hi Joan, Thuja Occidentalis comes from evergreen coniferous trees, such as the White Cedar tree. It is historically associated with early Northern American Indian medicine. It is widely used in homeopathy and phytotherapy. Several GCP-compliant, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies have verified its efficacy and safety. However, before using Thuja Occidentalis as a supplement, one should review information on thujone, one of the active principles associated with Thuga Occidentalis. The internal use of thujone could be harmful, if used in high dosages for prolonged periods or while pregnant.

There are no studies focusing on Thuga Occidentalis in combination with compounds, such as PQQ. Further, Thuja Occidentalis is often recommended according to the principles used in homeopathic medicine. None of those principals apply to the reported nutritional or pharmacologic uses or actions of pyrroloquinoline quinone.

Ron Roberts
Reply

I have Waldenstrom macroglobulanaemia. A cancer like non-hodgkins lymphoma but with an overproduction of Igm as well as Proteineuria caused by the condition.i take CoQ10, cucurmin @ 4000mg/day, Vit.E & Resveratrol in an attempt to control the progress of these conditions. Not having much knowledge of cell biology I can’t work out if PQQ would be beneficial or detrimental. Please comment. Thankyou in anticipation.

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