PQQ Dosage | What size pyrroloquinoline quinone pills should I take?

What is a reasonable PQQ dosage for an active adult?

This question has not been fully resolved and is complicated by the inability to measure all forms of PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone | methoxatin).   However, it is possible to make several good inferences from current animal studies and data for the pyrroloquinoline quinone content that researchers have found in food.

PQQ dosage

First, from the animal studies, it is pretty clear that not much PQQ is needed for normal growth and development (in every animal that has been studied at least).  For example, as little as 200 to 300 nanograms per gram of diet seem to support normal growth and development in mice, which is about half the requirement for folic acid in mice (400 to 500 nanograms per gram of diet). Of potential relevance, this is also near the same concentration of pyrroloquinoline quinone derivatives scientists have found in human milk when expressed on a milk solid basis. In adult humans, who consume the equivalent of 400 to 500 grams of solid food per day (2000 to 3000 calories), one might infer from what is in human milk that 0.1 to 0.15 milligrams of PQQ equivalents (per day) might sustain normal function.  For perspective, the adult human recommended dietary allowance for folic acid is near this amount, less than half a milligram. For most animals that have nutritional requirements for given dietary growth factors and vitamin-like compounds, the requirements are remarkably similar when they are expressed relative to dietary energy needs (or the number of kilocalories actually utilized).  If done in this fashion, it is possible to extrapolate a guess for suggested human pyrroloquinoline quinone intake from animal models.

Then why is the amount added to supplements often 10 milligrams of PQQ (or more) as the daily dose?

First, the 0.1 to 0.15 milligrams of PQQ per day amount (referenced above) is based on the lowest extrapolated amount needed to promote growth in young animals. These studies were using highly purified diets or the direct extrapolation from human milk to get pyrroloquinoline quinone.  When a more complex diet is consumed, it is assumed a higher amount of PQQ is needed.  For example, to get a measured response in adult animals fed a complex diet (such as a change in mitochondrial function) there is the need to feed 2000 to 3000 nanograms of PQQ per gram of food (in other words, 10 times more than the amounts  mentioned above).  Some possible reasons are that consuming a complex diet activates numerous xenobiotics and secondary metabolism pathways, which can cause PQQ to be catabolized at higher rates.  Also, at the gut level, there is a greater competition for nutrient absorption.  Playing on this assumption, the amount of PQQ needed would be on the order of 1 to 1.5 milligrams pyrroloquinoline quinone (methoxatin) per day, which most humans get based on typical diets. Moreover, it is a reasonable assumption based on what researchers currently know about assessing and addressing the limits for other vitamins and growth factors. For example, consider the following for ascorbic acid (vitamin C):  Although 8 to 15 milligrams might protect against the overt signs of scurvy, the recommended dietary allowance currently stands at 75 to 90 milligram per day (for adults, excluding pregnant and lactating women) for optimal function, and an even higher  dietary reference intake (DRI) is again in review.   Over and above these government recommendations, many supplements contain even more than this amount (depending on the application).

A second problem with making a more precise estimate of need is the fact that PQQ is very reactive and forms complexes easily with proteins and amino acids.  There is evidence, however, that some of these complexes can dissociate back to methoxatin (pyrroloquinoline quinone).  The nature of the products, however, makes it difficult to obtain precise data for nutritional balance determinations. There simply isn’t enough data to make assumptions about the percentage of PQQ complexes that are absorbed in humans.  In mice, some data from studies using isotopically labeled PQQ  suggests absorption is on the order of 40 to 60 percent, but more research is clearly needed.

So why have nutraceutical companies chosen 10 to 20 milligrams of PQQ per day as a dose for humans instead of a lower amount?

First, frankly there is the lack of precise nutritional data to make a general assumption of need.  Although arbitrary, taking 10 mg per day, you can assume an optimal dose is being delivered for normal applications.  Also in several clinical presentations, a 10 milligram dose in young adults lowers plasma triglyceride levels in some individuals, improves indices important to inflammation, and acts as a potent antioxidant.  Further, the equivalent dose in animals has consistently improved various mitochondrial functions.  Although anecdotal at this point, 10 to 20 milligrams per day seems to improve exercise tolerance in humans as well.  Because PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone | methoxatin) has been shown to be safe at this amount (10 to 20 milligrams per day), it is currently the amount you will find in most supplement formulas.


Janet Javier

So I am a female senior, is 10 milligrams a day safe for me to take?

Michael Rucker

Janet, assuming you are a healthy adult (assuming adult because you classified yourself as a senior), and you are not pregnant or lactating, 10 milligrams (a day) is a safe dosage.


Since Fibromyalgia involves the mitochondria, could this be one of the root causes of Fibromyalgia? Not enough PQQ? What causes us to not have enough?

Michael Rucker

Hi Maria, Fibromyalgia is a very complex medical condition. Furthermore, since PQQ is fairly common in food, pyrroloquinoline quinone deficiencies are fairly uncommon in humans. The only way that one would be deficient in PQQ is to eat a very limited diet. Therefore, a lack of PQQ being one of the root causes of Fibromyalgia is unlikely. However, pyrroloquinoline quinone (methoxatin) has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory agent so in that regard it might be potentially useful for those suffering from Fibromyalgia.

Anelise Dennill

I am very interested in PQQ and live in the Republic of South Africa. Do you know which company sells this product here?

Michael Rucker

I am unaware of any African suppliers of pyrroloquinoline quinone Anelise, my apologies I can’t assist you.


Hello. Thank you for the information on pyrroloquinoline quinone. Do you think that it is better to take PQQ with food or without food? The supplement I have also contains CoQ10.

Michael Rucker

Vitamins and other nutraceuticals are meant to supplement the food we take in. These nutrients get processed from the food we eat, and supplements we ingest, and are distributed all throughout our body until they are either absorbed or excreted.

As you might know there are two kinds of vitamins – water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored for a longer period of time inside the body as they are deposited in fatty tissue and in our liver. Fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D and Vitamin E, should be taken with food. Unlike the water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins require the presence of some fat either from animal produce or vegetables for better absorption of nutrients.

Water soluble vitamins such as Vitamins B, C, and novel biofactors like PQQ get absorbed differently than fat soluble vitamins and thus when not absorbed get excreted from the body fairly quickly throughout the day via sweat and urine. Most are not stored in the body for long periods of time and thus we take them daily in order to replace them. However, although some vitamins can be taken on their own, most are advised to be taken along with food because taking almost any vitamin in conjunction with food is usually beneficial for absorption, and we believe this to be the case with pyrroloquinoline quinone too (there are some arguable exceptions like l-glutamine but that is discourse for a sport supplements website).


I am so glad to find your site on PQQ. I have been struggling with (age related) infertility and have been altering my nutrition & supplements a good 4 months ago. I just learned about pyrroloquinoline quinone & ordered the 10 mg capsules. While I drink decaf green tea, eat cabbage, I don’t think I am getting nearly enough to impact a change in my body.

I have read about the rats & fertility study out of Japan, from a decade ago, showing the impact on birth rates & growth. However, I’ve not seen anything on potentially improving “egg quality”. In your opinion regarding PQQ, do you feel since it improves mitochondrial function, it can also impact the quality of eggs when it comes to fertility?

Michael Rucker

Dear Kate, regarding reproduction, the initial attention given to PQQ from a metabolic perspective was related to improved reproductive performance in mice (Science 1989; 245:850-2; Exp Biol Med. 2003; 228:160-6; J Nutr. 1994; 124:744-53). Whether these studies have direct application to your question, however, would be speculation at best. The mice in these studies were maintained on a highly refined diets containing no measurable pyrroloquinoline quinone. They were maintained in a methoxatin deficient state and then repleted (supplemented) with low doses of PQQ. Whether the improvements in reproductive performance were due improved systemic health in general or something specific to reproduction was not been assessed. Sorry for the equivocal answer, but more information is needed.

Daimon Jones

Hi, mitochondria generate free radicals right? And the amount of vitamin PQQ that’s in these supplements, compared to food, is massive right? So, what if the new and increased number of mitochondria generate the same amount of free radicals as the old damaged ones?

Anthony Juszczyk

I know that the sirt3 gene is responsible for mitochondrial biogenesis. I would like to know if the PQQ interacts with SIRT3 at all? thank you.

Charles Wilson

I have been going through a series of extensive tests to determine if I have mitochondria damage from the use of a statin drug. Indications are that I have. Would PQQ be of help in overcoming this problem? Muscle damage is severe even though I have been told I do not have myopathy but do have neuropathy.

Michael Rucker

Hi Charles, we truly hope that you can find something to improve your condition soon and that the following comment may be of help. Note that we have addressed this question, in part, in the post Pyrroloquinoline Quinone and CoQ10. However, there are several mechanisms by which statin drugs may cause both muscle and nerve pathologies. Although our focus is on CoQ10 and PQQ, appreciate that the problem could be something that goes beyond the current concerns regarding statin drugs and CoQ biosynthesis.

First and as you already know, statins have an established place in the treatment of coronary artery disease. However, there is controversy given that beneficial as well as possible harmful effects may occur in some people. Besides issues directly related to cholesterol synthesis, the beneficial effects include: reduction of cardiac hypertrophy, improvement in endothelial (vessel wall lining) function, and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as others. The concerns are that some of the same compounds important to cellular cholesterol synthesis are also involved in the chemical modification of important cellular proteins and CoQ10 synthesis. In some individuals, who are particularly sensitive to statins, the cholesterol lowering effects may also cause a reduction in ubiquinone (i.e., coenzyme Q10) levels or alter specific cellular regulatory pathways. If you are one of the folks who are overly sensitive to statins, CoQ10 supplementation may be worth a try. It is an intervention that is relatively safe and has the potential of doing some good without impacting the primary cholesterol-related reason for using statins.

To the extent that pyrroloquinoline quinone seems to improve mitochondrial assembly and production, it may also be worth a try. The standard PQQ supplements are 10-20 mg dosages. The caveat is that safety regarding PQQ has been reasonably establish in young adults, but little data are available for those who may have underlying cardio or skeletal muscle pathologies.


Can you help me with this? When taking other supplements, i.e. B12, C, B complex, multi-vitamins, Zinc; all for specific doctor-ordered reasons, will the addition of PQQ to this menagerie of pills enhance or detract from my specific nutritional needs? I am currently experiencing short-term memory loss and I was directed to investigate a PQQ supplement and I need some answers; with all the other supplements I take. I also currently take Trileptal for complex-partial-left-frontal-lobe seizures, and wonder what are the interactions? Are there any? Do all these supplements and medicines work independently? I await your response Mike, thank you.

Jack McKinley

I have read that PQQ is very effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, possibly stopping symptoms and the progression. Would you please comment about this?

Michael Rucker

Hi Jack, where did you hear that about pyrroloquinoline quinone?

Wesley Zhang

Hi, Anelise. Are you a researcher of PQQ just like me? I’m in Cape Town now. If you still need PQQ, I can help you.

Heila Shepherd

Hi Wesley, are you able to supply PQQ supplement in Cape Town?

dale joyner

Can you take PPQ & CoQ10 while pregnant?

Michael Rucker

There is little scientific study on the use of PQQ & CoQ10 during breastfeeding or pregnancy. CoQ10 and PQQ are part of human breast milk. The levels of PQQ and CoQ10 in breast milk depend on many factors including your diet. That said, you should be fine if you would like to modestly supplement with CoQ10 & PQQ.


Hi Michael, I took PQQ (10 mg with ubiquinol – Jarrow) for the first time yesterday, adding to 500mg NAD+ precursor (NiaGen) and 50 mg Pterostilbene. I take these first thing in AM with water (no food). Adding PQQ gave me a dull headache and vague nauseous sensation that lasted well into the night. I read that it acts as a nootropic and some percentage of people experience mild headaches when taking it. Can you shed any light on this or how this effect might be countered? Apparently Choline can counter this some nootropics ( Not sure if this would work for PQQ. Thanks for your insight.

Michael Rucker

Hi Aarti,

There is literature that suggests all of the compounds that you are taking may influence vascular sensitivity. All, including choline are viewed by some as nootropics. More specific to your question, there is a recent paper that suggests PQQ has the potential to influence blood flow in the brain (Nakano et al. Effects of Antioxidant Supplements (BioPQQ™) on Cerebral Blood Flow and Oxygen Metabolism in the Prefrontal Cortex. Adv Exp Med Biol. Adv. 2016; 923:215-22). Consequently, the potential for a response, such as a headache, might be expected in some individuals. The FDA keeps some records on the number of compounds where complaints have been logged. The chance that any drug/nutraceutical will be reported with associated headaches is about 1%. So far, there are no reports currently regarding PQQ and headaches in the FDA reports (to my knowledge).

Appreciate, that the regimen that you are following is aggressive based on the dosages that you are using. Each compound has the potential to alter mitochondrial function (although by independent mechanisms), in addition to acting as a so-called “nootropic”. That is, side effects may arise, when multiple cell signaling pathways are provoked. As an example, whether a liver or neural cell, inducing too much mitochondrial activity or over-riding an otherwise normal cellular control mechanism has consequences, and unfortunately some of those are negative.

As a final note, based on the current information available, the effect of adding choline to the mix is not very predictable. If you go to websites that sell products for their nootropic potential, there are statements, such as [choline is…] “likely safe when used orally and at appropriate dosages. High doses may cause low blood pressure, ‘nausea’, vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, constipation, anorexia, dizziness (vertigo), sweating, insomnia, and ‘headache’.”

So great question, but unfortunately remains difficult to answer until more information is available.