Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) was first discovered as a cofactor for enzyme reactions in bacteria where it serves a similar function to that of B vitamins for humans [R].
A “cofactor” just means that it helps enzymes accomplish their jobs. There is a class of these cofactor molecules that transfer electrons, which is important for our mitochondria to produce energy. However, today’s scientific consensus is that, unlike plants and bacteria, PQQ is probably not an enzymatic cofactor in humans [R, R, R].
From ConsumerLab, “Laboratory studies show PQQ stimulates the growth of new mitochondria (which produce energy within a cell) and nerve growth factor, and inhibits growth of cancer cells and the synthesis of amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease (Chowanadisai, J Biol Chem 2010; Min, J Cancer 2014; Misra, J Biosci 2012).
- PQQ can bind to proteins in the human body called quinoproteins, and cause biological effects by modifying their activity [R].
- It is a remarkably effective antioxidant – around 100 times more effective than vitamin C at quenching free radicals [R, R].
- PQQ inhibits thioredoxin reductase 1 (TrxR1), an enzyme that reduces thioredoxin [R].Inhibition of TrxR1 activity increases Nrf2 activity, ultimately leading to an increase in antioxidant production [R, R].
- PQQ depletion affects the way many genes are expressed (2.38% of genes studied) [R].
- One key gene affected by PQQ is PGC-1a. By activating PGC-1a, PQQ causes mitochondrial biogenesis (growth of new mitochondria) as well as a host of other beneficial effects [R].
PQQ is commonly promoted for “anti-aging” or cognitive “enhancement.” However, only a few, small and relatively short studies have investigated the effects of PQQ supplementation in people and each was funded, in part, by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc., maker of the PQQ ingredient marketed as BioPQQ®.”
- A study found that a week’s consumption of up to 0.3mg/kg PQQ (20 mg for a 70 kg male) is perfectly safe [R].
- Extremely high IV doses of PQQ (500 to 1000mg/kg body weight) can cause death in rats [R, R].
Side Effects / Adverse Events
From Self-Hacked: Anecdotally, some people have reported mild headaches and insomnia – usually either if too much is taken or if someone is very sensitive to the effects of supplements.
From Dr. Axe: The most commonly reported PQQ side effects include headaches, drowsiness and fatigue. Extremely high doses of PQQ can also be dangerous and have actually been associated with some serious and potentially life-threatening effects on health.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription medications you may use.
We were not able to find information on PQQ drug interactions.
- 0 trials at ClinicalTrials.Gov