Skeletal formula of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ cofactor). Created using ACD/ChemSketch 10.0 and Inkscape. Source: Wikipedia.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a natural compound found in plant foods that appears to have a beneficial effect on the health of the mitochondria, which are cellular components that produce useable energy from the sugars, fats, and proteins that we consume. Various retailers sell PQQ in supplement form (often combined with CoQ10), although it is not classified as a vitamin or essential nutrient.

According to Dr. Michael Murray, foods that are considered to be rich sources of PQQ include green peppers, parsley, kiwi fruit, papaya, and tofu that contain about 2-3 micrograms per 100 grams. PQQ can also be obtained from drinking green tea.

In the same article, Dr. Murray referred to animal studies that showed that PQQ:

• Reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress and improve performance on memory tests in animal models.

• Protects against the self-oxidation of the DJ-1 gene, an early step in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

• Prevents development of alpha-synuclein, a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.

• Protects nerve cells from the damaging effects of the beta-amyloid-protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

In Feb 2011, Life Extension Magazine published Perry Marcone’s report entitled, “Generate Fresh Mitochondria with PQQ” that mentioned that PQQ can both protect and create mitochondria:

But the most exciting revelation on PQQ emerged early in 2010, when researchers found it not only protected mitochondria from oxidative damage, it stimulated growth of fresh mitochondria!.

Mr. Marcone included reference to studies that showed that “20 mg of PQQ plus 300 mg of CoQ10 may reverse age-related cognitive decline in aging humans.”

Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of a New York Times bestseller called “The Bulletproof Diet,” offers his personal view of the nutrient in his report entitled, “PQQ: Boost The Energy In Your Cells To Do Everything Better.”

The likely reason I didn’t feel any energy from large doses of PQQ over extended time is that PQQ is sold as the “stabilized” disodium salt form, because it’s more convenient for the manufacturer. Unfortunately, in humans, disodium salts precipitate when they are exposed to even small amounts of stomach acid. That means all that expensive PQQ I took was turning into little rocks in my stomach, and not helping my mitochondria the way I wanted it to.


Caption: The diagram shows the structure of a mitochondrion as seen in electron micrographs, Chien Labs

Mitochondria — the miniature power factories within our cellular makeup — not only produce the chemical energy we need to survive via a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, they also play a vital role in making cells die when they should (apoptosis) to prevent the growth of tumors that can lead to diseases such as cancer. To produce its chemical energy, the mitochondria require oxygen. Without oxygen, the mitochondria stop working as they should and cells become damaged or die.

In this regard, organic sulfur transports oxygen across cell membranes, as noted in a DailyHealthPost article entitled, “5 Nutrients That Help Improve Oxygen Uptake. Your Blood Cells Will Absolutely Love These!

Arguably one of the most important trace minerals in existence, organic sulfur enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes, which as previously mentioned is critical for cellular regeneration. Without this important nutrient, which is no longer present in high amounts in soils because of factory farming, life would cease to be.

“Sulfur has demonstrated its ability to detoxify heavy metals in conjunction with the transport of oxygen across the cell membrane, thus allowing regeneration,” said Patrick McGean, director of the Cellular Matrix Study. “Sulfur is also the key player as a precursor for the utilization of amino acids, the body’s building blocks. Of all of the amino acids, some 70 percent are sulfur-based.”

As noted on Wikipedia, the chemical formula for PQQ is C(14)H(6)N(2)O(8). There is no sulfur in PQQ.


Based on the literature that I have read and studied, I consider PQQ to be a synergistic or complimentary product to organic sulfur and not a full replacement. If you are planning to add PQQ to your health regimen and are already taking organic sulfur, simply take PQQ 30 minutes after your sulfur dosage to get the benefits of both.


Is PQQ the Next Nutrient Superstar?
Doctor Murray

Generate Fresh Mitochondria with PQQ
Scientists Discover the “Other CoQ10”
By Perry Marcone | Life Extension Magazine
February 2011

PQQ: Boost The Energy In Your Cells To Do Everything Better
Dave Asprey

What are Mitochondria?
MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

Cellular Respiration
Chien Labs

5 Nutrients That Help Improve Oxygen Uptake. Your Blood Cells Will Absolutely Love These!
by DailyHealthPost
January 26, 2015

Pre-clinical trials offer hope that PQQ can stop aging diseases
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