Try to remember your high school biology class and understanding cells in the human body. The mitochondria is the power manufacturer of each cell and aiding in mitochondrial function not only promotes more energy within the brain and body, but also supports longevity.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a molecule that acts as an antioxidant [1] and exerts neuroprotective effects on adult humans [2]. As a result of improving mitochondrial function, there are a host of downstream benefits as well.

Although pyrroloquinoline quinone can be found in many forms, most influential nootropic stacks (such as Qualia and MycoMind) have BioPQQ, which is a trademarked version of PQQ.

Also Known As

Pyrroloquinoline quinone, BioPQQ, Methoxatin

Editors’ Thoughts on PQQ

I have never used PQQ by itself, but I have tried the BioPQQ version within the Qualia stack. In my mind, PQQ is more of a preservation and preventative approach to nootropics. Like my occasional usage of CoQ10, I just like using pyrroloquinoline quinone for aiding my mitochondria and protecting me in the long term.

It’s definitely not something that you “feel” as a stimulant so anyone looking for that is probably going to be disappointed. If you’re choosing between CoQ10 and PQQ, definitely go with the CoQ10. It’s more well-studied and exists in your body already.

However, if you can combine the two, that looks like there is some pretty nice synergy. Both are relatively affordable so I would suggest they’re worth trying especially if you have some disposable income.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

Benefits of PQQ

For the brain, the primary effect of PQQ is for neuroprotective and nerve growth effects. One of the main mechanisms is through a process called REDOX signalling, which stands for REDuction OXidation. As the name implies, this is an antioxidant process similar to powerful options like vitamin C or alpha-lipoic acid [3].

Pyrroloquinoline quinone benefits also include neurogenesis. One study of PQQ showed a 40 fold increase in nerve growth factor (NGF) [4], which would have large biological implications for building new brain cells and the benefits that come along with that.

If healthy mitochondria can produce more energy, having healthier and more mitochondria may be even more effective. PQQ can increase mitochondria by up to 20 – 30% in animals [5], which can lead to greater neuroprotective properties, but also more brain related “work” (such as processing and memory).

Finally, there seems to be a memory enhancing effect of PQQ. By preventing stress, PQQ can help prevent memory declines [6]. Another study showed that the combination of PQQ and CoQ10 (both mitochondrial support) could improve verbal memory performance significantly, but PQQ by itself could not [7]. This may suggest a synergy between coenzyme q10 and PQQ, which can be taken together.

Outside of the neuroprotection and memory benefits of PQQ, there are sedative and sleep quality enhancements as well. One study suggested that people struggling with sleep quality and fatigue could significantly reduce these symptoms (and thus get better sleep) after 8 weeks of PQQ supplementation [8]. While it might be a long time to wait, it could be worth it!

Side Effects of PQQ

Most of the side effects of PQQ are related to toxicity. Because it is a potent nootropic substance, PQQ is consumed at relatively low doses. Chronic PQQ usage at a relatively low dose could cause toxicity in the kidneys and liver, but death from taking too much requires impractically large doses [9].

However, doses that are relatively normal (in the 20 mg range) caused no toxicity issues in patients over a 12 week trial [10] so PQQ is largely safe.

PQQ Dosage

In the human studies, the PQQ dosage is around 20 mg. Although even doses as low as 2 mg might be bioactive and helpful, most PQQ supplements are sold in the 20 – 40 mg range.

The combination study of CoQ10 and PQQ used 300 mg and 20 mg respectively. It is probably best to start with a PQQ dosage of 20 mg.

How and Where to Buy PQQ

Although it might seem new and unheard of, pyrroloquinoline quinone is relatively common. You may be able to buy PQQ at your local health food store or even general grocery store (depending where you live).

Obviously the best place to buy PQQ is online. There are many online vendors selling PQQ and even large brands, such as Life Extension, that have their own product lines that include PQQ.

If you are going to buy PQQ online, we suggest Jarrow Formulas as you can get the 20 mg serving size, moderately priced, from a reputable company. One alternative is to get BioPQQ in the Qualia product as well.

Selected Community Experiences

For me the effects are very noticable and are characterized by a feeling of crisp, clear, energy. I wake up feeling refreshed and my thoughts stay quick and sharp throughout the day. It feels a bit like Modafinil, in that I have access to quick thinking and creativitiy, but for me it’s much more sustainable, as Modafinil loses its effectiveness if I use it more than once or twice a week, and is a bit hard on my body.” [11] – proxwell

A good Ubiquinone/PQQ (100mg/10mg) supplement saved me when I was adapting to a ketogenic diet. Stimulants were unavailing in comparison for the banishment of my fatigue! I was taking it 3 times a day with meals.” [12] – Debonaire_Death

References (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8524146
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21320517
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10206339
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7764070
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21814553
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18231627
  7. https://www.foodchemicalnews.co.jp/page/product.html?pcd=505
  8. http://functionalfoodscenter.net/files/56592277.pdf
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19803551
  10. https://www.foodchemicalnews.co.jp/page/product.html?pcd=505
  11. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/55q6l9/any_pqq_coq10_users_do_you_notice_improvements/
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/3agxop/does_anyone_take_pqq/


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