Lesson 30: PQQ Copy


Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) influences energy-related metabolism and neurologic functions. PQQ is a catalyst for energy producing reactions in the mitochondria of our cells. The mechanism of action involves interactions with cell signaling pathways and mitochondrial function. PQQ has some evidence to show it improves mitochondrial function and lowers markers of inflammation. However, more study is needed. Mitochondrial function, which is responsible for energy production in our cells, gets worse over time as we age – so that’s why its important to boost it. PQQ is usually used as a dietary supplement because of the way it interacts with your body’s mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the most important cellular components in your body. The mitochondria create adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the main source of energy for your cells (which is why mitochondria are affectionately known as the powerhouse of the cell.)It’s important to understand how much work your mitochondria do. Since they provide energy at a cellular level, they are responsible for the proper function of your entire body, cell by cell. If you have a problem with your mitochondria, chances are you’ll suffer from extreme, unmanageable fatigue and other symptoms.

PQQ encourages the growth of new mitochondria and enhances their performance and energy output.

More mitochondria and better function means more energy throughout the body and mind.

PQQ is a Vital Nutrient

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a compound found in interstellar dust, that also acts to generate the spark of life in every living cell in our body; PQQ has nearly unlimited potential to improve human health. Specifically, PQQ is a novel vitamin-like compound that acts as a necessary active factor in the functioning of mitochondria. PQQ is showing a wide range of clinical benefits for brain and body function, based upon preclinical studies and initial clinical evaluation. PQQ stimulates growth and serves as a cofactor for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular function, including cellular growth, development, differentiation, and survival.1

PQQ is also as an extremely powerful antioxidant capable of catalyzing continuous cycling (the ability to perform repeated oxidation and reduction reactions) to a much greater degree than other antioxidants. For example, PQQ is able to carry out 20 000 catalytic conversions, compared to only 4 for vitamin C. Based upon the current research, there is no question that it plays a critical role in human nutrition. Omitting PQQ from chemically-defined diets in mammals leads to growth impairment, compromised immune status, and abnormal reproductive function.5 The nutritional requirements of PQQ are probably in line with folic acid and biotin, in terms of micrograms versus milligrams per day. Like essential nutrients, the immune system seems particularly sensitive to low levels of PQQ. Deprivation of PQQ leads to multiple defects in immune function and a reduced ability of white blood cells to respond properly.

In regards to dietary sources, PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. PQQ-rich foods include Natto, tempeh, parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya, green tea and tofu. The highest concentration is found in Natto.

A Closer Look at PQQ Functions in Mitochondria

One key action of PQQ involves a direct action on key enzymes in mitochondria. As a result, PQQ improves energy production. In line with its powerful antioxidant effect, PQQ protects against mitochondrial damage. However, PQQ not only protects mitochondria from oxidative stress, it also promotes the spontaneous generation of new mitochondria within aging cells – a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis, or mitochondriogenesis. This effect is a “fountain of youth” for mitochondrial function.

What are the Clinical Uses of PQQ?

Given PQQ’s nutritional importance and tremendous span of physiological effects, there are considerable benefits of PQQ in conditions that involve low mitochondrial function, including aging, many brain and neurological diseases (eg, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease), and many other chronic degenerative diseases. Current research has primarily focused on its ability to protect memory and cognition in both aging animals and humans. Here are some of the effects noted in the animal studies:

  • PQQ reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress, and improves performance on memory tests
  • PQQ supplementation stimulates the production and release of nerve growth factor
  • PQQ protects against the self-oxidation of the DJ-1 gene, an early step in the onset of Parkinson’s disease
  • PQQ protects brain cells against oxidative damage in models of strokes
  • PQQ blocks the formation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), a major source of reactive nitrogen species (RNS) that are so damaging to brain cells
  • PQQ protects against the likelihood of severe stroke in an experimental animal model for stroke
  • PQQ protects the brain against neurotoxicity induced by other powerful toxins, including mercury, glutamate, and oxidopamine (a potent neurotoxin used by scientists to induce Parkinsonism in laboratory animals)
  • PQQ prevents development of alpha-synuclein, a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • PQQ also protects nerve cells from the damaging effects of the beta-amyloid protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease
  • PQQ lowers LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), presumably by activating AMP-kinase (AMPk)1

PQQ Activates AMPk and Lowers LDL-C

PQQ activates AMPk, an enzyme that is found inside living cells that serves as a “master regulating switch” in energy metabolism. Low levels of AMPk activity are associated with:

  • Accelerated aging
  • Chronic inflammation
  • High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Increased visceral “belly” fat
  • Insulin resistance
  • Mitochondrial insufficiency and dysfunction
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Obesity
  • Poor blood sugar control

Since PQQ activates AMPk, researchers believe that it is only a matter of time before clinical data is produced showing PQQ to be helpful for a long list of health challenges. A recent study supports this statement. In a study using a safe form of PQQ produced through a natural fermentation process, clear benefits were observed that were attributed to the activation of AMPk by PQQ. In test subjects with an initial level of LDL-C greater than 140 mg/dL, 6 weeks of PQQ supplementation produced a statistically significant decrease in total cholesterol (from an average of 247 to 216 mg/dL) and LDL-C (from an average of 156 to 132 mg/dL). Results persisted at 12 weeks.

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. Keep in mind that we do not recommend eating soybeans unless they are fermented. The key element in natto is the fermentation of the soybeans, which make them easier to digest while increasing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Fermented foods and drinks, such as natto, are the cornerstone of the Body Ecology Diet because they are a great source of probiotics. Natto has a long history as a super food. It has a stringy consistency, strong smell and an acquired taste. Primarily eaten as a breakfast staple in Japan for over 1,000 years, natto is a great source of protein and is low in calories. But it goes even further to balance your inner and outer health. Unlike many foods that are only rich in Vitamin K1, natto is rich in both types of Vitamin K. Natto increases the health and strength of your skin, heart and bones. 

Here are some of the many health benefits of natto:

• Natto is rich in vitamin K2, which could reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by as much as 80 percent.
• Fermented soybeans such as natto contain Vitamin PQQ, which is very important for the skin.
• Vitamin K is repeatedly shown to reduce blood clots by slowing arterial calcification, enhance liver function and encourage the flow of urine.
• Vitamin K2 has a better bioavailability that K1. Studies show that this molecule remains in the body for a longer period and is more effective at lower doses, hence is much more bio-effective.
• Additionally, natto suppresses immune reactions. 

Natto is a rich source if this powerful b like vitamin called Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) known for boosting mitochondria health. Natto is also rich in another longevity boosting compound called Spermidine which is a powerful compound that activates Autophagy which activates AMPK which then activates sirtuin genes and inhibits mtor. Tempeh and Miso are very similar food items to Natto which are also rich in these compounds. This is a very good reason to include these foods daily.