PQQ (pyrroloquinolone quinone) – the new vitamin involved in energy production 5


PQQ in a nutshell:
PQQ or pyrroloquinolone quinone as it’s known to chemists is a new vitamin(given vitamin status in 2003).  It is involved in energy production, working closely with mitochondria to ensure free radicals are mopped up as well as letting the mitochondria know that it’s safe to produce more energy.  It also helps create new mitochondria when needed.

Best source of PQQ for Juicers:
Kiwi fruit, green peppers, spinach, carrots, cabbage, tomato

kiwiPQQ, which is an abbreviation for the chemical name pyrroloquinolone quinone, is a vitamin that was discovered so recently that scientists are still debating exactly how many things it does. This unusual compound is found in outer space, in bacteria, and in every cell in the human body. It is chemically similar to the antioxidants found in green tea, except that it is much more durable. Green tea catechins work as antioxidants only once, but PQQ can be used by the body over and over again without depletion or change.

What Does PQQ Do in the Human Body?

PQQ has been known to exist for a very long time, but it has only been known as a vitamin since 2003 when researchers published an article on PQQ in prestigious science Journal Nature. Japanese scientists discovered that it had vitamin status when they observed problems with "perfect" synthetic diets. All the nutrients needed for life, they thought, had been included in their synthetic diet for lab animals, but the unfortunate animals on the diets showed poor growth, lack of energy, poor learning, and failure to reproduce. Adding PQQ to the diet corrected all of these problems.tomatoes

In humans, PQQ is thought to activate sites on the outer lining of cells that receive antioxidants for the mitochondria. Better known as the metabolic furnaces of cells, mitochondria make energy by "burning" glucose. The process of oxidation releases free radicals of oxygen, and cells protect themselves from these free radicals by using less glucose to make less energy. PQQ both sends a signal to the mitochondria that it is safe to burn more sugar (or fat) to make more energy, and protects the mitochondria from the free radicals that burning sugar and fat produces.

In addition to helping mitochondria work better, PQQ helps cells grow more mitochondria. This is especially important in nerve cells, which can be several feet (up to 1.5 meters) long. Mitochondria in the distant ends of a nerve cell tend to suffer the most damage from free radicals. The free radicals caused by high blood sugar levels, for instance, destroy mitochondria in the nerve cells in the feet and hands. PQQ helps these mitochondria regenerate and may restore nerve function.

sweet-green-pepperPQQ also interacts with the -ras genes that accelerate the growth of cancer. It seems to turn them off and prevent the spread of cancers throughout cancer-prone tissues. PQQ fights diabetes and cancers and helps you lose weight. Aren't you glad you know about PQQ?

Where Do We Get PQQ?

There is very little research looking at how much we humans need, but initial results suggest it is somewhere between 100 and 600 micrograms of PQQ every day.  You can get it naturally in a number of food items, though it is in very low concentrations.  Alternatively, you can actually buy PQQ from places like Amazon in 10mg doses, but I recommend you try to get an much natural PQQ as possible from food.

Researchers have determined that in 100g of the following there are:

  • 6.1 mcg (micrograms) in natto (fermented whole soybeans),
  • 2.740 mcg in  kiwi fruit,
  • 2.8 mcg in  green peppers (the sweet kind),
  • 2.44 mcg in tofu,
  • 2.19 ng in spinach,
  • 2.01 mcg in, oddly enough, just half a cup (120 ml) of regular Coca Cola,
  • carrots1.68 mcg in  carrots,
  • 1.66 mcg in Irish potatoes,
  • 1.63 mcg in cabbage,
  • 1.33 mcg in one serving of sweet potatoes,
  • 1.26 mcg in banana,
  • 0.926 mcg in  edamame,
  • 0.924 mcg in  raw tomato,
  • 0.914 mcg in white or wheat bread,
  • 0.793 mcg in Scotch whiskey,
  • 0.633 mcg in celery,
  • 0.626 mcg in orange,
  • 0.609 mcg in apple,
  • 0.579 mcg in half a glass or either red or white wine, and
  • 0.365 mcg in a shot of sake.

For more information on PQQ in foods, read this article.  Also, if you understand German, Dr. Alexander Michalzik has some good information on his blog.

The Japanese scientists found PQQ in almost all of the plant foods most often consumed in the real (not the ideal) Japanese diet.

If you never consume any of the foods on the list above, you won't get the PQQ your body needs for energy production and cancer protection. Everybody can get all of this recently discovered vitamin from common, inexpensive foods, but you need to eat PQQ-rich foods every day.  Even then though, it is difficult to get enough of this precious vitamin.

PQQ is known to be non-toxic even when taken in doses of 120 milligrams (120,000 micrograms) a day, so you probably can't get too much.

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About Andy Williams

In a processed food culture, simply eating may not be enough. Andy Williams, B.SC., Ph.D. is a scientist with a strong interest in Juicing and how it can supply the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive in modern society. You can subscribe to his free daily paper called Juicing The Rainbow and follow him on Facebook orTwitter. You can also follow me on Google +


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5 thoughts on “PQQ (pyrroloquinolone quinone) – the new vitamin involved in energy production

  • Alexander Michalzik

    Dear Andy, I am a medical doctor. PQQ is indeed a great substance but you made a mistake in your calculation. To get 2740 mcg PQQ you need to eat 100 kg Kiwi,
    6100 mcg PQQ in 100 kg Natto.
    15 g Green tee has not 450 mcg of PQQ, it has only 450 NANOGRAMM so you have to take the amount of 15 000 g to get 450 mcg PQQ.
    Get the orignal information.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1136652/pdf/biochemj00065-0028.pdf
    my blog is http://www.doc-blog.de/pqq/2012/05/17/.
    Alexander Michalzik

    • Margueritte Hillman

      I'm glad that you posted the corrections, Dr. Alexander Michalzik. I was originally interested in natto because i read that it rejuvenates the skin, muscles and nerve cells. I am trying to find ways to regain full health, but after eating 3 servings of the stuff, I can't stomach it. I was wondering how much time it could take to notice a positive difference if I ate other food sources of PQQ, took a 10-20mg PQQ supplement and 100mg ubiquinol, along with other supplements. I have (allergic-type?)skin rash, weakness and pain issues ever since I suffered a near fatal reaction to Tegretol 2 years ago.

  • Margueritte Hillman

    I love the fact that this article makes for easier reading, but the calculations confused me. I would love to get an effective dose via fresh food sources of PQQ and I know that Natto has more than any of the previously tested foods. Thing is, after eating 3 servings of natto, I am not up to acquiring a taste for it (Smells like garbage, and the extreme sliminess is difficult for my western palate to get used to). I'll be looking to supplement my food sources with a 10 mg dose of PQQ and 100mg of Ubiquinol.