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Mitochondria are the batteries that supply power to your body. As you age, the number of performance of mitochondria you have in your cells decreases, reducing your health and longevity. PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) is one compound, often found in mitochondrial support supplements, that enhances the formation of new mitochondria and increases cellular energy production.

This article will take a deep dive into the beneficial properties of PQQ, before recommending the best PQQ supplements and dosages you should take for optimal health.

What Is PQQ?

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.

The main cofactors that transfer electrons that you might be aware of are glutathione (NAC increases), CoQ10, FAD, Vitamin C, and NAD. These have different functions in the body, so the effects won’t all be the same.

Importance of PQQ in Humans

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) was first isolated in 1979 when it was discovered to be as a cofactor for enzymatic reactions in bacteria [R].

Subsequent research on pigs indicated a similar role in mammals. However, today’s scientific consensus is that, unlike plants and bacteria, PQQ is probably not an enzymatic cofactor in humans [R, R, R].

Giving animals a diet deficient in PQQ limits growths and reproduction [R, R].

Found in high levels in breast milk, PQQ is presumed to be a non-vitamin growth factor. Hence, this is why there is reduced growth in rats deprived of PQQ.

PQQ is found in mammalian tissues. In humans, tissue concentration of PQQ is thought to be around 0.8-5.8ng/g [R].

Humans make 100 to 400 nanograms of PQQ each day [R, R].

The science is not clear how humans synthesize PQQ. In bacteria, PQQ is synthesized from the amino acids L-tyrosine and glutamate [R, R].

PQQ Foods: Sources of PQQ

PQQ naturally occurs in almost all foods, ranging from 0.19 to 61ng/g, but is especially concentrated in the following foods [R, R]:

  • Fermented soybean products (e.g. Nattō) [R]
  • Green soybeans [R]
  • Spinach [R]
  • Field mustard (5.54 +/-1.50ng/g fresh weight) [R]
  • Tofu [R]
  • Green tea [R]
  • Green peppers [R]
  • Parsley [R]
  • Kiwi fruits [R]

The PQQ content of even the most PQQ-rich foods is much lower than the amount you can get from a supplement (5 to 20 mg).

Absorption of PQQ

In rats, 62% of PQQ was absorbed in the gut when taken with a meal [R].

In rodents, PQQ is mostly (86%) eliminated 24 hours after ingestion. However, some PQQ residues remain in the skin and kidneys [R].

PQQ is almost entirely metabolized before being eliminated [R].

PQQ Snapshot


  • The best mitochondrial and energy boosting supplement
  • Improves cognitive performance
  • Improves mood and mental health
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases wakefulness


  • Good to take a break from it
  • Can be too stimulating for some
  • Possible headache if too much is taken

Health Benefits of PQQ

1) PQQ Decreases Inflammation and Free Radicals

Healthy humans who took 20 mg of PQQ (for a 150-pound male) had a significant decrease in the levels of C-reactive protein (by 45% after 3 weeks) and IL-6. A lower dosage didn’t decrease inflammation [R].

Various urinary markers of oxidative stress also improved, which is consistent with enhanced mitochondria-related functions.

2) PQQ Creates New Mitochondria: The Role of PGC-1a

Compounds reported to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis are linked to many health benefits such as increased longevity, improved energy utilization, and protection from free radicals.

Mice and rats fed diets lacking in pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) have reduced mitochondrial content. The creation of new mitochondria by PQQ occurs through the activation of CREB and PGC-1alpha, pathways known to increase mitochondrial biogenesis [R].

As a result of activation of the PGC-1alpha pathway, PQQ increased NRiF-1 and NRF-2, proteins (transcription factors) that protect us more free radicals by increasing our internal antioxidant production. They also protect us from toxins, UV, etc.

PGC-1a is a “master regulator” that directly stimulates genes that promote mitochondrial and cellular respiration, growth, and proliferation [R].

By increasing cellular metabolism it favorably affects blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride breakdown, and the onset of obesity .

3) PQQ Improves Memory and Reasoning: The Role of CREB

PQQ triggers the DNA reading protein CREB, which plays a key role in growth and gene expression. CREB also stimulates the growth of new mitochondria and increases BDNF [R, R].

It’s no wonder then that PQQ reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress in animal models and improves performance on memory tests [R, R].

4) PQQ Improves Brain Function by Increasing Nerve Growth Factor and Schwann Cells

PQQ supplementation stimulates the production and release of nerve growth factors in cells that support neurons in the brain, a possible mechanism for the improvement of memory function it appears to produce in aging humans and rats [R].

PQQ also Increases Schwann cells by increasing the PI3K/Akt signal pathway [R].

5) PQQ Is Neuroprotective Against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Cognitive Injuries

PQQ is a neuroprotective compound that protects memory and cognition in aging animals and humans , as shown in studies [R].

PQQ increases a protein (DJ-1) that is important to brain health and function. This protein, which increases cell function and survival by combating intensive oxidative stress, is likely important to brain health and function [R].

DJ-1 mutations have been conclusively linked to the onset of rare inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

PQQ suppresses reactive nitrogen species (iNOS causes this), which spikes in strokes and brain injuries. In this manner, it provides protection against neuro-related injuries [R].

In animal models, administration of PQQ immediately prior to induction of stroke significantly reduced the size of the damaged brain area [R].

PQQ also protects neurons by preventing the long-term overactivation of the NMDA receptors, which results in excitotoxicity. Long-term, overstimulation of neurons is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases and seizures [R, R].

It also protects the brain against neurotoxicity induced by other powerful toxins, including mercury and oxidopamine, toxins that are suspected to cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, respectively [R, R, R, R].

PQQ also prevents aggregation of alpha-synuclein and amyloid-beta, proteins associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, respectively [R, R].

It also protects nerve cells from the toxic effects of the proteins that are already there.

6) PQQ Protects Your Heart Against Stroke

Administration of PQQ reduces the size of damaged areas in animal models of acute heart attack.

This occurs irrespective of whether the chemical is given before or after the ischemic event itself, suggesting that administration within the first hours of medical response may offer benefits to heart attack victims [R].

It could be useful to keep this on hand in case loved ones have an incident.

Researchers compared PQQ with the standard post-heart attack clinical treatment (metoprolol, a beta blocker). Both treatments reduced the size of the damaged areas and protected against heart muscle dysfunction. Only PQQ favorably reduced cellular damage (lipid peroxidation) and the effects were more significant. These results led the researchers to conclude that “PQQ is superior to metoprolol in protecting mitochondria from ischemia/reperfusion oxidative damage” [R].

Subsequent research has also demonstrated that PQQ helps heart muscle cells resist acute oxidative stress by preserving and enhancing mitochondrial function [R, R].

7) PQQ Improves Sleep, Mood, and Fatigue

PQQ improves sleep quality and lessens the time it takes to fall asleep.

One open-label human study conducted with 20 mg of PQQ for 8 weeks in 17 persons with fatigue or sleep-impairing disorder noted that PQQ was able to significantly improve sleep quality, with improvements in sleep duration and quality appearing at the first testing period after 4 weeks. It also led to a decrease in the time it took to fall asleep, but required 8 weeks to reach significance.

This study also noted improved appetite, obsession, and pain ratings that may have been secondary to improved sleep; contentedness with life trended toward significance over 8 weeks, but results were inconclusive [R].

While this study was done in people with sleep problems, I’ve had similar benefits without sleep issues and others have reported similar subjective experiences.

8) PQQ Decreases Insulin Resistance

PQQ alleviates fat-induced insulin resistance by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis in muscle cells, similar to exercise [R].

PQQ also has some pro-oxidant potential by increasing hydrogen peroxide, but by doing this, it can inhibit an enzyme called PTP1B, which increases insulin sensitivity [R, R].

Mice lacking the capability of making this protein showed resistance to obesity and were more insulin sensitive.

People with breast cancer have an increased level of this protein [R].

Inhibiting PTP1B also increases the activity of epidermal growth factor.

9) PQQ Treats Obesity

In rats, a deficiency in PQQ reduced metabolic rate by 10% [R].

Although not studied yet, this could mean that extra PQQ supplementation could increase overall metabolism.

10) PQQ May Treat Cancer

In one study, PQQ was toxic to certain leukemia cells [R].

PQQ might reduce the formation of melanoma cancers by reducing melanin-producing protein expression (by inhibiting tyrosinase expression and reducing gene activity) [R].

11) PQQ Improves Immune Health

Depriving mice of dietary PPQ caused abnormal immune function, e.g., dysfunctional immune response to stressors [R, R].

The addition of PQQ to the diet of mice increased levels of CD8+ cells and lymphocytes (important immune regulators) [R].


PQQ has been shown to bind to uranium [R].

Mechanism of Action

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].

Enzyme Inhibition

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].

Genetic Expression

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].


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 bodyweight) can cause death in rats [R, R].

PQQ Supplement Review: My Experience with PQQ

I first took PQQ when only one company was selling it – life extension, which I believe was 4 years ago. However, I’ve mostly been taking PQQ for the past 2 years on and off, to make way for other experiments. When I was having my high-fat diet meltdown, PQQ and ALCAR were the only things that had a significant impact, offering me:

  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Increased cognitive energy
  • Better memory
  • Better mood
  • Increased metacognitio

It also worked through hormesis – worsened performance from 45 minutes to 90 minutes after ingestion, but then increased performance.

Dosage of PQQ

  • A suitable dose for enhancing mitochondria is 0.075 to 0.3mg/kg daily [R]
  • About 20 mg is capable of decreasing inflammation for an average-weight male [R]
  • I recommend to take it every other day or daily if you are trying to correct a problem


PQQ Goes Well With: 200mg Ubiquinol

Side Effects of PQQ

Based on these findings, a no-observed-adverse-effect level of 100mg/kg/day was determined for BioPQQ in rats, the highest dose tested in the 13-week study (R).

However, 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.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (80 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)


  • Arthritis Autism guy


    As my name says I have both ASD and arthritis, everything that lowers IL17, TLR4 benefits me. I decided to gave PQQ a try and wow what a difference, I wouldnt call it life changing but it comes close to it. Dramatic increase in sleep quality and one of the studies on PQQ said that participants had an increase in tendency to contentness with life, I definetely notice this, these effects are very real.

    Anyhow I also have immune dysfunction (auto immunity I suspect), immuno supressors tend to alleviate my mental and some of my physical problems.

    Fast foward while 10-12 days on it (20mg biopqq per day), I start to get more headaches which i definetely link to pqq and also I seem to get skin problems and a like, for instance Im getting fordyce on my lip which Ive never ever had in my life.

    I looked it up and turns out that PQQ is a potent immusupressant, help dont know what to do, I like PQQ, in fact I like it A LOT but help discover how to mitigate the side/effects negatives.

    Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Decelerates Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression by Inhibiting Inflammatory Responses and Joint Destruction via Modulating NF-κB and MAPK Pathways.

    Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a naturally occurring redox cofactor that acts as an essential nutrient and antioxidant and has been reported to exert potent immunosuppressive effects.
    Mice treated with PQQ demonstrated marked attenuation of arthritic symptoms based on histopathology and clinical arthritis scores. These results collectively suggested that PQQ might be a promising therapeutic agent for alleviating the progress of RA.

  • Januszek

    Ignorantu quem Portum petat, nullus Ventus suus est

  • Daniel

    I eat 14g Organic Megumi Natto daily. How much PQQ am I getting? Should I try getting it from parsley as well?

  • Shasha

    Does PQQ that helps regenerate mitochondria which are ancient bacteria also multiply Lyme/coinfections which are bacteria?

  • Eduardo

    For better absorption, should I take PQQ on empty stomach or with meals? Also, does it make a difference whether it’s from a natural source or synthetic?

    thanks, love your website

  • Ana mora

    Hello, is there PQQ injectable?

  • M J WIS

    Would like to know more about your arrhythmia formula…

  • Brian McLean

    Good information – Thank-you, But please! Show a little mercy with your damned popups!

  • Tom Grimshaw

    Quite simply, laughter causes physiological changes that promote healing. Perhaps the best known example is Norman Cousins, who cured himself of life-threatening ankylosing spondylitis (a rheumatoid arthritis-type disease causing spontaneous fusion of the spine) by watching an endless stream of comedy films. He documented his journey in his book Anatomy of an Illness.

  • Robin

    Many of the comments though I haven’t followed this site long enough seem to reflect a lack of insight about ‘cleansing effects’
    If you are going to feed the liver to detox it then you should expect symptoms from the toxins entering the blood stream.
    Many people who deem themselves to be ‘allergic’ to garlic for ex. are very toxic and they falsely attribute the cleansing effects like a head-ache for ex as an allergy. When the liver is finally has something to work with.
    Sulfur is another compound needed for the liver. It is a major plant element and because of synthetic fertilizers the plants are deficient. (note if you crave spicy food -this is a classic tell tale that you need some sulfur – try m.s.m. garlic and onions.)

  • Suzanne

    UPDATE: On Monday, I bumped up my dose to 10 mg PQQ per day. I’ve seen no sign of the reported headache for a side effect. The broken blood vessel in my eye cleared up by the weekend. (No idea what was up with that.) The leg cramps have diminished considerably. I’ve recently spoken with someone else using PQQ who experienced leg cramps while she was getting started with it. Since there isn’t a lot of information available about PQQ’s side effects, I’m dubbing the leg cramps a side effect. Possibly the result of building more mitochondria in my leg muscles or a sign of my body more effectively carting free radical garbage to the curb. Who knows?

    Joe, you wrote: “Only 20mg is capable of decreasing inflammation for an average weight male.” The benefits of PQQ are weight-dependent, I’m certain. I’m a 105-pound female. On 10 mg PQQ daily, I’m definitely experiencing decreased inflammation. No more joint aches, IBS, fluid in my ear (causing vertigo), or weariness after exercise. I’m sleeping soundly and am much more focused and relaxed during the day.

    This raises new questions for me:

    o Do I need to raise to 20 mg daily or even 15 mg? How would I know?

    o For how long can I use PQQ daily? It’s optimizing my +/+ SOD2 gene, not repairing it. If I stop using PQQ, the free radicals will build up again.

    o In the article, you mentioned taking a break from PQQ. Why?

  • Thomas

    From experience you most likely had an adverse reaction to the Ubiquinol . Some people including myself the Ubiquinol produces undesirable side effects including extreme fatigue and brain fog which lasts for days after stopping.
    Ubiquinone has a positive energy enhancing effect and I have had no problems with that form of Co-enzyme Q10.
    I would not recommend CoQ10 in the form of Ubiquinol to anyone. I would stick with the tried and tested Ubiquinone anyday!

  • Garry

    Great article! I was just wondering if PQQ is available on Amazon. Thanks in advance!

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      It is.

  • Suzanne

    I’m +/+ for SOD2 rs4880 and have SNPs for a couple of the PGC-1A genes, so my mitochondria have taken a beating. As I also have brain fog, it seemed like PQQ would be worth a try. Mindful of the reports of headaches, and considering that I’m small-boned (5’5″, 105#), I started with 5 g Jarrow PQQ per day. Yesterday was my third day in a row of taking 5 mg of PQQ in the morning. I developed a mysterious ruptured blood vessel in my left eye that didn’t heal much last night. I’ve also had bad leg cramps every night that I’ve taken PQQ (and I do take magnesium). So today I skipped the PQQ to see if the blood vessel heals and my legs quit cramping.

    It seems weird that I would get a reaction from only 5 g. This makes me wonder if my existing mitochondria have been damaged so badly by free radicals that I can only handle a fraction of the therapeutic dose right now and really have to take it slow with PQQ.

    BTW I did get something positive out of that quarter dose. Yesterday I put in a full day working on a newsletter and blog post. Can’t remember when I’ve last had such stamina. I’d be Wonder Woman if I could handle the full 20 mg.

    Any ideas what might be going on? An earlier comment mentioned a bad “buffer for oxidative stress.” What exactly does this mean? Thank you.

  • Penelope

    I take NAC as a detox, and it can make you feel cruddy at first. I started taking minocycline for roseacea, and NAC to help clear the endotoxins released by the dying bacteria.

  • Esther

    I have Parkinson’s and take sinemet and metoprolol.for years. Especially read about metoprolol and ppq. Is it safe to take both or would they interact?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Check with your pharmacist.

    2. whisperingsage

      If you can replace meds with nutrents, that would be preferable. I’m a licensed nurse and I hate having to give people toxic meds all day, even aspirin isn’t what is cracked up to be. I have to remind myself all day that the meds are all they have because the hospital isn’t giving them adequate protein or supplements. Most meds do their work by blocking enzymes. These are what cause side effects. Preventing your cells from doing what they innately know to do to function. That means if your illness is caused by a deficiency, which it is in most cases, they are are not helping it long-term. Look up​ Dead Doctors Don’t Lie by Joel Wallach and watch All​ his videos on YouTube. You don’t have to use his products, but you do have to educate yourself. I use the cheapest vitamin companies I can find online. I have a few favorites but they have been getting competition lately and I have been buying more on Amazon. I go for wolefood supplements, but like PQQ, some time s you need the concentrated isolated things. Vitamin C us a good example. Linus Pauling was the vitamin C doctor , write books on it and won two Nobel prizes for when they were being more selective in their winners. Look him up too. NACus also a good concentrated supplement. And no flush niacin, look up​ Abram Hoffer’s work on that. Fantastic nutrient. When you see articles on NAD as a supplement, it comes from niacin and niacin is the cheaper just as effective precursor. It is vitamin B3. It’s best taken with the B complex, but avoid synthetic folic acid ad prefer natural folate, 2015 they discovered rats process folic acid just fine,humans do not. So right now nutritional yeast is my b complex . It tastes like chicken broth minus the salt so it’s easy to use in soups and other dishes. But know when you cook it, it destroys the B1 ad that’s not good ( thiamine). I take3 tablespoons first thing in the morning to avoid damaging thiamine. It might not be a high enough dose for some. There are all​ natural b complexes , but can be a little high. But not nearly as high as medications and their damage.

  • JB

    I began taking PQQ (Jarrow 20mg) about three months ago. I have ankylosing spondylitis (AS) ( an inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints of the body. This disease also creates extreme fatigue in some patients like me, making exercise extremely difficult. The very thing that helps to mitigate AS progression. Additionally, the back, hip and joint pain while lying in a bed for more than a few hours makes restorative rest, impossible. I struggle against these mightily and do manage to exercise moderately three times a weeks, light aerobics and light weights. Initially, when I used PQQ, I noticed a slight increase in my energy level and a lessening of my overall stiffness and ache. I was taking it mid-morning after breakfast. However, as time went on i began to get very fatigued mid afternoon reqiring me to sleep and developed headaches (which I’m not prone to). I stopped taking the PQQ and the afternoon fatigue and headache went away. However so did any benefit I notice with PQQ initially. So I wanted to try it again, this time taking it before bedtime… and Voila! I fell asleep easily and sleep a full night! Further, I woke with much less stiffness. I am able to exercise without extreme pain and fatigue as well. I don’t know why this works so much better for me at night, as I’ve not seen any such postings. But very glad I tried it again before bedtime.

  • Tiago Michaelsen

    EAT EGGS< is full of PQQ

  • CJ

    I’m not really sure exactly what is in /mixed with the PQQ that many of you have commented on regarding bad/unusual or no benefits but I have been taking PQQ for almost a year and the results have been phenomenal. The cognitive improvement was what I noticed first. I am a 65 year old female who is still experiencing a monthly cycle which was leaving me tired and in a thick brain fog. My memory has improved to its normal state and I no longer struggle with name/word recall. I own and operate a business and my concentration, focus and analytical abilities are actually at the same level as when I was in my 40’s. If I run out I can tell the difference within a week. I have several friends who also take it and feel the same. I consider this a miracle suppliment and part of my lifestyle

  • bernadette

    Will PQQ increase acetylcholine?? I am sensitive to the increase. I want to increase dopamine instead …

  • Jo Ann Brainard

    I just heard about the benefits of pqq and was quite excited over the fact that this supplement may actually help me regain some form of normalcy in my life. I have suffered with myalgic encephalomyelitis / cfs for the past 16 years, brought on from an infection that invaded my nervous system (encephalitis). For years I sought conventional medical treatment to alivate the severe symptoms of this complex disorder but to no avail. There is no cure and over prescribing medicine to make my body function proved nearly lethal. So 6 years ago I stopped all medication and basically took the wholistic approach. It’s been a tough road but at least now I’ve got a much better understanding of what is going on in my body.

    I came across your site looking for answers on pqq and I thank you for your hard work and efforts to provide people a forum to ask question and receive quality information and feedback. 🙂 In ordering a new supplement I heed on the side of caution as far as special blends, manufacturers, and safety. Much of the information on health, supplements, and studies we have today on the internet were not available just 6 years ago to everyday people. I’m sure glad big pharma lost that battle 🙂 but now we have a new one …. let me explain.

    I checked the cost of pqq on amazon today and found one that looked good from Life Extention but before I ordered it I read the comments people made about the product. (I find them informative ) anyhow, a women posted a warning to others that the PQQ formula was so amazing and how much-needed energy had finally returned to her body ….. HOWEVER … warning that the company had changed the formula which she had been on for sometime and now it made her sick. Apparently they got rid of the ALCAR and replaced it with TAURINE (people with CBS upregulation don’t need more taurine. They got rid of the B12 and replaced it with a huge (toxic) amount of B6. And even though they sold the large bottle (120) of 20mg capsules the dose was to take 4 a day? Huh I guess to do that each capsule must of been diluted or something) Her post was dated 2011.

    So you bet ya I checked the label on the product and what she said was true! The dose is 4 capsules a day … what a great deal! I think not.
    Joseph on the blog you mentioned using Pqq w/ ALCAR. And only one company sold it .. was that Life Extention? I see you recommend DOCTOR’S BEST why is that? Do you have any info pertaining to Pqq w/Alcar? Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

    1. Didymous

      Jo Ann you raise an issue I complain about often. If you want something done right do it yourself. This is why I am coming out with a line of isolates. I am so damn tired of having someone determine some special blend or proprietary formula. This is why I applaud Pure Encapsulation on creating isolates, which gives us the controls to titrate, isolate and back off if we have adverse effects. I am part of a global NAD collaboration and it just makes sense to look at the rest of the mitochondria factors such as Ubiquinol and PQQ. Interesting how taurine affects you. Part of an arrhythmia formula I am developing relies on Taurine as damper to the vagal/sympathetic nerve to hedge tachacardia.

  • Patricia

    This doesn’t make me feel very confident in taking these products. Can’t afford to have these kind of reactions, My husband either . Don’t know what to do now have ordered them already.

  • Ret

    I had the same reaction as Ditrich Redge on the only two occasions of taking 20 mg. PQQ. I feel the same hypoglycemic type of absolute exhaustion. Is there something that causes the buffer to oxidative stress to become better, or conversely, how did it become poor and can it be improved? I believe I have DNA damage from statin use, that has resulted in several autoimmune problems and saw Doc Graveline talk about the benefits of PQQ in this situation. Before statins I was very healthy and active.

    1. Judy Hoffert

      I too suffer from the damage that statins have done to my muscles & , memory & ,who knows what else. I was upset about dr. Gravelines death because I had been hoping he’d finally find a cure. Have u found anything that helps?

    2. JB

      I had that same hypoglycemic type of absolute exhaustion when I took PQQ (Jarrow 20mg) in the morning. I switched to just before bed and it helps me get a restful sleep and relieves my morning stiffness. See my other comments on here about my experience with PQQ.

  • Donita

    I am neither a scientist nor a medical doctor, but for 3 months I’ve been taking a supplement consisting of PQQ + NAC + CoQ10, and am compelled to understand what they might be doing to me. I have always been a super-energized person, and in my 66 years, I don’t recall ever having such low energy levels as I have had for the last 3 weeks. Maybe . . . very likely? . . . this has nothing to do with your conversations (above) and the study you mention which I attempted to understand. I will be wearing out my dictionaries trying to understand. Meanwhile, I feel compelled to stop taking this supplement. I don’t mean to interfere in your academic discussion: I only seek to understand.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      THat’s uncommon, but stop the supplements if you have lower energy.

      1. Jon

        It seems to me that I read that PQQ may cause a transient dip in energy. It does sound like NAC may not be right for you (or me?). My energy level drops in the afternoon but rebounds later in the day. I don’t know if it’s PQQ, but I’d guess not as I take it in the morning. It’s more likely that it’s just sleepiness after lunch.

    2. Kat

      I am taking the same as you Donita for the past 2 weeks and have felt worse too! I thought maybe I just haven;t given it enough time yet:-/ ?!?!?!?!?!?!

      1. Michelle Winder

        Kat & Donita, are you taking VitaPulse by Princeton Nutrients? I JUST ordered 3 bottles for my husband- did you stop taking it and feel better? I’m concerned- it’s supposed to help with his high cholesterol as we refuse dangerous statins. Supposedly they have a 90 day guarantee- did you return it? thanks girls!

    3. Julie Buchanan

      @Donita…I too took a supplement containing PQQ 20mg,NAC 250mg and CoQ10 50mg(?) and experienced nothing. No side effects and no improvement. YET when I stopped that one( due to the price & doubting it’s benefits) and started Life Extensions PQQ 20 and NAC 600mg (+Ubiquinol 50mg) I immediately experienced horrible side effects the next day. Brain fog, NO energy, waking 2-3 times every night, exhaustion, dehydration even though I was drinking 8-10 glasses of water, basically walking around like a zombie for a week! Stopped taking the NAC 2 days ago trying to see what the hell is causing this. Sleeping better but still no energy. I wrote to Life Extension asking them for ANY input and if others had experienced anything like I have. I will say I have tried a couple of anti-depressants in the past 2 years with the same effects- Headache, foggy thinking, feeling horrible, and stop taking them after 2-3 days. This is the first place online I’ve read anything close to what I’ve been through this past week.
      I know how important the PQQ & NAC are to the body, so I’m at a loss as to what’s happening here. I literally apologized to my boss yesterday and had to explain to her that some supplement was causing me to feel this way all week.

      *I’ll add that I’m a vegetarian and will not take products that use gelatin capsules*

      1. Didymous

        I hope this thread is still of interest. I am deep into NAD study and wanted to examine the other aspects of mitochondria, PQQ being one of them. A couple things come to min as I read so many drastically different experiences:

        1) Its part of our mitochondria so why would anyone experience any problems.

        2) PQQ is responsible for Biogenesis, creation of new mito. This is just a hip shooting, come to me now, kind of reply, but if PQQ is multiplying mitochondria, then is it not logical that the actual mitochondria increase is going to be only accessing the available access to both the Krebs and ADP/ATP cycles.

        As mentioned, I am just starting into PQQ study, but it strikes me that NAD and NMN is responsible for the electron substrate that enables ADP/ATP realization as a precursor to a series of ribose expressions: general ribose, cyclic ADP Ribose, O Acetyl ADP ribose.

        The importance of this is that if PQQ Is creating an additional energy demand via Biogenesis and more mito, then these new mito need the fuel to have the go. More mini engines pulling from the same limited fuel source would cause what some are experiencing in energy decrease. aGain, just an intuitive theory.

        Also, intracellular calcium homeostasis is at the core of mito working properly and most efficient. NAD as a ribose expression precursor seems to be a prerequisite or in concert with PQQ. my main focus is on NAD, PQQ, Ubiquinol, B Complex an B12 (Adeno form). This seems to cover the mito.

        3) People making reference in here to CoQ10, I hope you really mean the reduced for in Ubiquinol or you are doing yourself no favors.

        4) People referencing oral dosing and citing mg does amounts, PLEASE REMEMBER oral administration only delivered 10-15 percent of the designated amount on the bottle. 500mgs = 50 and in the US our livers and GI tracts, specifically our small intestines are trashed.

        5) Does labcorp or anyone have a test for PQQ. I can test for Ubiquinol and I have access via collaboration to the best we currently have for NAD, which is still not that good. However, how is PQQ best measured and what is the acceptable reference range and optimal target value?

  • Joe

    What was your high-fat diet meltdown? And what were the effects of taking PQQ on that? Was the meltdown a good or bad thing? Sorry that section was a little unclear to me.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


      1. Didymous

        me too, i had keto acidosis from it so bad i was pissing blood and hospitalized.

  • Jon Busch

    I just ran across SELF-HACKED as I was seeking information on PQQ. It seems that this vitamin-like substance could be a significant modulating factor in the development of Parkinsonism based primarily on animal studies. There’s been a lot of interest in an abnormal presence of alpha-synuclein in the brains of PD sufferers and it is thought to perhaps be causative in the death or non-functioning of dopamine by cels in a specific part of the brain. Has anyone here experimented with PQQ and PD? Remember a few years ago when a preliminary study widely trumpeted by supplement makers that CO Q10 reduced PD progression? A subsequent study debunked the first one. Now we hear that PQQ combined with CO Q10 is very neurologically protective. And what about the reports from some at this site about “brain fog”? Others mention improved sleep. What has anybody found about the best time for PQQ dosing and improved sleep? I’d be very interested in seeing responses.

    1. Jon Busch

      I posted my message and question about PQQ and got no response. Maybe nobody here suffers from Parkinsonism. But I have new questions and one specifically for Mr. Cohen. Either I missed or the PQQ site has added something. There is a statement that PQQ has a “proven” effect on a rare form of inherited Parkinson’s. Well, since PD goes back several generations in my family there’s a very good chance I have the mentioned form. The study(s) that prove PQQ’s effectiveness are missing. I’d like to see them. Also from reading posts here there seems to be a problem maybe not with PQQ but with certain added ingredients like taurine. What should be avoided when PQQ dosing? What time of day should it be taken? In the unmentioned PD study, what was the dosage? I’d love to hear back.

      1. Didymous

        Please do not give misleading impressions that taurine is bad for everyone. The post addressed a particular subset that did not respond well to the taurine change. By example I need tons of taurine to dampen the vagal nerve and keep me out of tach.

        As for the other: I personally watch in December 2016 a man in his 70’s cut his parkinsons shakes in half by 1 bag of nad, 500mgs in 1000cc’s dripping for 7 hours. He came in shuffle foot at about 3-4 inch sliding foot movement and at the end of one bag was almost heel to toe, at least a doubling of the foot placement. When I think f PQQ I think of mito biogenesis. What I have not been able to have answered is if the biogenesis replicates existing damaged mito cells, propagating the damage/mutations or does PQQ biogenesis ensure fresh, clean, undamaged mito?

    2. JB

      See my comments about when to take and improve sleep. – JB

  • R.H.

    You say “Don’t buy into his hype without studies to back up what he’s saying.”. And though I know you are not selling anything, most of the staff you are recommending are also not backed by science. I first got excited about your science-based approach, but man! Most of the studies you are citing are completely useless. I wanted to comment on most of the posts you’ve written, cause most of the papers have RIDICULOUSLY small sample size, NO controls, are not double-blind, and are published in some obscure journals which publish anything… It’s really disappointing. I am not saying all of them are bullshit, but the great majority. I’ve seen you criticize others for not taking science into consideration, but it is apparent from the get go that you have no rigorous scientific training. Beside, if you cared to analyze most of the articles in depth, you would realize how many flaws do they have in the”meat” of the paper. The introduction and discussion does not necessary represents the research that has been done.
    If you really want to provide your readers with correct information, based mostly on science, then I recommend you to go and train in science… You are smart, but I think you don’t understand how much you lack, and how NOT “science-based” is your approach.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      If you want recommendations based solely on hard clinical science, this is not the blog you should be reading.

      Selfhacked is about using information produced by the body of science, including animal studies, but that’s only the start. Selfhacked is not about rigorous clinical science, although that’s certainly a plus.

      I’m more about taking the best information we have and self-experimenting. I’m making more of an effort to specify what kind of study I am citing, and I mostly do, so that people can determine the usefulness for themselves. If an animal study doesn’t make you curious enough to experiment on yourself, that’s your prerogative.

      Sophisticated readers realize this.

      When someone who is skilled in marketing and is selling a very expensive product, who has been known to hype things, and there isn’t even an animal study backing it up, or even just clear reasoning behind the product, we should be cautious.

      1. Ditrich Redge

        “Luxflux, on 02 Sept 2014 – 04:19 AM, said:
        I respond very well to NMDA enhancers/glutathione enhancers (sarcosine, NAC, pregnenolone) and respond *horribly* to PQQ. I heard that it effects glutathione synthesis in some way, which probably effects the redox aspect of NMDA receptors. For me, it gave me significant brain fog about an hour after ingesting, without fail, no matter what other things I had been taking. So if you have hypoglutamatergic function(or suspect you do), be careful with this one.”

        “@Luxflux: I am very interested in your response to PQQ and how you’ve tied that to NMDA function. I also have had really awful experiences with PQQ, very shortly after taking it. I have taken two different brands, 2 small doses and one half-dose on three separate occasions without changing anything else and taken separate from any other supplements.

        I would say “brain fog” was part of it, but the experience was more like something I imagine diabetics in severe hypoglycemia experience: Couldn’t think/concentrate, irritable, weak/fatigued, super-depressed or “down” mood. The worst of this lasted for hours and didn’t really get better for another day. About an hour or two after taking, each time, there was also this unusual craving for carbs and sweets, which is not at all normal for me.

        Until I saw your post, all my research just turned up that PQQ gave results for everyone falling on spectrum somewhere between “wonderful and energy-boosting” and “did nothing.” So, I had been thinking perhaps it was a clue to some metabolic weirdness with me.

        How did you arrive at glutamatergic hypofunction as the cause? Interestingly enough, I am beginning to (cautiously) experiment with pregnenolone with very positive results. NAC is also a staple of mine.”
        -Cohen, I bought PQQ and before taking that, I want to ask you what’s going on here ?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          PQQ might transiently increase oxidative stress..

          I used to get some symtpoms when I wasn’t as healthy. It means you buffer for oxidative stress is bad.

          1. kyung

            It follows with the pro-oxidant properties of pqq as it turns back into glutathione. Depletion of intracellular glutathion levels can lead to the apotosis of cancer cells. Dark side of pqq co-exists, though. (Note that dosing and appropriate method of dosage is not well-established yet, and most studies he menthioned are actually preliminary, so not much reasons to be exited..).

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    2. Charlene Beaudet Szarek

      . In Study 2, PQQ supplementation resulted in significant decreases in the levels of plasma C-reactive protein, IL-6 and urinary methylated amines such as trimethylamine N-oxide, and changes in urinary metabolites consistent with enhanced mitochondria-related functions. The data are among the first to link systemic effects of PQQ in animals to corresponding effects in humans. Find the 2013 human study on the following website.

  • MachineGhost

    Setria Glutathione.

  • Ko i

    I might give it a try. You think it can reverse damage from the drugs like amphetamine?

  • kobilica

    That stuff is expensive 🙁

    1. Charlie

      Yes it is. If people want some very cheap things that can dramatically boost health they should buy fresh lemons at a supermarket, juice the lemons in plain water (dilute to tolerance) and drink on empty stomach twice daily for at least 4 months. This will dissolve arterial calcium faster than K-2 and pomegranate combined can remove it. EDTA is bad as it removes beneficial minerals from the body, lemon juice costs less and is superior. The single caution is if not rinsed off the teeth with plain water before several minutes have passed, enamel loss will begin (confirmed by dentist). That should suggest how beneficial it is internally. It will clear all arteries—subclavian, carotid, abdominal aorta included plus dissolve kidney stones. The limonene content from the peel squelches cancer. This is a liver boosting treatment as well. Another plus is it means no income to doctors, hospitals nor any to Pharma. Garlic is great for defeating infections and has other benefits. Ceylon cinnamon has multiple benefits including suppression of diabetes and cancer. Since it blocks blood vessel growth, it prevents tumors from growing and encourages apoptosis. Avoid the boundless greed of USA “medicine” and resort to these three modalities for protection against the biggest killers—cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes. If most people used these regularly, USA “medicine” would be reduced in dollar terms by 80% or more. And it deserves to be reduced. Naturally studies on these must transpire outside the USA as this country represents about half of the global Pharma “trade” (we are today what China was previously in the British opium “business” there).

      1. Drake

        How many lemons do you need, or how many tablespoons of juice? Is organic bottled lemon juice an appropriate alternative? Also, how much garlic and cinnamon? Thank you.

      2. Michelle Winder

        Thanks Charlie! I knew lemons were great for a lot of things but I’ll do as you say! I’ve been doing that with ACV in the morning. The kidney stone cocktail is amazing! Black Cherry juice, Unfiltered Apple Cider and juice of one lemon. Drink it 4x a year and you’ll never get a kidney stone. But it’s delicious so serve at parties and your guests will be healthier and happier. =)

  • dan

    If you want the same product but with a cooler name, three times less the amount and five times more on the price, check this ‘secret weapon’-

    1. Joe


  • Mike E

    What is the difference between PQQ and BioPQQ? They both seem to have the same ingredient, namely Pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium salt. The former is significantly cheaper.

  • Steve

    Is eating raw eggs the same as taking NAC?

    1. Selfhacked


  • Sam

    Is it necessary to take NAC with PQQ? I react badly to NAC, but do very well on PQQ. Is there an alternative to NAC? Or could I make do without it?

    1. Joe

      You can take it with liposomal glutathione

    2. Tracey

      I started taking NAC last week. Took one 600 mg tablet two days in a row. I have never felt so lethargic. I wanted to crawl into bed. My blood pressure is usually normal and I dont take meds. It dropped to 102/65. I stopped taking it last Wednesday because I thought and felt like I had the flu. I almost (knock on wood) never get sick. I also had my lip and eyebrow twitching. Really just felt weird all around. Major brain fog. 5 days later I am finally starting to feel mostly back to normal. I bought PQQ at the same time but havent taken it yet. Should the NAC and PQQ be taken together? Or should I forget the NAC altogether and start the PQQ? Anybody else have these issues?


      1. Donita

        YES, that is how I felt. I went about 4 days feeling that way, just assuming I had worn myself out. The 4th day, I picked up a project much like projects I have done for YEARS, and I could not wrap my brain around it: It was as if I didn’t even know where to start. But I was taking PQQ, NAC and CoQ10 all in one capsule, so I didn’t know which one was causing it: Thought it was the PQQ. Sadly, that supplement really made some great differences (improvements) in my health and well-being, but I have quit it until I can be sure it won’t harm me. I am thinking of trying it 3 times a week, alternating with another supplement that is just a plant-based, “light” aid to being healthy. I have small body/weight, and maybe LESS of it would be less harmful???? I wish I knew: I miss the good effects I was getting.

        1. Jon

          I’m curious about PQQ and the comments about “brain fog.” Have you or anyone tried it without the NAC? Given your thoughts on PQQ benefits and comments about getting better sleep, have you thought of taking it before bed? PQQ has also been considered therapeutic in Parkinsonism.

          1. Donita


            I have not tried it w/o NAC. The supplements I bought came with NAC and PQQ and CoQ10 together. It didn’t occur to me to try taking them at bedtime. I really valued the positive effects of the supplement, so if taking them at bedtime makes the difference, it is worth a try. I’ve been thinking of taking them alternate days, and I might start that way, to avoid another 4-day fog episode. Thank you for the suggestion.

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        2. Tracey

          I too am small framed. I am on day 3 of PQQ without the NAC. No problems and no brainfog. I may try and revisit NAC at a lower dose (maybe 300 mg) in a few days combined with the PQQ and see how that goes…

          1. Julie Buchanan

            I am also small framed (5’3,120 pds.) and wonder if the 600mg of the NAC is what caused my zombie-like state for a week. 3 days off now and I’m still recovering slowly. I’m so thankful I found this blog, and your replies, since it’s the only place I’ve read reactions to these supplements similar to mine. I really want to take the PQQ & NAC due to losing both parents to Alzheimers disease. So if dosing is the issue(?) I’ll experiment with that too.

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  • Sam

    Is it necessary to take NAC with PQQ?

    1. Selfhacked

      You’ll get the benefits of PQQ without NAC, but NAC is useful in the long term when using mitochondrial enhancers

      1. kyung

        you should note that chronic NAC supplementation may affect the antioxidant defense mechanism. Also, NAC doesn’t seem to be that much safe in regard to the long-term supplemantion. Its mechanism is similar to hypoxic response.

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