Pyrroloquinoline Quinone(PQQ) is a unique and novel biofactor, also known as methoxatin, pyrroloquinoline quinone powder, is a reddish-brown powder that is water-soluble. In 2003, Japanese scientists announced the discovery of PQQ, a water-soluble B vitamin, which caused poor reproduction in laboratory mice. They speculate that it has the same effect on humans. This is the first time a new vitamin has been discovered since 1948. If approved by the WORLD Health Organization, it will be the 14th vitamin discovered by Japanese scientists since the discovery of vitamin B1 in 1910. Although PQQ is not currently viewed as a vitamin, it is likely to be considered an essential nutrient in the future.

In fact, back in the 1950s, several biologists in Norway and the United Kingdom, while studying metabolic enzymes in bacteria, stumbled upon a new compound that acted as a coenzyme for certain enzymes. In living things, all kinds of chemical reactions need enzymes to catalyze them. However, many enzymes also need other auxiliary molecules to perform their functions. These auxiliary substances are called coenzymes. Unfortunately, this important discovery has not attracted enough attention. It wasn’t until 1979 that American scientists, using X-ray crystal diffraction, first identified the mysterious coenzyme as a tricarboxylic Quinone compound and named it Pyrroloquinoline Quinone.

At the end of the 1980s, Dutch scholars confirmed that bacteria can synthesize PQQ using glutamate and tyrosine after nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Now, the genes necessary for PQQ synthesis in bacteria have been identified, and there are about four to seven genes, depending on the species. Although it is only the product of certain bacteria, it is interesting that very small amounts of PQQ are found in various plants, animals and humans.

Benefits of PQQ

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 compared to other antioxidants. For example, PQQ is able to carry out 20,000 catalytic conversions compared to only 4 for vitamin C. It is believed to have an important role in cellular signaling and protein structure. This natural supplement can boost energy expenditure, reduce triglycerides, and alleviate neuronal loss and cell death caused by oxidative stress. It has also been shown to promote higher brain function, memory, and cognition, similar to that of B vitamins and improve general health.

In addition to its antioxidant benefits, Pyrroloquinoline quinone has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. The most interesting research suggests that it has a protective role in the mitochondrial biogenesis process, some people take PQQ supplements to improve their energy levels, memory, and focus. It stimulates the production of massive amounts of mitochondria and interacts with cell signaling pathways, improving mitochondrial biogenesis. In addition to enhancing energy levels, Pyrroloquinoline quinone has been shown to promote the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This may lead to improved neuronal growth and improved fertility. This substance also has a number of other beneficial effects on human health. It has been shown to enhance learning and memory and may even increase the rate of neurogenesis. PQQ is also a neurotrophic protective drug with excellent performance and has great potential in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Senile dementia. In 2008, Japanese researchers found that adding PQQ to the diet of rats significantly improved their learning and memory abilities, suggesting that PQQ can fight to age.

PQQ can stimulate the rapid growth of microorganisms, plants, animals and human cells, especially plants. Early studies have found that PQQ can promote pollen and seed germination of some plants, reduce frostbite of cucumber seedlings caused by low temperature, and help improve the seed setting rate of winter wheat. PQQ is also an essential nutrient factor for animal growth, development and reproduction. PQQ is widely present in a variety of foods and the surrounding environment, and the daily diet can fully meet the body’s demand for PQQ. It is usually difficult to observe PQQ deficiency in animals or humans. In 1989, U.S. researchers found that 20 to 30 percent of female mice lacking PQQ showed significant deficiencies including weak skin, hair loss, body curvature, and even abdominal bleeding and death in severe cases. The symptoms of PQQ deficiency seem to be similar to other vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

PQQ can remove excess free radicals in the body and protect the body from oxidative damage. Free radical is a kind of compound produced in the oxidation reaction of the body, which has a strong oxidation ability. Once accumulated in the body, it will damage the tissue and cells, and then cause chronic diseases and aging effects. Studies have found that the ability of PQQ to remove free radicals is 50 to 100 times that of vitamin C, and it is the strongest substance with antioxidant capacity found so far. A large number of physiological experiments have shown that PQQ can protect the heart from damage caused by hypoxia and ischemia, prevent cataracts, detumescence, anti-inflammatory and many other effects.

PQQ also has many remarkable magical effects. Acetaldehyde is a harmful intermediate product of alcohol metabolism and an important cause of alcoholism. The Japanese scientists found that PQQ can speed up the oxidation of acetaldehyde to acetic acid, reducing the amount of acetaldehyde in the body, thus hopefully reducing the toxic damage caused by alcohol consumption on the liver. Oral PQQ can effectively reduce the content of lead in blood, brain and liver without causing loss of beneficial metal elements zinc and copper. PQQ can also promote rapid wound healing from radioactive substances. In addition, the experiment also found that PQQ can effectively reduce the damage of methyl mercury to nerve cells. PQQ has so many functions that it has become a new star among nutritionists and pharmacologists around the world.

Natural source of PQQ

Japanese scientists measured PQQ levels in 26 common foods and found that PQQ levels ranged from 3.65 to 61 ng per gram of food. For example, parsley and green peppers in vegetables, kiwifruit and papaya in fruits, green tea and oolong tea in drinks have a higher content of PQQ, and tofu, containing about 30 ng/g. Natto, a traditional Japanese food, had the highest PQQ content at 61 ng/g. This may be because natto is made from soybean after a long period of fermentation by bacteria, which secrete PQQ continuously, resulting in a concentration effect. American researchers found PQQ levels in human milk as high as 140 to 180 ng/ml. Such high concentrations of PQQ in mothers’ milk suggest it may play a crucial role in the growth and development of newborn babies.

Source Content (ng/g or ng/ml) source Content (ng/g or ng/ml)
Fermented soybeans(Natto) 61.0 Broad beans 17.8
Parsley 34.2 Potatoes 16.6
Green tea 29.6 Kale 16.3
Green pepper 28.2 Sweet potatoes 13.3
Kiwifruit 27.4  Cola 20.1
Oolong tea 27.2  Miso 16.7
Spinach 21.9, soybeans 9.26
Tofu 24.4 tomatoes 9.24
bananas 12.6, apples 6.09,
Wine 5.79  citrus 6.83,
carrots 16.8  celery 6.33
bread 9.14  Whiskey 7.93

Since PQQ can only be synthesized by certain bacteria, where does it come from in plants, animals and humans? At present, the scientific consensus is that animals and humans have different kinds of bacteria in their guts, but these bacteria do not produce PQQ or produce too little to meet the body’s needs. Therefore, animals and humans can only obtain PQQ through dietary channels. However, it is not clear whether plants absorb PQQ from the environment or make it themselves, or both. The classical phytochemical theory holds that plants can synthesize all organic compounds they need from water and inorganic salts absorbed by their roots. It is speculated that plants themselves may also synthesize PQQ, small organic compounds like bacteria.

Ye Tao