Compound Found In Interstellar Stardust Is Anti-Aging Powerhouse

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In our article L-carnitine: The “Miracle Amino we talked about how mitochondria are the “power plants” for every cell in your body and their health as one of the determining factors in how well or not well you age. We looked at the amino acid, L-carnitine, because of its potent ability to make your mitochondria more efficient. Today, I want to share with you another extraordinary compound that can help you create new mitochondria all together.

It’s called Pyrroloquinoline quinone ( PQQ) and this coenzyme’s presence in interstellar stardust has led some experts to believe it played a pivotal role in the evolution of life on Earth.  PQQ is found in every plant species tested to date, but neither humans nor the bacteria that colonize the human digestive tract have shown the ability to naturally produce it. This has led researchers to classify PQQ as an essential micronutrient. Recently, PQQ was even chosen as  one of the ten most compounds for longevity  by the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. [14]

PQQ represents what could be the biggest breakthrough in anti-aging science that we’ve seen in the last 25 years. That’s because this is the only natural substance that’s been shown to stimulate your body to produce new, healthy mitochondria. More mitochondria mean more energy for your cells to rebuild, repair and restore themselves. In one study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers fed mice a diet supplemented with PQQ. The mice grew a staggering 55% more new mitochondria in just 8 weeks. [1 ]The creation of new mitochondria by PQQ occurs through the activation of CREB and PGC-1alpha, pathways known to increase mitochondrial biogenesis. PGC-1a is a “master regulator” that directly stimulates genes that promote mitochondrial and cellular respiration, growth, and proliferation [5]

Healthspan Benefits of PQQ


In one study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers founds PQQ to exert potent anti-inflammatory effects. 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. (2)

A Potent Antioxidant

PQQ has been measured to be up to 5,000 times more potent than other leading antioxidants such as vitamin C. (3) High levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which antioxidents eliminate, is associated with cellular and mitochondrial damage causing inflammation leading to deteriorative disease (4)


PQQ is shown to activate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) synthesis. NGF promotes growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons and axons in the brain. This effect is proven to be a key factor neurodegenerative disorders and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, depression and substance abuse. [6]

PQQ prevents cognitive deficit caused by oxidative stress.[7] 

PQQ triggers the DNA reading protein CREB, which plays a key role in neuronal plasticity and long-term memory formation. [5] 

In Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications researchers found PQQ prevented the formation of alpha-synuclein, one of the main proteins connected with with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mitochondrial regulation by pyrroloquinoline quinone prevents rotenone-induced neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s disease models. [15]


PQQ is proven to maintain a healthy immune responses against dangerous invading cells. (8) 

PQQ treatment enhances IgA level, restores mass of GALT and induce immunity against or viral invasion. (9) (10)

Depriving mice of dietary PPQ caused abnormal immune function, e.g., dysfunctional immune response to stressors.(11)

Cancer Fighting

PQQ contributes to tumor cell apoptosis and death. (12)

PQQ offers remarkable radiation protection for cancer patients receiving radiation treatment, acting as inhibitor of a pathway called mTOR causing tumor development and cancer cell proliferation. (13)

Heart Protection

PQQ was compared 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” [16]

PQQ helps heart muscle cells resist acute oxidative stress by preserving and enhancing mitochondrial function.


PQQ administration results in considerable improvements in span of sleep, improvements in total duration of sleep, avoid of awakenings at night being treated with 20mg PQQ for 8 weeks. [17]

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1. Stites, Tracy, et al. “Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Modulates Mitochondrial Quantity and Function in Mice.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 136, no. 2, Jan. 2006, pp. 390–396., doi:10.1093/jn/136.2.390.

2. Tracy, et al. “Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Modulates Mitochondrial Quantity and Function in Mice.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 136, no. 2, Jan. 2006, pp. 390–396., doi:10.1093/jn/136.2.390.

3. Stites TE, Mitchell AE, Rucker RB. Physiological importance of quinoenzymes and the O-quinone family of cofactors. J Nutr. 2000 Apr;130(4):719-27.

4. Patel A, Chovatia V, Shah S. Expression of Pyrroloquinoline quinone in Rhizobium leguminosarum for phosphate solubilization. Environment and Ecology.2015;33(2):621‒624.

5. Chowanadisai W, Bauerly KA, Tchaparian E, et al. Pyrroloquinoline quinone stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis through cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and increased PGC-1α expression. J Biol Chem. 2010;285(1):142‒152.

6. Nerve growth factor pathway. (n.d.). Retrieved from

7. Ohwada, K., Takeda, H., Yamazaki, M., Isogai, H., Nakano, M., Shimomura, M., . . . Urano, S. (2008, January). Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) Prevents Cognitive Deficit Caused by Oxidative Stress in Rats. 

8. Odkhuu, Erdenezaya, et al. “Inhibition of Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-ΚB Ligand (RANKL)-Induced Osteoclast Formation by Pyrroloquinoline Quinine (PQQ).” Immunology Letters, vol. 142, no. 1-2, 2012, pp. 34–40., doi:10.1016/j.imlet.2011.12.001.

9. Omata J, Fukatsu K, Murakoshi S, et al. Influence of adding pyrroloquinoline quinone to parenteral nutrition on gut-associated lymphoid tissue. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2011;35(5):616‒624.

10. Olsthoorn AJ, Duine JA. Production, characterization, and reconstitution of recombinant quinoprotein glucose dehydrogenase (soluble type; EC apoenzyme of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996;336(1):42‒48.

11. Steinberg, Francene M., et al. “Dietary Pyrroloquinoline Quinone: Growth and Immune Response in BALB/c Mice.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 124, no. 5, Jan. 1994, pp. 744–753., doi:10.1093/jn/124.5.744.

12. Podzelinska K, He SM, Wathier M, et al. Structure of PhnP, a phosphodiesterase of the carbon-phosphorus lyase pathway for phosphonate degradation. J Biol Chem. 2009;284(25):17216‒17226.

13. Pope S, Land JM, Heales SJ. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration; cardiolipin a critical target? Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008;1777(7):794‒799.

14. Ames, Bruce N. “Prolonging Healthy Aging: Longevity Vitamins and Proteins.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018, p. 201809045., doi:10.1073/pnas.1809045115. 

15. Lu, Jinli, et al. “Mitochondrial Regulation by Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Prevents Rotenone-Induced Neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s Disease Models.” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 687, 2018, pp. 104–110., doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2018.09.031. 

16. “Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.

17. Nakano, Masahiko, et al. “Effects of Oral Supplementation with Pyrroloquinoline Quinone on Stress, Fatigue, and Sleep.” Functional Foods in Health and Disease, vol. 2, no. 8, 2012, p. 307., doi:10.31989/ffhd.v2i8.81.

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Scientific References

1. Dai YL, Luk TH, Yiu KH, et al. Reversal of mitochondrial dysfunction by coenzyme Q10 supplement improves endothelial function in patients with ischaemic left ventricular systolic dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun;216(2):395-401.

2. Mehrabani, S., Askari, G., Miraghajani, M., Tavakoly, R., & Arab, A. (2019). Effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on fatigue: A systematic review of interventional studies. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 43, 181–187. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.01.022

3. Dumont, M., Kipiani, K., Yu, F., Wille, E., Katz, M., Calingasan, N. Y., … Beal, M. F. (2011). Coenzyme Q10 Decreases Amyloid Pathology and Improves Behavior in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimers Disease. Journal of Alzheimers Disease, 27(1), 211–223. doi: 10.3233/jad-2011-110209

4. Mezawa M, Takemoto M, Onishi S, et al. The reduced form of coenzyme Q10 improves glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: An open label pilot study. Biofactors. 2012 Aug 8.

5. Hernández-Camacho, J. D., Bernier, M., López-Lluch, G., & Navas, P. (2018). Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation in Aging and Disease. Frontiers in Physiology, 9. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00044

6. Crowley D.C., et al. “Bioavailability and Health Effects of CoQ10 in Healthy Human Adults.” May 11, 2006.

7. Kalén, A., Appelkvist, E.-L., & Dallner, G. (1989). Age-related changes in the lipid compositions of rat and human tissues. Lipids, 24(7), 579–584. doi: 10.1007/bf02535072

8. Effects of carnitine and coenzyme Q10 on lipid profile and serum levels of lipoprotein(a) in maintenance hemodialysis patients on statin therapy. (2011). Iranian Journal of Kidney Diseases. doi: 21368390

9. Vargiu, R., Littarru, G. P., Faa, G., & Mancinelli, R. (2008). Positive inotropic effect of coenzyme Q10, omega-3 fatty acids and propionyl-L-carnitine on papillary muscle force-frequency responses of BIO TO-2 cardiomyopathic Syrian hamsters. BioFactors, 32(1-4), 135–144. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520320116

10. Johansson, P., Dahlström, Ö., Dahlström, U., & Alehagen, U. (2015). Improved health-related quality of life, and more days out of hospital with supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 combined. Results from a double blind, placebo-controlled prospective study. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 19(9), 870–877. doi: 10.1007/s12603-015-0509-9

11. Adarsh, K., Kaur, H., & Mohan, V. (2008). Coenzyme Q10(CoQ10) in isolated diastolic heart failure in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). BioFactors, 32(1-4), 145–149. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520320117

12. Burke, B. E., Neuenschwander, R., & Olson, R. D. (2001). Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled Trial of Coenzyme Q10 in Isolated Systolic Hypertension. Southern Medical Journal, 94(11), 1112–1117. doi: 10.1097/00007611-200111000-00015

13. Zhai, J., Bo, Y., Lu, Y., Liu, C., & Zhang, L. (2017). Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Plos One12(1). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170172

14. Lewin, A., & Lavon, H. (1997). The effect of coenzyme Q10 on sperm motility and function. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 18, 213–219. doi: 10.1016/s0098-2997(97)00036-8

15. Preethi Srikanthan, Arun S. Karlamangla. Muscle Mass Index as a Predictor of Longevity in Older-Adults. The American Journal of Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.007

16. Folkers, K., & Simonsen, R. (1995). Two successful double-blind trials with coenzyme Q10 (vitamin Q10) on muscular dystrophies and neurogenic atrophies. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease, 1271(1), 281–286. doi: 10.1016/0925-4439(95)00040-b

17. Farsi, F., Mohammadshahi, M., Alavinejad, P., Rezazadeh, A., Zarei, M., & Engali, K. A. (2015). Functions of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Liver Enzymes, Markers of Systemic Inflammation, and Adipokines in Patients Affected by Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 35(4), 346–353. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1021057