Is PQQ a Nootropic?

What is PQQ? Is it a vitamin? Is it another kind of nutrient? And most important of all, is PQQ a nootropic?

Well, for starters, I can tell you what we know.

PQQ was first discovered accidentally in some space dust on a NASA shuttle. Ironically, it was later discovered that it’s also in the foods we eat, and the soil we grow it in.

You might be thinking, if it’s so common, what makes it so special?

Research has shown that PQQ is a very potent antioxidant. It can help prevent cancer, neurological disorders, and slow down the aging process.

In fact, scientists have suggested that ‘The Fountain of Youth’ might not be a place, but this powerful micronutrient.

Supplementing with PQQ has also been proven to dramatically increase energy levels, mental clarity, and learning ability.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Woman with Galaxy in her Head

But how exactly does PQQ provide all of these benefits? How does it work?

Let’s take a closer look…

What is PQQ? – What does it do?

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, or PQQ, is also known as Methoxatin.

It acts like a fertilizer for mitochondria, encouraging them to grow in number, and helping them generate energy more efficiently.

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are tiny organelles that live inside our cells.  In the diagram below, they’re the oval shaped structures that look like Venus Fly Traps.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Mitochondria in a Cell

They convert energy sources like glucose into ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate, which our cells use to power all of their operations.

When mitochondria are plentiful, and operating at full capacity, the entire body works better.

Naturally, any organ that uses a lot of energy has more mitochondria in it’s cells.  This includes the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain.

Not surprisingly, PQQ has significant effects on brain cell function and overall cognitive performance.

Unfortunately, as we get older, the number of mitochondria in our cells declines.

Luckily, PQQ can counteract this process, which explains why it’s regarded by many as the ‘Holy Grail’ of anti-aging compounds.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Wooden Goblet on a Table

You might be wondering at this point, if PQQ is so important, why didn’t I get the memo?

Shouldn’t it have been on the news or something?

Is PQQ a Vitamin? – The Classification Conundrum

The truth is, PQQ isn’t really a secret.

It was first discovered in 1964, and was declared a B vitamin in 2003 by a researcher named Kato Kasahara.

In 2018, the scientific community agreed that PQQ is a very unique ‘longevity vitamin’ that is necessary for long term health.

It was later decided that although PQQ performs functions very similar to those of the B vitamins, it’s not actually a B vitamin.

Are you confused yet?

So PQQ is now considered a micronutrient with vitamin-like qualities that isn’t actually a vitamin.

That’s how we understand PQQ today.

Clear as mud, right?

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Confused Woman

Speaking of mud…

I think it’s ironic that we found PQQ in space dust first, and later discovered that it’s here on Earth; in the earth.

Then we realized it’s in a lot of common foods…

PQQ Foods – Is it Essential for Good Health?

Researchers have found that when PQQ was purposely removed from the diet, growth impairment occurred in animal test subjects.

Based on these findings, we probably don’t want to suffer the consequences of PQQ deficiency, or conduct any human trials.

(Insert sarcasm here)

Luckily, PQQ is abundant in all kinds of foods like beans, potatoes, cocoa, kiwi, and spinach.  It’s also found in human breast milk.

Clearly, PQQ is important to human health, so Nature has provided us with a steady supply.

The takeaway from this study is that any interruptions in energy metabolism can have a negative impact on physical development.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Girl Holding Energy Strand Near her Face

If a lack of PQQ can cause these kinds of issues in our body, what about the mind?  Does PQQ deficiency lead to impaired brain development?

Furthermore, can the opposite be true?  Can having extra PQQ in our diet increase energy levels enough to super charge our brains?

More to the point, does PQQ qualify as a nootropic?

What are Nootropics? – Can PQQ Pass the Test?

In order to determine whether PQQ is a genuine nootropic, we need a clear definition of a nootropic substance.

Nootropics are a class of compounds that enhance mental capacities with virtually no side effects.

The term ‘Nootropics’ was first coined by a Romanian psychiatrist named Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in 1972.

It comes from the Greek ‘noos’ meaning mind and ‘tropein’ meaning towards.

In order to consider a substance a nootropic, it has to possess these characteristics:

  • Improves Memory & Focus
  • Enhances Speed & Efficiency
  • Protects the Brain from Damage
  • Virtually No Side Effects

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Man Experiencing Cognitive Enhancements

Based on these criteria, does PQQ make the grade?

Let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we?

PQQ for Brain Health – Mechanisms of Action

There are 3 main optimization pathways that PQQ uses to enhance cognitive function:

PQQ encourages the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain, which in turn accelerates the replication of mitochondria and brain cells.

Additional PQQ has also been shown to help mitochondria function more efficiently.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Replicating Cells under a Microscope

This enhances communication between neurons, leading to improved mental clarity and flexibility.

Last but not least, PQQ has been found to act as a powerful antioxidant, providing valuable protection for both mitochondria, and brain cells.

The benefits that result from these mechanisms are:

  • Increased Mental Energy
  • Better Memory
  • Improved Learning
  • Enhanced Mental Clarity
  • Faster Decision Making
  • Augmented Physical Endurance
  • Improved Mood

When the mitochondria and brain cells are constantly being replenished, mental energy and flexibility are naturally improved.

This leads to a more fluid state of mind that allows faster reaction times and a higher level of performance.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Teamwork and Performance Illustration

People that supplement with PQQ also find that they have more ‘pep in their step’, and experience a feeling of overall well being.

This is all good.

But how does PQQ protect the brain?  What are some of its’ other advantages?

Antioxidant Effects – PQQ for Improved Vitality

PQQ shields the body and nervous system from damage in the following ways:

  • Protects DNA from Oxidation
  • Prevents Glutamate Toxicity
  • Blocks Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease

Basically, it has the ability to form a chemical bond with free radicals, and render them harmless.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Solar Flare Drawn into White Hole

Anti-Aging Effects – How does PQQ Protect our Cells?

Free radicals are molecules that are chemically unstable, and are desperate to latch onto other structures in order to balance themselves out.

Kind of like a party goer that’s had one too many, but really really small.

If free radicals successfully hitch themselves to DNA or brain cells, they can do a lot of damage; at the molecular level.

This often results in tissues that are inflamed, extreme immune responses, and can even lead to cancer.

How potent is PQQ as an antioxidant?  Just to put it into perspective, PQQ can neutralize free radicals 5,000 times as effectively as vitamin C!


Is PQQ a Nootropic - Little Girl Feeling Star Struck

That’s pretty amazing, if you ask me…

But we’re not done yet!  PQQ also prevents glutamate toxicity.

What is Glutamate? – How can it cause Brain Damage?

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that activates our ‘Fight-or-Flight’ response, and if it accumulates in our brain, bad things can happen.

We need glutamate to survive when we’re being chased by a bear, but too much can overstimulate our neurons.

When brain cells start vibrating like a harp string, they can die prematurely.

PQQ prevents this from happening by regulating glutamate activity in the brain.

PQQ for Alzheimer’s – How can it Help?

The density of mitochondria in our brain cells diminishes as we get older.

This results in less mental energy, opening a window of opportunity for neurodegenerative diseases to set in.

PQQ has also been shown to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by reviving brain cells that are suffocating from energy depletion.

Pretty cool, huh?

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Cool Guy in Sunglasses

So now that we know PQQ improves mental capacities, how should we use it for best results?

PQQ Dosage – Recommendations for Best Results

It’s estimated that we receive 100-400 mcg of PQQ every day from our regular diet.

However, in order to enhance our health and cognition, we need a lot more as a supplement.

PQQ is available in tablets and capsules, and the recommended dosage is 10-20 mg/day.

Older individuals can safely take up to 30 mg/day if they feel they need it to see significant improvements in their mental capacities.

PQQ was first found in space dust, and then later found to be all around us here on Earth.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Footprint on the Moon

It’s a naturally occurring micronutrient, and is very well tolerated by just about everybody.

PQQ Side Effects – How Safe is it?

There are no side effects to make anyone aware of other than increased energy levels and elevated mood.

Pronounced improvements in mental clarity and recall speed have been noticed by most people supplementing with PQQ.

The effects of PQQ have also been found to be cumulative; they build up the longer you take it.

Furthermore, when PQQ and CoQ10 are taken together, they support one another.  They actually enhance each others effects!

This is why it’s common to see PQQ and CoQ10 pre-mixed in a lot of supplements on the market.  Why sell them separately when they work better as a team?

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed.  PQQ has tons of benefits, and it’s extremely safe.

I think we have a winner!

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Lady Giving Two Thumbs Up

Now that we’ve gone over how to use PQQ for best results, let’s take stock of everything we’ve learned…

Is PQQ a Nootropic? – Final Verdict

In answer to the question, “Is PQQ a nootropic”, I would have to say yes.


It meets all 4 criteria I mentioned above to be classified as a nootropic.

It improves cognition, enhances performance, protects brain cells from damage, and has no side effects.

In fact, I think PQQ could be a great addition to any cognitive enhancement plan.

It’s also readily available, and very affordable.

I just can’t see a down side to supplementing with it.

Is PQQ a Nootropic - Finger Choosing Happy Face IconIf you’re interested in trying PQQ, I recommend Performance Lab Energy.

It’s awesome!

PLE combines PQQ and CoQ10 so they augment each other’s effects, but it also contains ALCAR and ALA for the same reason.

ALCAR and ALA are another pair of micronutrients that have great synergy between them.

It’s a fantastic nootropic stack.  I highly recommend it.  If you want to find out more, just use the link below:

==>Read more about PLE<==

In any case, if you need an energy boost, or are looking for a ‘Longevity Vitamin’, PQQ is your best choice.

Thanks for reading!


In my next article, I’ll be talking about Phenylethylamine, otherwise known as PEA.

It should be an interesting read, so don’t miss it!

See you there,



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18 thoughts on “Is PQQ a Nootropic?”

  1. Hello Michael,

    My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 2 years ago, when he was 49.

    He had a stooped posture and tremors. His right arm didn’t move, and he also experienced a pulsating feeling in his body.

    He was placed on Sinemet for 8 months, and then Sifrol was introduced to replace the Sinemet.

    During this time span, he was also diagnosed with dementia. He started having hallucinations, and losing touch with reality.

    Suspecting it was the medication, I took him off the Sifrol (with the doctor’s knowledge), and started him on a natural herbal supplement.

    He is now almost 51, and doing very well. He responded much better to the herbal treatments than the prescription medications our doctor recommended.

    Just wanted to share our experiences with you.

    Thank you for trying to make people more aware of alternatives to prescription medications. Some people are afraid of doing anything without their doctor’s permission.

    Keep up the great work!


    • Hi Susan,

      Thank you for reading my post, and sharing your experiences.

      I’m glad to hear your husband is doing better, and enjoying a better quality of life. That’s great.

      Just out of curiosity, does the supplement he’s using have PQQ in it? Can I help you with any questions at all?

      If so, please just post another comment, and I’ll bet right back to you.


  2. Hello Michael,

    I’ve read about PQQ before, but never in such detail.

    Thank you for breaking it out into more easily understood chunks of information!

    It seems like it might actually be a beneficial nutrient to consider. You mention ADD, but do you know of any studies being done on PQQ, and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?

    We have adopted (adult) children with it and are always looking for ways to help them.

    Thanks once again!


    • Hi Dianne,

      Thanks so much for reading my post on PQQ.  Really appreciate your interest.

      In answer to your question, I was able to find this article, where it was discovered that there is a connection between brain development, alcohol consumption, and the activity of mitochondria.

      However, I am not aware of any studies being done that are specifically looking at the effects of PQQ on FAS.

      Then again, we do know that PQQ can prevent oxidative stress that leads to neurodegenerative effects, and that it boosts mitochandria count.

      I’m sorry I can’t give you a more solid answer, but I don’t the research has been done yet.

      If I come across any additional information in the future, I will surely let you know.

      Thanks once again,


  3. Hi Michael,

    Really interesting topic about PQQ.

    Actually I have never heard of it, but I am super interested to know, as I have just been diagnosed with labyrinthitis…so I wonder if this would help at all.

    I have been having vertigo and tinnitus for the last two years, and so this really affects my focus and quality of life. I try to eat healthy (I am not perfect though), but can’t really exercise due to the vertigo.

    Is there a supplement that combines PQQ & CoQ10? and have you heard of any other supplement that could help with labyrinthitis? Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Fernanda,

      Thanks for reading my article. Really appreciate your interest!

      In answer to your questions, I think Ginko Biloba will help you with your Labyrinthitis. Ginko is often prescribed for Tinnitis and vertigo, which are closely related conditions.

      If you look online, you can easily find a Ginko supplement for $20-25 for a one month supply. And if you want to boost your energy level and cognition, most PQQ supplements have CoQ10 in them already so you can stack the benefits.

      Hope that helps, and if you do try some Ginko, please let me know how it goes for you.


  4. Hi Micheal,

    This was a very insightful read on Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PPQ).

    My grandfather once suffered from dementia.  I took him to the hospital, and they ran a few tests.  The doctors prescribed some drugs, and we picked them up from the hospitals’ pharmaceutical department.

    After a few weeks of using the drugs, I soon discovered that he was getting worse.  I decided to stop the medications, and switched to some herbal supplements.

    I’m pretty sure they contained PPQ.  A couple weeks in, I saw a lot of positive results.

    Personally, I think PQQ is something people should pay serious attention to in terms of mental health.

    Thank you for doing such amazing research. 

    • Hello Layefa,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with PQQ.

      I just heard from a lady yesterday that had a similar experience with her husband.  She took him off the prescription drugs he was on, and found that the herbal supplements worked better.

      You sound like you might be a medical professional yourself.  Are you a doctor or nurse?  Is your grandfather still with you?  How is he doing?

      Thanks once again for reading my article.  I’m glad you got a lot out of it.


  5. Hello Michael,

    This post is really detailed, and yet easy to read.

    People all over the world need to know about things like this, and I will help with that by sharing with my friends.  

    It’s cool that you compared PQQ to the Fountain of Youth, because of its’ benefits and how it works.

    I know now that PQQ protects cells in the body from oxidative damage, supports energy metabolism, and healthy aging.  It’s also considered a novel co-factor with activities very similar to many B vitamins.

    It promotes cognitive health and memory by combating mitochondrial dysfunction and protecting neurons from
    oxidative damage. Very important.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to research and write this article.


    • Hi David,

      I’m really glad that you got a lot out of my article on PQQ.  Thanks for visiting my site!

      And thank you so much for sharing my article with your friends.  There are media buttons for Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter on my site to make it easier for you to do so.

      If you think of any other questions later on, just post another comment here, and I’ll get right back to you.


  6. Hi Michael,

    I really enjoyed your article about PQQ.  It was easy to read, even though it contained a lot of information.  Reading it was like getting a quick download directly into my brain.

    What I understood from your breakdown is that PQQ is a very effective micronutrient that can provide you with more energy, improved sleep, and enhanced cognition.

    It’s also a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent neurological disorders, and support longevity in the long run.

    There’s a lot to be gained from taking PQQ.

    Thank you for writing it.

    • Hey Philebur,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my article on PQQ.

      Sounds like you got all the basics covered.  I would definitely agree that there’s a lot of benefit to taking PQQ, especially with CoQ10 as an energy and performance enhancer.

      Thanks once again for your comment, and if you have any other questions, just give me a holler!


  7. Hello there,

    I really want to say a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and informative article.

    I stumbled upon your website while researching supplements for longevity.  I have to say, I found your post really interesting, and got more out of it than I expected.

    It’s just filled with so much quality knowledge, I felt like I had to leave a comment here for you.

    Thank you for putting this together.  I’m really glad I found this hidden gem.

    • Hello,

      Thanks so much for the kudos!

      I’m glad that you found my post so helpful.  Please share it with friends!

      And if you have any other questions, just give me a holler!


  8. Hey Michael,

    Wow! PQQ sounds like a secret wonder product.

    I’m surprised it’s not common knowledge, considering all the benefits associated with it.

    Are there any adverse effects associated with consuming it?


    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

      One of the best things about PQQ is that it’s completely safe. It’s a naturally occurring micronutrient found in the cells of most living creatures on Earth. We consume a little bit of it every day from foods, and it’s present in healthy soil.

      We just recently discovered that supplementing with it can accelerate energy metabolism.

      Pretty cool, huh?


  9. Hello Michael!

    Thank you so much for sharing this very interesting article!

    I’ve learned a lot, and fortunately, I like a lot of the foods that naturally contain PQQ.

    I like how you describe PQQ as, “a common longevity vitamin”.  I would say it can be good for anyone’s health.

    Antioxidants are very important for our body, and it’s great that PQQ also keeps our brain healthy.

    Finally, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to share this post with everyone in my Facebook group.  It has so much valuable information that I just can’t keep it to myself.

    I think everyone should be aware of the benefits of PQQ for their health and cognition.

    Thank you so much once again!  Very well done!


    • Hello Asraful,

      I’m really glad to hear you saw so much value in my article!

      Thanks for sharing it with all the members of your Facebook group.  That’s a huge compliment.  I appreciate you doing that.

      If you want to learn more about micronutrients for energy, health, and better cognition, you should also read my article on CoQ10.

      PQQ and CoQ10 work better together than they do as individual supplements.  They’re kind of like beer and nuts, or chocolate and peanut butter.

      The perfect combination!

      There are also a lot of supplements out on the market that have PQQ and CoQ10 combined for you already, so why not?

      Please let me know if you decide to try a PQQ/CoQ10 supplement, and post another comment if you have any questions.

      I’ll get back to you right away.



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