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PQQ has been shown in lab and animal studies to protect the kidneys

PQQ and Diabetic Kidney Disease

PQQ has been shown in lab and animal studies to protect the kidneys from the harmful effects of elevated blood glucose.

Scientifically reviewed by: Amanda Martin, DC, in January 2024. Written by: Lawrence Harding.

An astonishing 37.3 million Americans have diabetes1 (type II accounts for 90%-95% of the cases).2

That's more than 11% of the population.1

The prevalence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome is increasing in the U.S.3,4

The kidneys are particularly susceptible to the damage caused by high blood sugar.5

Recent estimates find that nearly 50% of people with type II diabetes will eventually suffer from kidney disease.6 Alarmingly, as diabetes rates skyrocket, so does the incidence of diabetic kidney disease.7

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) has been shown in lab and animal studies to protect the kidneys and other tissues from the harmful effects of poor blood glucose control.5,8-11

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

When people suffer from metabolic diseases like diabetes, chronically high levels of blood sugar can cause widespread damage to most tissues of the body.

Over time, this can lead to risk for multiple long-term complications including cardiovascular disorders, vision loss, neurovascular insufficiency, and kidney failure.12

The kidneys are especially susceptible to damage in diabetics. Over time, kidney function deteriorates and can lead to kidney failure. At that point, an individual will require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.13

Long before kidney failure develops, people with metabolic disease should do everything possible to protect their kidneys from damage.

PQQ Improves Mitochondrial Function

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a compound produced by many bacteria found in soil.

PQQ is absorbed by plants and is found in fruits and vegetables.14 It is a vitamin-like compound that has demonstrated impressive biological effects.15,16

One of PQQ's key functions is to support the mitochondria, the energy powerhouses found in all cells. It supports optimal mitochondrial function.9,17

As we age, the body experiences a decline in mitochondrial activity and resilience.18

PQQ has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and stimulate the creation of new mitochondria.19-21 This may help rejuvenate cellular function and counter metabolic disorders like type II diabetes.22,23

In addition to its impact on mitochondria, PQQ inhibits a protein known as PTP1B, which is associated with insulin resistance.24

Insulin is the hormone that helps cells take up and use glucose. Inhibiting PTP1B improves insulin sensitivity in diabetic mice, making cells more responsive to insulin. That reduces high blood glucose levels.

In rodent models of diabetes, several metabolic problems are normally seen. In addition to high blood glucose, there are elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and reduced levels of antioxidants in tissues.10

Giving these animals PQQ reverses these problems—lowering glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides while boosting antioxidant protection in tissues, including in the kidneys.5,10,11,19,24,25

Protecting Against Kidney Damage

Kidney disease is one of the most common complications of diabetes. Researchers are constantly searching for ways to defend kidney function and avoid progression to kidney failure.

The results of studies in animal models indicate that PQQ use helps protect the kidneys, even in the face of diabetes and elevated blood glucose levels.5,10,11

In rodent models of diabetes, the kidneys show signs of significant damage and develop fibrosis (scarring). Kidney function is decreased and there are signs of oxidative stress and inflammation in the tissues.5

Treating the animals with PQQ reversed these changes, improving kidney function and decreasing damage to the kidneys.

PQQ is believed to accomplish this by enhancing mitochondrial function and relieving oxidative stress.14

Taking 10 to 20 mg of PQQ daily is often recommended as part of any anti-aging program, and may benefit anyone with elevated blood sugar, diabetes, or other metabolic disease.


Diabetes and its complications affect millions of people and damage tissues throughout the body. A particularly high number of people with diabetes suffer from kidney disease.

Studies in animal models have found that the compound pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) can reverse many of the metabolic problems associated with type II diabetes and shield kidneys from the harmful impact of high blood sugar.

It is believed that these beneficial effects result from PQQ's ability to boost mitochondrial function and relieve oxidative stress.

Diabetic animals receiving PQQ have significant improvements to their metabolism and are protected from the kidney damage normally observed in diabetes.

Human studies are urgently needed to assess whether these effects seen in laboratory models translate into improved clinical outcomes.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


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