The effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone, abbreviated as PQQ, on non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD), particularly non-alcohol steatohepatitis (NASH) were observed by a group of researchers. PQQ is an antioxidant compound that is found in fruits such as kiwi and papaya. It is thought to have protective effects on the body cells by reacting with free radicals, compounds that have harmful impact on the cells by damaging DNA and peroxidizing the lipid membrane, and prevent them from doing injuries to the body.
In the study, a group of scientists led by Dr. Friedman looked at the potential benefits that PQQ may contribute to the reversal of the adverse effects NASH causes in pregnant mice and their offspring. The experiment was conducted using three groups of 20-week old pregnant mice with obesity and their 6-week old offspring. The first group was fed with a Chow Diet (CH) as the control group. The second was fed a high fat Western Diet (WD), and the third group was fed with a WD and a PQQ supplementation. Some key measurements that were collected during the trial were body weight (g), % liver mass, % fat mass, steatosis, fibrosis, inflammation, and liver cell damage. After data analysis, researchers found that a significant body weight gain of 56% and body fat gain of 140% in WD fed offspring group versus the control offspring group that was fed with CH1. On the other hand, a significant decrease in body weight was seen in offspring who consumed a WD diet with PQQ supplementation versus the WD only offspring group. Through observing collagen formation on the liver, an early indication of fibrosis, research found a high deposition of the protein in the WD only mice group1. In addition, inflammation, liver cell damage, steatosis were significantly higher in WD fed mice group. Although, signs of inflammation, liver cell damaged, and steatosis were also observed in the WD fed mice group with PQQ supplementation, the rate for these signs was much lower in comparison to the WD group1. At the end of the study, scientists concluded that PQQ is a safe compound that may be used as a supplement to prevent or reversing complications caused by NAFLD and NASH, noting that the study was not done on human subjects.
Dr. Puehringer and her team conducted a meta-analysis on the antioxidant properties of PQQ. In the study, the researchers found that the PQQ compound has antioxidant properties and serves in many biological redox reactions seen repeatedly throughout multiple rodent experiments2. This is consistent with the findings on the original study conducted by Dr. Friedman in which the antioxidant properties were the key to reducing the adverse affects in NAFLD and NASH.