Does / Should Soylent Contain PQQ?


Perhaps it isn’t a big issue, but the nutrient PQQ has been said to be essential to the diet. Does Soylent contain it within any of its other ingredients? If not, should it?

The reason I think it isn’t a pressing issue is not because it might be non-essential, but because the proposed “essential” amount is measured in the nanograms.


Perhaps you can give a little more information on what PQQ is. Not everyone will know what you’re talking about.


C14H6N2O8, or Pyrroloquinoline quinone, is a nano-nutrient that appears to play a role in cardio/neuro/radio protection. It also acts as an activator of signaling molecules in the mitochondrion.

Some research has classified it as “essential”, but because it’s needed / used in such small quantities, it is often neglected.

My thinking is that if we are to be honest about one being able to survive on 100% Soylent, even the smallest nutrients should be included.


I’d never heard of PQQ, so I searched for it and found this article on the first page of results:

Potential Physiological Importance of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
For humans and animals, the ubiquitous presence of PQQ in common types of bacteria, soil, and plants suggests constant exposure to PQQ. PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date.

Since Soylent is primarily plant-based, and PQQ is ubiquitous in plants, I assume PQQ is present in Soylent.

It sounds like it’s next to impossible to be PQQ-deficient. All the references I found used a “chemically defined diet, based on synthetic amino acids” to eliminate PQQ from the diet (in lab rats, not people). If PQQ is essential in tiny amounts, and normal food contains more than enough PQQ, I don’t know that the government will rush to classify it as essential, unless it is possible to eat a diet that contains every essential nutrient and is somehow deficient in PQQ. It doesn’t seem to be so simple as only eating certain foods.

What little I skimmed talks more about therapeutic uses for PQQ (as a supplement or a drug), but those uses do sound promising.


Don’t eat anything a kid can’t pronounce


I’d like to see that kind of idiotic talk wiped from the face of the planet, or at least this forum.


He wasn’t being serious. He was quoting the “Food Chick”. There was a thread not that long ago mocking her.


I stand by my comment.


You… I like your strategy


Yea, I was very relucant to make the topic and felt it would sound alarmist. Still, I am a narrrow demographic that would willingly use Soylent 100% of the time.

All things considered, I think given the ubiquity of PQQ in food, my concern is unwarranted.

EDIT: I’ve made a point about flavor supplements before, so to get caught up on PQQ additives is probably hypocritical. I can either eat ‘normal’ food on rare occasions or supplement PQQ.


I’ll inquire with the dev team for you.


Disclaimer: I take supplemental PQQ regularly in amounts way above nanograms.

That being said…

It has been proposed, but there is not yet any consensus. Also, it’s not yet certain that the human body doesn’t produce what it needs. Although we know that Pyrroloquinoline quinone does interact with certain pathways, it’s also possible that they work without PQQ as a cofactor, rendering it non-essential.

The latest research seems to be finding new quinoproteins which are active in the enzyme which were previously thought to be PQQ-dependent:

Rat studies on a highly-refined PQQ-free diet showed that the rats didn’t grow as well, but it is not clear that the result was exclusively because of the lack of PQQ. Also, we are not rats - for example, rats maintain serum levels of vitamin C way above ours, even if they consume no vitamin C, because they produce it themselves. Most people, with no vitamin C, would get scurvy, and many would die.

This is an area still being researched. But regardless what we find on it being essential, the research is also suggesting that it has beneficial effects in our bodies. It could be one of those things that makes things ‘better,’ even if we don’t, strictly speaking, need it.

As others have noted, it’s ubiquitous in many kinds of foods, albeit in trace amounts - but you can hardly avoid getting plenty of nanograms of it:

Those are the amounts per gram of substance. No oats are on that list, but bread is (implied wheat) - then again, we don’t know if the wheat is the source, or the yeast.

The amounts of PQQ that have been used in studies which beneficial effects, however, are larger than you can easily get through foods, unless you’re a huge fan of natto for breakfast. The source for commercially produced PPQ is fermentation - it’s the bacteria that ferment soybeans into natto that produce a lot of PQQ.


So sailors suffering from scurvy could of eaten the rats that where plaguing their ship? :smile:




bad choice of words…


What makes you think they didn’t?


Do you use any other suppplements?


We actually have not looked into it. We will, but at the moment we are stabilizing our formula a bit more before we dive into heavy research on this specific nano-nutrient.


A few, but this doesn’t seem like the right thread for that discussion.