Too little NQO1 is almost a certainly contributor to chemical sensitivity, lower energy and sensitivity to supplements.

Are You…

  • Sensitive to supplements?
  • Sensitive to toxins?
  • Have a biotoxin issue?
  • Experiencing oxidative stress?
  • Cancer?

If yes, then you need to read this post…

If you want to interpret your genes, you can use SelfDecode.

About NQO1 (NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (quinone 1))


NQO1 is an enzyme produced by the Nrf2 pathway that functions as an antioxidant, is important for detoxification and to increase NAD+ levels (R).

This protein’s enzymatic activity prevents the production of radical species and oxidative stress (R).  

NQO1 helps with stresses such as from polyaromatic toxins and carcinogens, or by helping break down superoxides and peroxides.   NQO1 directly scavenges superoxide (R).

NQO1 is employed in the removal of a quinone from biological systems as a detoxification reaction:  NAD(P)H + a quinone → NAD(P)+ + a hydroquinone (R).  

Many of the hydroquinone products then get bound to glucuronides and sulfates and excreted (R).

NQO1 is concentrated in blood vessel tissue of mice, rats, and humans to deactivate toxins when they enter the blood stream (R).

NQO1 is important in activating vitamin K to allow it to function well, which allows for blood clotting, bone health and also anti-tumor properties (R).

NQO1 changes ubiquinone to ubiquinol (R).

NQO1 increases the enzyme (Ornithine decarboxylase) for polyamine synthesis (like spermidine) (R).  Polyamines like spermidine are antiaging and healthful compounds.

Low levels of NQO1 has been associated with (R):

  • Many tumors – individuals with decreased NQO1 expression/activity have reduced p53 stability.  Several anti-tumor agents such as mitosenes, indolequinones, aziridinylbenzoquinones and β-lapachone have been designed be bioactivated by NQO1.
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Since oxidative stress causes an inflammatory reaction, NQO1 ameliorates some animal models of autoimmune diseases (R).

Top Ways to Increase NQO1

First, you must read my NRF2 post, because this is what controls gene production (R, R2).  Anything that increases Nrf2 will increase NQO1.

Melatonin increases NOQ1 (R), so make sure your keeping to your circadian rhythm or supplement.

Beta Lapachone, found in Pau Darco, potentiates and increases NQO1 activity in animal models.  This results in increased energy expenditure as measured by oxygen consumption and heat generation (R). 

I notice an energy boosting effect from Pau Darco.

Oleanolic acid is a good way to increase NQO1 (R).  However, oleanolic acid supplements don’t contain enough of it or it’s not from a reliable company.  I still take/have taken all of the ones I recommend.

Less NQO1 will result in less ubiquinol, so I recommend supplementing with that.

NQO1 Genes

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics


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