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22 Ways to Naturally Boost Energy & More with PGC-1alpha

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

PGC-1a is critical to proper mitochondrial function. If you’ve got mitochondrial problems, this post is a must.

Do You Have Low PGC-1a?

If you answer yes to these, then that may indicate low PGC-1a:

  • Do you get tired often?
  • Do you have a low metabolism?
  • Do you lack energy in the day?
  • Do you have a disturbed circadian rhythm?
  • Do you have chronic inflammation?

Simple Summary

PGC-1a is one of the most important factors in controlling mitochondrial health. It’s also important for circadian rhythms, energy metabolism, fat metabolism, weight loss, blood pressure, cholesterol homeostasis and indirectly can help detoxing and drug metabolism.

PGC-1a protects against neurodegenerative diseases, decreases inflammation [1] and insulin resistance.

Intro to PGC-1a


PGC-1a is one of the most important factors in controlling mitochondrial health. PGC-1α makes new mitochondria and improves its function.

PGC-1α increases energy metabolism and weight loss.

This protein may be also involved in controlling blood pressure, regulating cellular cholesterol homeostasis, and the development of obesity.

PGC-1a protects against neurodegenerative diseases.

PGC-1α decreases inflammation [1] and insulin resistance.

PGC-1a increases fatty acid burning by increasing the carnitine genes (CPT1A [2]).

PGC-1a increases Nrf2 [3], which is important for detoxing.

PGC-1a increases PXR [4], which plays an integral role in drug/toxin metabolism by regulating the expression of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters.

PGC-1 alpha stimulates the expression of clock genes, notably Bmal1 and Rev-erb alpha [5].

Mice lacking PGC-1 alpha show abnormal circadian rhythms, body temperature, and metabolic rate [5].

Increasing PGC-1a helps mitigate symptoms of genetic muscle disorders in animal models [6].

How to Increase PGC-1a


  1. Exercise [7]
  2. Cold [8]
  3. Ketosis (9)
  4. Fasting/Calorie Restriction
  5. Massage [1]
  6. Sun/Nitric oxide [10, 11]


  1. Calcium [12]


  1. PQQ [13]
  2. Hydroxytyrosol [14]
  3. Resveratrol [15]
  4. Nicotinamide Riboside [16]
  5. EGCG/Tea [17]
  6. Gotu Kola [18]
  7. Grape Seed Extract [19]
  8. R-Lipoic Acid [20]
  9. Epimedium [21] and Icariin [22]
  10. Carnitine [23]
  11. Rhodiola/Salidrosides [24]
  12. Aspirin [25]
  13. Quercetin [26]
  14. Forskolin/Cyclic AMP [27]
  15. Red yeast rice [28]



I’ve already discussed some common pathways to activate PGC-1a. This means that if you activate these, it will help activate PGC-1a.




What Decreases PGC-1a and Its Activity


SelfDecode is the best gene analyzer around and helps you interpret your genetics.

  1. RS2970869 (PGC-1A) CT
  2. RS3774923 (PGC-1A) CC
  3. RS7665116 (PGC-1A) CT
  4. RS8192678 (PGC-1A) CT

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

SelfDecode is a sister company of SelfHacked. The proceeds from your purchase of this product are reinvested into our research and development, in order to serve you better. Thank you for your support.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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