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

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Reviewed by Nattha Wannissorn, PhD (Molecular Genetics) | Last updated:

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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

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO and founder of SelfDecode. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.


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