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

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

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 homoeostasis and indirectly can help detoxing and drug metabolism.

PGC-1a protects against neurodegenerative diseases, decreases inflammation (R) 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 homoeostasis, and the development of obesity.

PGC-1a protects against neurodegenerative diseases.

PGC-1α decreases inflammation (R) and insulin resistance.

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

PGC-1a increases Nrf2 (R), which is important for detoxing.

PGC-1a increases PXR (R), 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 (R).

Mice lacking PGC-1 alpha show abnormal circadian rhythms, body temperature, and metabolic rate (R).

How to Increase PGC-1a

1. Lifestyle

2. Nutrients:

3. Supplements:

4. Hormones/Neurotransmitters:

5. Pathways

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 from 23andme and ancestry.

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

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

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • Bella Griffin

    Do you have studies regarding PQQ, its affect on apoptosis or cancer cell growth? If cellular mitochondrial growth is accelerated how would cancer cell growth be affected? Do cancers have mitochondria? I would appreciate any medical studies you may have on PQQ and impact on cancer cell growth. I am encouraged by your studies !

    1. Helen

      Hi Bella, Selfhacked has a post on PQQ.

  • Lucien burke

    Joe, have you heard of a product called ASEA? It’s marketed as a redox signaling supplement to improve mitochondrial function and promote cell resilience. I think it’s kind of like engineered salt water.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Yes, haven’t notice benefits

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