Pyroglutamate (also known as L-pyroglutamic acid, PCA, 5-oxoproline, or pidolic acid) is an amino acid found in certain fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. In individuals, this amino acid tends to be primarily located in the:
- cerebrospinal fluid
making it important for a properly functioning nervous system and brain activity.
Studies have found that pyroglutamate can help improve an individual’s memory by increasing the release of acetylcholine and GABA, two important neurotransmitter chemicals found in neurons. 1
Furthermore, pyroglutamate has been found to counteract the memory damage inflicted by dementia caused by a reduction of blood flow to brain tissue. 2
When pyroglutamate binds to arginine, the compound arginine pyroglutamate is formed. This compound can thus not only promote cognitive improvements stimulated by pyroglutamate, but also serve as a natural growth hormone by stimulating the secretion of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). This is because while arginine can promote protein synthesis, pyroglutamate allows it to be transported more efficiently across the blood-brain barrier.
Thus, arginine pyroglutamate may alleviate cerebral insufficiency by improving blood circulation to the brain. 3