Complete Guide of Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid (AKG Supplement) – Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage

The body produces alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG-Supplement) naturally. It plays a critical role in the Krebs cycle, which is used for the release of stored energy. Alpha-ketoglutaric acid was found to enhance athletic performance and improve metabolism among a number of health benefits.

Also called

  • 2-oxoglutarate
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate
  • 2-oxoglutaric acid
  • 2-ketoglutaric acid
Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid (AKG Supplement)
Complete Guide of Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid (AKG Supplement) – Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage

There is no way to get alpha ketoglutaric acid from food. Rather, it is synthesized from non-essential amino acids that are formed by the body itself. Alternatively, it can also be taken in supplement form. [1]

According to evidence about alpha-ketoglutaric acid’s benefits, it is responsible for regulating the immune system and helping bones grow among other functions. But its effectiveness in enhancing these biological functions in supplement form isn’t very clear.

What does AKG supplement do?

As a growth factor and in treating injuries and wounds1, AKG is particularly important for muscle tissue healing. In a controlled study, patients who were recovering from surgery received intravenous AKG to prevent a decline in muscle protein synthesis.  

It has thus been speculated that oral AKG supplements may help weightlifters increase strength and muscle mass, but no research has been conducted to test this theory.

Complete Guide of Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid (AKG Supplement) – Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage

Positive health effects

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid can sometimes be administered intravenously (via a vein) as part of heart surgery in order to reduce heart muscle damage caused by the reduced blood flow. As a result, after the surgery, the kidney may receive better blood flow.

There is much less evidence that it can be used as a supplement. A variety of health conditions, including: are believed to be treated or prevented by alpha-ketoglutaric acid, according to alternative practitioners.

Athletic Performance

When it comes to muscle growth and athletic performance, however, alpha-ketoglutaric acid does not appear to have any anticatabolic effects.

An analysis of 16 men tasked with resistance training revealed no tangible impact of alpha-ketoglutaric acid on either strength or endurance in a 2012 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. [2]

Training and untrained participants were included in the study. The athletes received 3,000 milligrams (mg) of alpha-ketoglutaric acid, and the other half was given a placebo 45 minutes prior to their exercise.

On the eighth day, the men had their routines reversed for seven consecutive days, followed by seven consecutive days of opposing drugs.

Pre- and post-exercise heart rates were used in conjunction with total load volumes (TLVs) of the exercises to determine the athlete’s performance. In the study, there were no significant improvements in upper- or lower-body strength or aerobic capacity when alpha-ketoglutaric acid was used.

It is evident from these experiments that an anabolic (tissue-building) response is not equivalent to the absence of a catabolic response.

Gastrointestinal Health

Supplements such as alpha-ketoglutaric acid in fact slow or stop catabolism (tissue breakdown).

Despite being fed a protein-free diet for 14 days, rats in a 2012 study reported not breaking down their intestines. Rats fed alpha-ketoglutaric acid showed no visible damage to the finger-like villi of the intestines instead of what was expected and what occurred in the non-treated group.3.

A complete lack of protein did not hinder the growth of the rats supplemented with the supplements. Results were even better at higher doses. Alpha-ketoglutaric acid is believed to have catabolic properties.[3]

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid can also aid patients with intestinal toxicemia and malabsorption disorders like celiac disease, along with chronic kidney disease. It is necessary to conduct further research.

Chronic Kidney Disease

In people with kidney failure on hemodialysis who need a low-protein diet, alpha-ketoglutaric acid helps break down and absorb protein. In patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), recent evidence suggests it may delay the need for dialysis as well.

One study published in the journal PLoS One in 2017 examined the use of a ketoglutaric acid therapy called Ketosteril by 1,483 patients with advanced CKD. Following up on the patients took an average of 1.57 years.

When compared to a matched group of individuals without the supplement, those who took it had a lower risk of needing long-term dialysis. It did not extend to those who took less than 5.5 tablets daily, which suggested a dose-dependent effect.

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid may have played a role, but its role in comparison to other active ingredients is unclear. Research is needed to explore this further.

Are AKG supplements safe?

The beta-ketoglutaric acid is well tolerated and considered safe. After three years, alpha-ketoglutaric acid users reported few adverse effects. It is not possible to overdose on alpha-ketoglutaric acid since it is made up of non-essential amino acids.

Is AKG anti aging?

In 2014, researchers reported AKG could lengthen the life span of tiny Caenorhabditis elegans worms by more than 50%. That’s comparable to a low-calorie diet, which has been shown to promote healthy aging but is difficult for most people to follow.

Is L-arginine the same as AKG?

Arginine AKG and L-arginine are two dietary supplements that can improve health and provide benefits for various diseases.

L-arginine is a nonessential amino acid that the body cannot produce while arginine AKG, also called L-arginine AKG, is a dietary supplement containing salt of L-arginine and potassium α-ketoglutarate. Arginine AKG, on the other hand, increases blood flow, energy, and recovery in athletes by increasing levels of nitric oxide.

Related – Are your toes tingling, your hands cold, or your feet cold? Check my review on Circuboost which contains L-Arginine which helps regular flow of blood in our body.

How much arginine AKG should I take?

What is the recommended amount of arginine? The dose of arginine is not standard. The amount used in studies varies depending on the condition. A typical dose is 2 to 3 grams three times a day, but studies have also used lower and higher doses.

Preparation and Dosage

It is available online and in stores that specialize in dietary supplements as tablets, capsules, or powder.

Alpha-ketoglutaric acids lack any universal guidelines for their appropriate use. Supplements are commonly taken once daily with or without food in dosages ranging from 300 mg to 1,000 mg. Studies have used doses as high as 3,000 mg without any negative outcomes.

Always follow the instructions on the label.

Here is what you should look for

The U.S. does not strictly regulate dietary supplements. Select brands that have been voluntarily tested and certified by an independent certifying body such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, or NSF International. By using this method, you can be assured that the supplements contain the ingredients listed on their labels.

If you are allergic to wheat or other common allergens, make sure you check the label for added ingredients and fillers. Look for “hypoallergenic” brands if you are in doubt.

Keeping alpha-ketoglutaric acid supplements in their original sealed containers and with their desiccant packs allows them to be stored at room temperature for up to 12 months. The expiration date on a supplement should never be exceeded.