COVID-19 Information: Vaccine | Testing | Self-assessment | Patient & Visitor Safety | Visitor Policy
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Living Well > Health Library > Alpha Ketoglutarate (AKG)
AKG (alpha-ketoglutarate) is the nitrogen-free portion of the amino acids known as glutamine and glutamic acid. It is formed in the Krebs cycle, the energy-producing process that occurs in most body cells. AKG is used by cells during growth and in healing from injuries and other wounds,1 and is especially important in the healing of muscle tissue.2 A controlled study found that intravenous AKG prevented a decline in protein synthesis in the muscles of patients recovering from surgery.3, 4 For these reasons, it has been speculated that oral AKG supplements might help improve strength or muscle-mass gains by weightlifters, but no research has been done to test this theory.
Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
AKG (alpha-ketoglutarate) is used by cells during growth and in healing from injuries and other wounds, and is especially important in the healing of muscle tissue. Controlled studies have found intravenous AKG helpful for supporting protein synthesis, which often declines as a result of surgery, and for protecting the heart muscle from damage during heart surgery, but no research has investigated whether oral AKG would be similarly effective.
Only intravenous AKG has been used in research studies; no reliable information about desirable oral amounts is available.
AKG is present in many foods and is synthesized for use in dietary supplements.
AKG is not an essential nutrient, and no deficiency has been reported.
1. Aussel C, Coudray-Lucas C, Lasnier E, et al. Alpha-Ketoglutarate uptake in human fibroblasts. Cell Biol Int 1996;20:359-63.
2. Wernerman J, Hammarqvist F, Vinnars E. Alpha-ketoglutarate and postoperative muscle catabolism. Lancet1990;335:701-3.
3. Blomqvist BI, Hammarqvist F, von der Decken A, Wernerman J. Glutamine and alpha-ketoglutarate prevent the decrease in muscle free glutamine concentration and influence protein synthesis after total hip replacement. Metabolism1995;44:1215-22.
4. Hammarqvist F, Wernerman J, von der Decken A, Vinnars E. Alpha-ketoglutarate preserves protein synthesis and free glutamine in skeletal muscle after surgery. Surgery1991;109:28-36.
Last Review: 03-24-2015
Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.
Learn more about TraceGains, the company.
The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.