A-cétoglutarate, A-Ketoglutaric Acid, Acide 2-Oxoglutarique, Acide a-cétoglutarique, Acide Alpha-Cétoglutarique, Alfa-Cetoglutarato, Alpha-Cétoglutarate, Alpha-Cétoglutarate d'Arginine, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de Calcium, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de Créatine, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de Glutamine, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de L-Arginine, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de L-Leucine, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de Taurine, Alpha Keto Glutaric Acid, Alpha Ketoglutarate, Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, Alpha KG, AAKG, AKG, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Creatine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Glutamine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, L-Arginine AKG, L-Arginine Alpha Keto Glutarate, L-Leucine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Oxoglutarate, Taurine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, 2-Oxoglutaric Acid, 2-Oxopentanedoicic Acid.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Alpha-ketoglutarate is a chemical found in the body. People use it to make medicine.

Alpha-ketoglutarate is used for kidney disease; intestinal and stomach disorders, including bacterial overgrowth; liver problems; cataracts; and recurring yeast infections. It is also used for improving the way kidney patients receiving hemodialysis treatments process protein. Alpha-ketoglutarate is also used to promote bone health and lung function.

Some people take alpha-ketoglutarate to improve peak athletic performance. Suppliers of athletic nutritional supplements claim alpha-ketoglutarate may be an important addition to proper diet and training for the athlete who wants peak performance. They base this claim on studies that show extra ammonia in the body can combine with alpha-ketoglutarate to reduce problems associated with too much ammonia (ammonia toxicity). But, so far, the only studies that show alpha-ketoglutarate can reduce ammonia toxicity have been performed in hemodialysis patients.

Healthcare providers sometimes give alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV) for preventing injury to the heart caused by blood flow problems during heart surgery and for preventing muscle breakdown after surgery or trauma.

How does it work?

Alpha-ketoglutarate works in many pathways in the body, to help make muscle, and to help heal wounds.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Improving kidney failure treatment (hemodialysis). Taking calcium alpha-ketoglutarate seems to improve results of certain lab tests used to monitor the effectiveness of hemodialysis in patients receiving this treatment.
  • Preventing blood supply problems during heart surgery. Administering alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV) seems to reduce blood supply problems during heart surgery.
  • Preventing muscle breakdown. Alpha-ketoglutarate seems to reduce muscle breakdown after surgery or trauma.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. A small study found that taking alpha-ketoglutarate daily for 5 weeks improves athletic performance.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Bone health.
  • Cataracts.
  • Intestinal and stomach disorders.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Lung health.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of alpha-ketoglutarate for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Alpha-ketoglutarate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when used appropriately.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of alpha-ketoglutarate during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for ALPHA-KETOGLUTARATE Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For patients undergoing hemodialysis: 1.187 grams of alpha-ketoglutarate plus 0.813 grams of calcium carbonate three times weekly has been used. Also, about 4.5 grams of calcium alpha-ketoglutarate has been used daily for 3 years.
  • For preventing muscle breakdown: Healthcare providers give alpha-ketoglutarate down a tube.
  • For preventing blood supply problems during heart surgery and for preventing muscle breakdown after surgery or trauma: Healthcare providers give alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV).

View References


  • Mason, G. F., Gruetter, R., Rothman, D. L., Behar, K. L., Shulman, R. G., and Novotny, E. J. Simultaneous determination of the rates of the TCA cycle, glucose utilization, alpha-ketoglutarate/glutamate exchange, and glutamine synthesis in human brain by NMR. J.Cereb.Blood Flow Metab 1995;15(1):12-25. View abstract.
  • Riedel, E., Hampl, H., Steudle, V., and Nundel, M. Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate administration to malnourished hemodialysis patients improves plasma arginine concentrations. Miner.Electrolyte Metab 1996;22(1-3):119-122. View abstract.
  • Salerno, F., Abbiati, R., and Fici, F. Effect of pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate (PAK) on ammonia and pyruvic and lactic acid blood levels in patients with cirrhosis. Int.J.Clin.Pharmacol.Res. 1983;3(1):21-25. View abstract.
  • Son, E. D., Choi, G. H., Kim, H., Lee, B., Chang, I. S., and Hwang, J. S. Alpha-ketoglutarate stimulates procollagen production in cultured human dermal fibroblasts, and decreases UVB-induced wrinkle formation following topical application on the dorsal skin of hairless mice. Biol.Pharm.Bull. 2007;30(8):1395-1399. View abstract.
  • Wiren, M., Permert, J., and Larsson, J. Alpha-ketoglutarate-supplemented enteral nutrition: effects on postoperative nitrogen balance and muscle catabolism. Nutrition 2002;18(9):725-728. View abstract.
  • Zimmermann, E., Wassmer, S., and Steudle, V. Long-term treatment with calcium-alpha-ketoglutarate corrects secondary hyperparathyroidism. Miner.Electrolyte Metab 1996;22(1-3):196-199. View abstract.
  • Aussel C, Coudray-Lucas C, Lasnier E, et al. Alpha-Ketoglutarate uptake in human fibroblasts. Cell Biol Int 1996;20:359-63. View abstract.
  • Blomqvist BI, Hammarqvist F, von der Decken A, et al. Glutamine and alpha-ketoglutarate prevent the decrease in muscle free glutamine concentration and influence protein synthesis after total hip replacement. Metabolism 1995;44:1215-22. View abstract.
  • 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. Metabolism 1995;44:1215-22. View abstract.
  • Jeppsson A, Ekroth R, Friberg P, et al. Renal effects of alpha-ketoglutarate early after coronary operations. Ann Thorac Surg 1998;65:684-90. View abstract.
  • Kjellman U, Bjork K, Ekroth R, et al. Alpha-ketoglutarate for myocardial protection in heart surgery. Lancet 1995;345:552-3. View abstract.
  • Kjellman UW, Bjork K, Ekroth R, et al. Addition of alpha-ketoglutarate to blood cardioplegia improves cardioprotection. Ann Thorac Surg 1997;63:1625-33. View abstract.
  • Liu Y, Lange R, Langanky J, et al. Improved training tolerance by supplementation with a-keto acids in untrained young adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012;9:37. View abstract.
  • Riedel E, Nundel M, Hampl H. Alpha-Ketoglutarate application in hemodialysis patients improves amino acid metabolism. Nephron 1996;74:261-5. View abstract.
  • Wernerman J, Hammarqvist F, Vinnars E. Alpha-ketoglutarate and postoperative muscle catabolism. Lancet 1990;335:701-3. View abstract.
  • Willoughby DS, Boucher T, Reid J, Skelton G, Clark M. Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Aug;21(4):291-9. View abstract.
  • Wu N, Yang M, Gaur U, Xu H, Yao Y, Li D. Alpha-Ketoglutarate: Physiological Functions and Applications. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2016 Jan;24(1):1-8. View abstract.
  • Hammarqvist, F., Wernerman, J., von der, Decken A., and Vinnars, E. Alpha-ketoglutarate preserves protein synthesis and free glutamine in skeletal muscle after surgery. Surgery 1991;109(1):28-36. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.