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.


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, and many other conditions but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses. 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

  • Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Taking calcium alpha-ketoglutarate seems to improve results of certain lab tests used to monitor the effectiveness of hemodialysis in patients receiving this treatment.
  • Tissue damage caused when there is limited blood flow and then blood flow is restored (ischemia-reperfusion injury). Administering alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV) seems to reduce blood supply problems during heart surgery.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. A small study found that taking alpha-ketoglutarate daily for 5 weeks improves athletic performance.
  • Painful conditions caused by overuse of tendons (tendinopathy). Early research in people with Achilles tendon pain shows that taking a product containing alpha-ketoglutarate and other ingredients in addition to shock wave therapy seems to improve pain and function. It's unclear if the benefits are from alpha-ketoglutarate or other ingredients in this product.
  • 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

When taken by mouth: Alpha-ketoglutarate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for up to 3 years.

When given by IV: Alpha-ketoglutarate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when given by IV by a healthcare provider.

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 (AKG) Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD): 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.
  • Tissue damage caused when there is limited blood flow and then blood flow is restored (ischemia-reperfusion injury): Healthcare providers give alpha-ketoglutarate by IV.

View References


  • 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.
  • Notarnicola A, Pesce V, Vicenti G, et al. SWAAT study: extracorporeal shock wave therapy and arginine supplementation and other nutraceuticals for insertional Achilles tendinopathy. Adv Ther. 2012 Sep;29:799-814. 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.
  • Tan Q, Wang W, Yang C, et al. a-ketoglutarate is associated with delayed wound healing in diabetes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2016;85(1):54-61. 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.
  • 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.

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