Alpha-ketoglutarate is used for kidney disease; intestinal and stomach disorders, including bacterial infections; liver problems; cataracts; and recurring yeast infections. It is also used for improving the way kidney patients receiving hemodialysis treatments process protein.
Some people take alpha-ketoglutarate to improve peak athletic performance. Suppliers of athletic nutritional supplements claim alpha-ketoglutaric acid 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.
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