- What other names is Alpha-ketoglutarate known by?
- What is Alpha-ketoglutarate?
- How does Alpha-ketoglutarate work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Alpha-ketoglutarate.
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.
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 to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Athletic performance. A small study found that taking alpha-ketoglutarate daily for 5 weeks improves athletic performance.
- Kidney disease.
- Intestinal and stomach disorders.
- Bacterial infections.
- Yeast infections.
- Other conditions.
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.
- 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).
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011