Pyruvate

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What other names is Pyruvate known by?

2-Oxopropanoate, 2-Oxopropanoic acid, 2-Oxypropanoic Acid, Acetylformic Acid, Acide Acétylformique, Acide Alpha-Kéto, Acide Oxo-2 Propanoïque, Acide Pyruvique, Alpha-Keto Acid, Alpha-Ketopropionic Acid, Calcium Pyruvate, Calcium Pyruvate Monohydrate, Creatine Pyruvate, Magnesium Pyruvate, Monohydrate de Pyruvate de Calcium, Piruvato, Potassium Pyruvate, Proacemic Acid, Pyruvate de Calcium, Pyruvate de Créatine, Pyruvate de Magnésium, Pyruvate de Sodium, Pyruvic Acid, Sodium Pyruvate.

What is Pyruvate?

The body produces pyruvate when it breaks down sugar (glucose). Pyruvate is available as a supplement.

Pyruvate is used for weight loss and obesity, high cholesterol, cataracts, cancer, and improving athletic performance.

Pyruvate is used topically for scaly, flaky skin. Some people also apply pyruvic acid, a liquid form of pyruvate, to the skin to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Pyruvic acid is sometimes applied to the skin as a facial peel.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Aging skin. Applying a 50% pyruvic acid skin peel once a week for 4 weeks seems to smooth skin, decrease wrinkles, and decrease dark spots associated with aging due to sun exposure.
  • Weight loss and obesity. Although some research has found conflicting results, overall, pyruvate appears to decrease weight by an average of 1.6 pounds over 6-weeks in clinical research.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Athletic performance. Some early research suggests that increasing the intake of dietary pyruvate and dihydroxyacetone for one week increases exercise endurance. However, most research shows that taking pyruvate by mouth for up to 5 weeks, alone or along with creatine, does not improve athletic performance.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Alcohol-related liver disease. Early research suggests that giving sodium pyruvate intravenously (by IV) for 25 days improves measures of liver function in people with alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Athletic performance. Some early research suggests that increasing the intake of dietary pyruvate and dihydroxyacetone for one week increases exercise endurance. However, most research shows that taking pyruvate by mouth for up to 5 weeks, alone or along with creatine, does not improve athletic performance.
  • Long term lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD). Early research shows that inhaling sodium pyruvate using a nebulizer for 6 weeks may improve lung function in people with COPD.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF). Early research suggests that injecting pyruvate into the artery that feeds blood into the heart may improve symptoms and heart function in people with heart failure.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Early research suggests that adding pyruvate to a solution that is used to help stop the heart during a CABG surgery improves recovery and may reduce heart complications after surgery.
  • Scaly, flaky skin (ichthyosis). Early research suggests that topically applying a Eucerin skin cream containing 5% pyruvate for at least 2 weeks helps increase skin shedding in people with scaly, flaky skin.
  • Cancer.
  • Cataracts.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pyruvate for these uses.

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).

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How does Pyruvate work?

Pyruvate might contribute to weight loss by increasing the breakdown of fat.

In addition, pyruvic acid seems to cause the outer layer of skin cells to slough off, which accounts for its use in reversing aging due to exposure to the sun.

Are there safety concerns?

Pyruvate is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled using a nebulizer for up to six weeks. Side effects such as stomach upset, gas, bloating, and diarrhea can occur when large amounts are taken.

Pyruvic acid facial peels are POSSIBLY SAFE when applied by a healthcare professional. It can cause severe skin burning and should be applied only to small patches of skin at a time.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking pyruvate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diarrhea: Taking high amounts of pyruvate by mouth might worsen diarrhea.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Taking high amounts of pyruvate by mouth might worsen symptoms of IBS.

Dosing considerations for Pyruvate.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • Aging skin: A 50% pyruvic acid peel applied once weekly for 4 weeks.
  • Weight loss: 5-44 grams daily has been used in combination with diet and exercise.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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