Alpha-ketoglutarate salts in metabolic care.

The administration of alpha-ketoglutarate in combination with ornithine may improve gut functions, counteracts trauma-induced dysimmunity, and exerts anabolic/anticatabolic actions on protein metabolism.

Theoretically, alpha-ketoglutarate is a precursor of glutamine, a fact that may be of importance given the fundamental regulatory properties of this amino acid.

Although glutamine synthesis may only account for a marginal part of the disposal of exogenously supplied alpha-ketoglutarate, administered alpha-ketoglutarate has a potent ‘sparing’ effect on endogenous glutamine pools.

Ornithine α-ketoglutarate (OKG) is the salt formed from ornithine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid. It is used to improve nutritional health in elderly patients.

When alpha-ketoglutarate is supplied as an ornithine salt, a synergistic effect of the two parts of the molecule increases the synthesis of glutamine or the ‘sparing’ of endogenous glutamine pools.

In addition, alpha-ketoglutarate, in combination with ornithine, dramatically increases the synthesis of arginine, proline, and polyamines, which also play key roles in metabolic adaptation to trauma.

Summary

  • alpha-ketoglutarate is a precursor of glutamine
  • alpha-ketoglutarate as ornithine salt improves gut morphology
  • counteracts trauma-induced dysimmunity
  • anabolic/anticatabolic actions on protein metabolism

Reference:

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 1999 Jan;2(1):33-7.


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