calcium akg benefits

Calcium AKG Benefits - Side Effects and Dosage

Calcium is a crucial mineral for optimal human health, and calcium AKG supplements could potentially bridge nutritional deficiencies. They can serve as a proactive approach for individuals dealing with specific health conditions. In this blog post, we will delve into the research concerning calcium AKG, empowering you to make well-informed choices about including this vital mineral in your diet.

What Is Calcium AKG?

Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG) is a dietary supplement that combines mineral calcium with alpha-ketoglutaric acid, an organic compound produced naturally in the body. It is also known as Calcium AKG and Calcium 2-Ketoisocaproic Acid.

The roots of Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG) as a dietary supplement can be traced back to pioneering work in biochemistry and physiology, relating to the Krebs cycle or the citric acid cycle in 1937. 

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid, one of the critical components in Calcium AKG, is a participant in this metabolic pathway, crucial for energy production within cells. 

Although the supplement form of Ca-AKG is a more recent development, the understanding and interest in alpha-ketoglutaric acid and its potential health benefits date back several decades. 

It wasn't until researchers began investigating the effects of combining this compound with calcium, a vital mineral for bone health, that Calcium AKG became a popular dietary supplement, offering a unique blend of energy production and bone health benefits.

How Does Calcium AKG Work?

As mentioned before, Alpha-ketoglutaric acid is an intermediate molecule in the Krebs cycle, which produces energy in the body's cells.

When consumed as a supplement, calcium AKG dissociates into calcium and alpha-ketoglutaric acid, allowing each component to have its individual effects on the body.

Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining strong bones and teeth and for proper muscle function. It also affects nerve transmission, blood clotting, and hormone secretion. Combined with alpha-ketoglutaric acid, calcium can help improve the body's overall performance and health.

On the other hand, Alpha-ketoglutaric acid is involved in various metabolic pathways in the body. It helps convert amino acids into energy, supports liver function, and aids in detoxification. It also has antioxidant properties that protect against cell damage and promote healthy aging.

When these two components are combined, calcium AKG can offer a range of potential benefits to the body. Some of these include:

  • Anti-aging Benefits: The antioxidant properties of alpha-ketoglutaric acid can help protect against oxidative stress and promote healthy aging.
  • Increased Energy Production: As calcium AKG helps in the metabolism of amino acids, it can give the body more energy to perform physical activities.
  • Improved Workout Performance: Due to its role in energy production and muscle function, calcium AKG may help improve athletic performance and reduce exercise-induced fatigue.
  • Enhanced Bone Health: Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and adding alpha-ketoglutaric acid can further promote bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
  • Support for Liver Function: Alpha-ketoglutaric acid has been shown to support liver health by aiding in detoxification and promoting cellular repair.

Please explore the next section to learn more about the mechanism and scientific evidence behind its benefits.

Calcium AKG Benefits

Bone Health

Calcium is well-known for its role in maintaining strong and healthy bones. It works with other minerals to build bone strength and density, making it essential to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.

Calcium Akg May Prevent Osteoporosis

But what makes calcium AKG stand out from other calcium supplements? Adding alpha-ketoglutaric acid can further enhance the benefits of calcium for bone health. Studies have shown that this combination can increase bone mineral density, strengthen bones, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

A study examining the effectiveness of calcium alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG-Ca) at a dosage of 6g AKG and 1.68g Ca per day concluded that AKG-Ca may offer potential benefits for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The study suggests that AKG-Ca can lead to favorable changes in serum CTX, although further research is required to determine its long-term efficacy [8].

Another study on laying hens found that supplementing alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) in their diet has anti-osteoporotic effects. Specifically, the study revealed that AKG supplementation increased leptin levels in bones, a protein hormone that aids in bone mass increase and prevents osteoporosis. 

The study also observed increased bone volume and denser trabecular bones in the bone marrow. Furthermore, AKG promoted the fiber formation process in cartilage, as indicated by the enhanced presence of oligomeric matrix protein, an immune protein, in cartilage [9].

Calcium Longevity Benefits And Anti-Aging

Calcium AKG is not just a mineral supplement for bone health; it also has potential anti-aging benefits. As we age, our body's natural ability to produce energy and fight off cellular damage decreases. This can lead to various age-related conditions such as cognitive decline, muscle weakness, and chronic diseases.

Research on the effectiveness of Calcium AKG for longevity and anti-aging primarily hinges on the impact of Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG). 

Research shows that supplementation with alpha-ketoglutaric acid, one of the critical components in calcium AKG, can help improve mitochondrial function, which is responsible for cell energy production [3]. Calcium AKG may help slow aging and promote longevity by supporting healthy mitochondrial function.

Asadi Shahmirzadi's study has shown that AKG reduces disease incidence and delays the onset of aging-related features in mice, with promising results observed when administered in midlife [1].

Specifically, the study reported that supplementing with calcium AKG increased the average lifespan by 19.7% in female mice and 12.8% in male mice [1]. The supportive mechanism behind this positive effect is believed to be associated with AKG's anti-inflammatory properties. Ex vivo experiments have confirmed that AKG directly affects cytokine production in T cells, which has a significant impact on the immune system and anti-aging effects [1].

Research by T. NIEMIEC and colleagues, published in the Journal of Psychology and Pharmacology, also concurs with the anti-aging effects of Ca-AKG, primarily stemming from the actions of AKG. The study determined that treatment with Na-AKG significantly increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant enzyme) and reduced the activity of superoxide dismutase (a byproduct of oxygen metabolism that, if left unregulated, can cause cellular damage) [2].

Support Gastrointestinal and Gut Health Overall

Calcium Akg Benefits For Gut Health

Another potential benefit of calcium AKG is its ability to support gastrointestinal (GI) health. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in overall health, and maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria is crucial for proper digestion and immune function.

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid has been shown to have prebiotic properties, meaning it can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut [4]. This can improve digestion, nutrient absorption, and a stronger immune system.

An evaluation of alpha-ketoglutaric acid's potential applications, along with its established benefits in aging, also reveals its positive impact on gut health [5]. Research indicates that AKG can effectively reduce oxidative stress and prevent gastrointestinal diseases in both animals and humans, leading to improved digestion and reduced erosion [5]. 

Furthermore, a study examined the effects of supplementing with β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate and/or Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid prior to birth on intestinal development and maturation, demonstrating favorable outcomes for gut health [6]. Specifically, AKG is known to influence absorption by modifying intestinal cell morphology and absorption surface, particularly in the colon. 

Another review highlights studies supporting this effect of AKG, such as Schlegel et al.'s study (2000), which observed that AKG supplementation can inhibit bacterial proliferation and alter the composition and function of the gut mucosa, thus providing protection [7].

 The enhanced immune properties of AKG are also mentioned, as it contributes to maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier, enhancing immune cells and neutrophil activities, in addition to its disease prevention and anti-aging effects [7].

Beneficial For Kidney Health

The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood and maintaining electrolyte balance in the body. However, certain factors such as poor diet, dehydration, and chronic health conditions can put a strain on the kidneys and lead to various kidney diseases.

Calcium AKG has been found to have protective effects on the kidneys by promoting healthy blood flow and supporting proper kidney function. It works by enhancing energy production in the cells of the kidneys, which helps them maintain their structural integrity and perform their functions effectively.

Calcium Akg May Impact Kidney Health

Calcium AKG has been found to impact kidney health positively. A study conducted by A.P. HARRISON and colleagues concluded that AKG serves as an exclusive energy source for the kidneys, resulting in improved nephrin function, enhanced nitrogen metabolism, and more efficient excretion processes [14].

Another study [15] demonstrated that AKG regulates kidney function through the biotransformation axis. Furthermore, chemical properties like acid-base balance and ion transport also contribute to the internal balance within the kidney.

Moreover, research [10] supports the notion that AKG may help maintain normal kidney function, promote faster recovery, and yield favorable outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Calcium AKG Side Effects

 While calcium AKG has shown promising benefits, it is essential to consider potential side effects and proper dosage before incorporating it into your diet.

A study conducted by Bibek and colleagues investigated the potential health benefits of dietary supplementation with Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AKG) in humans. The study found that AKG is considered safe for consumption at doses up to 6g per day for a period of 6 months [10]. 

However, it should be noted that there have been reports of gastrointestinal side effects associated with AKG. Specifically, patients who underwent abdominal surgery experienced symptoms such as nausea and vomiting after receiving a high AKG-enriched enteral nutrition solution [10].

Additionally, a study conducted on acutely injured mice with kidney damage examined the calcium AKG side effects in combination with Malate. The study observed certain adverse effects including reduced mean arterial pressure (MAP), decreased heart rate, and increased creatine kinase (CK) concentration in the serum [12]. It is important to highlight that these side effects were attributed to the mixture of AKG and Malate, rather than AKG alone.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Saghi Hakimi Naeini and colleagues titled 'Alpha-ketoglutarate as a potent regulator for lifespan and healthspan: Evidence and perspectives' highlights that derivatives of AKG, such as Ca-AKG, possess the ability to permeate the cell membrane. This may account for the observed minimal adverse effects following AKG consumption [13].

Moreover, the study suggests that incorrect dosing of AKG not only fails to yield desired calcium AKG benefits but also introduces potential side effects. For instance, it may escalate nitric oxide (NO) production, leading to vasodilation and potentially contributing to the development of certain types of cancer through diverse cellular and molecular mechanisms [13].

On the other hand, some studies suggest that AKG is generally safe and does not cause significant side effects. For instance, a study titled "Alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation and Biological age in middle-aged adults (ABLE) - intervention study protocol" indicates that Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG) is expected to have no adverse effects and is considered safe for consumption [11]. 

Furthermore, a review focusing on the effectiveness of AKG for kidney diseases also acknowledges that AKG is safe and does not pose any significant side effects.

Recommended Calcium AKG Dosage

Based on the existing research, there is no established recommended dosage of calcium AKG. However, studies have suggested a range of 2-6g per day as a safe and effective dosage for adults [9][10]. 

However, proper calcium AKG dosage may also depend on individual factors such as age, weight, and overall health for the maximum Calcium AKG benefits. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Calcium AKG.

Who Should and Shouldn't Take Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate?

Calcium AKG is generally considered safe for healthy adults. However, individuals with underlying health conditions or those taking certain medications should consult with a healthcare professional before taking calcium AKG. This includes individuals with kidney disorders and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding [11].

Additionally, it is recommended to avoid large doses of calcium AKG in combination with Malate, as this may lead to adverse effects, as discussed previously.

How To Take Calcium AKG Supplement?

Calcium AKG supplements are available in various forms, including capsules and powders. The recommended dosage may vary depending on the form of supplement chosen. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.

Furthermore, it is suggested to take calcium AKG with food for better absorption and reduced risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Additionally, it's essential to maintain a balanced and varied diet while incorporating calcium AKG supplements for the optimized result.

FAQs

Is Alpha-Ketoglutarate Obtainable from Dietary Sources?

Alpha-ketoglutarate is primarily produced within our bodies and not typically obtained from dietary sources. However, it can be found in small amounts in certain foods like poultry, spinach, and broccoli. A more concentrated intake often requires supplementation.

How to Determine the Efficacy of Calcium AKG?

The efficacy of Calcium AKG can be determined through individual physiological responses and consultations with healthcare professionals. Notable improvements in energy levels, bone health, workout performance, and general wellbeing may signify its effectiveness. However, regular medical check-ups and blood tests provide more reliable and personalized assessments.

What Sets Calcium AKG Apart from AKG?

Calcium AKG differs from AKG due to the addition of calcium, a mineral essential for bone health and various metabolic functions. This combination results in a supplement with both the benefits of AKG and the essential characteristics of calcium, offering enhanced support for bone health, energy production, and anti-aging processes.

What Is The Difference Between Calcium AKG vs Arginine AKG?

Calcium AKG and Arginine AKG differ primarily based on their additional components. While both supplements contain alpha-ketoglutarate, Calcium AKG includes calcium, which is beneficial for bone health, whereas Arginine AKG is bonded with arginine, an amino acid that aids in muscle growth and nitric oxide production.

Conclusion

In conclusion, calcium AKG benefits are ranging from bone health, anti-aging to gastrointestinal health, and overall well-being. Its unique combination of alpha-ketoglutarate and calcium makes it a unique and effective supplement for promoting longevity and supporting various bodily functions. 

References:

[1] W. Rhoads, Timothy. “Alpha-Ketoglutarate, the Metabolite That Regulates Aging in Mice.” Cell Metabolism, vol. 32, 2020.
[2] Niemiec. (2017). Alpha-ketoglutarate stabilizes redox homeostasis and improves arterial elasticity in aged mice. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology : An Official Journal of the Polish Physiological Society, 62(1). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21451208/
[3] Xiao, D., Zeng, L., Yao, K., Kong, X., Wu, G., & Yin, Y. (2016). The glutamine-alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) metabolism and its nutritional implications. Amino Acids, 48(9), 2067–2080. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-016-2254-8
[4] Yaman, T., & Harvey, J. N. (2021). Computational Analysis of a Prebiotic Amino Acid Synthesis with Reference to Extant Codon–Amino Acid Relationships. Life, 11(12), 1343–1343. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11121343
[5] Meng, X., Liu, H., Peng, L., He, W., & Li, S. (2022). Potential clinical applications of alpha‑ketoglutaric acid in diseases (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports, 25(5). https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2022.12667
[6] Dobrowolski, P., Siemowit Muszyński, Donaldson, J., Jakubczak, A., Andrzej Żmuda, Iwona Taszkun, Rycerz, K., Mielnik−Błaszczak, M., Kuc, D., & Tomaszewska, E. (2021). The Effects of Prenatal Supplementation with β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate and/or Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid on the Development and Maturation of Mink Intestines Are Dependent on the Number of Pregnancies and the Sex of the Offspring. Animals, 11(5), 1468–1468. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051468
[7] Wu, N., Yang, M., Gaur, U., Xu, H., Yao, Y., & Li, D. (2016). Alpha-Ketoglutarate: Physiological Functions and Applications. Biomolecules & Therapeutics, 24(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.4062/biomolther.2015.078
[8] Alpha-Ketoglutarate Decreases Serum Levels of C-terminal Cross-Linking Telopeptide of Type I Collagen (CTX) in Postmenopausal Women with Osteopenia: Six-Month Study. (2013). International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/abs/10.1024/0300-9831.77.2.89
[9] Tomaszewska, E., Sylwester Świątkiewicz, Arczewska-Włosek, A., Wojtysiak, D., Dobrowolski, P., Piotr Domaradzki, Izabela Świetlicka, Donaldson, J., Hułas-Stasiak, M., & Siemowit Muszyński. (2020). Alpha-Ketoglutarate: An Effective Feed Supplement in Improving Bone Metabolism and Muscle Quality of Laying Hens: A Preliminary Study. Animals, 10(12), 2420–2420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122420
[10] Bibek Gyanwali, Zi Xiang Lim, Soh, J., Lim, C., Guan, S.-U., Goh, J., Maier, A. B., & Kennedy, B. K. (2022). Alpha-Ketoglutarate dietary supplementation to improve health in humans. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 33(2), 136–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2021.11.003
[11] Sandalova, E., Goh, J., Zi Xiang Lim, Lim, Z., Diogo Barardo, Rajkumar Dorajoo, Kennedy, B. K., & Maier, A. B. (2023). Alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation and BiologicaL agE in middle-aged adults (ABLE)—intervention study protocol. GeroScience, 45(5), 2897–2907. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-023-00813-6
[12] Adverse effects of α-ketoglutarate/malate in a rat model of acute kidney injury | American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. (2020). American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajprenal.00070.2012
[13] Saghi Hakimi Naeini, Laleh Mavaddatiyan, Zahra Rashid Kalkhoran, Soroush Taherkhani, & Mahmood Talkhabi. (2023). Alpha-ketoglutarate as a potent regulator for lifespan and healthspan: Evidences and perspectives. Experimental Gerontology, 175, 112154–112154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2023.112154
[14] 0808_S1_article_04. (2023). Krakow.pl. https://www.jpp.krakow.pl/journal/archive/08_08_s1/articles/04_article.html
[15] Disrupted Alpha-Ketoglutarate Homeostasis: Understanding Kidney Diseases from the View of Metabolism and Beyond. (2022). Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. https://doi.org/10.2147//DMSO.S369090
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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