Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, or OKG pills and powder
January 20 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, or OKG, is a combination of the amino acid ornithine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid. AKG is an important component in the Krebs cycle, the chief energy producing cycle in the body. Free-form ornithine is used by athletes and those who want to improve performance. OKG spares muscles the need to break down their BCAA's (branch chain amino acids) in order to generate glutamine, an important energy fuel. Glutamine is generated when AKG combines with ammonia released during intense muscle activity.

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2012 .Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) inhibits proliferation of colon adenocarcinoma cells in normoxic conditions.

Acta Cir Bras. 2011. Effect of short-term ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate pretreatment on intestinal ischemia-reperfusion in rats. To investigate the effects of preventive enteral administration of ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG) in an ischemia-reperfusion rat model. Short-term pretreatment with OKG before induction of I/R decreases tissue damage, increases pyruvate utilization for energy production in the Krebs cycle and does not attenuate the oxidative stress in this animal model.

J Nutr Health Aging. 2010. Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate: could it be a new therapeutic option for sarcopenia? Our current knowledge on the causes of sarcopenia is still fragmentary. One of the most evident candidates to explain muscle loss in elderly includes imbalance in protein turnover, i.e. decreased muscle protein synthesis rate, notably in the post-prandial state. Nutritional strategies such as leucine supplementation, use of fast digested proteins or a pulse protein intake have been show to enhance the synthesis rate of muscle proteins in older individuals. Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG) is a precursor of amino acids such as glutamine, arginine and proline, and increases the secretion of anabolic hormones, i.e. insulin and growth hormone. A beneficial anabolic action of OKG has been demonstrate in several pathological conditions associated with muscle loss. Therefore, OKG may be of a potential interest to modulate muscle protein metabolism and to maintain muscle mass during aging.