Alpha-ketoglutarate (akg)
Alpha-ketoglutarate (akg)


Alpha-ketoglutarate is a chemical found in the body. People use it to make medicine.

Alpha-ketoglutarate is used for kidney disease, intestinal and stomach disorders, and many other conditions but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses. 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.
When taken by mouth: Alpha-ketoglutarate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for up to 3 years.

When given by IV: Alpha-ketoglutarate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when given by IV by a healthcare provider.

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.


Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Taking calcium alpha-ketoglutarate seems to improve results of certain lab tests used to monitor the effectiveness of hemodialysis in patients receiving this treatment.
  • Tissue damage caused when there is limited blood flow and then blood flow is restored (ischemia-reperfusion injury). Administering alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV) seems to reduce blood supply problems during heart surgery.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Athletic performance. A small study found that taking alpha-ketoglutarate daily for 5 weeks improves athletic performance.
  • Painful conditions caused by overuse of tendons (tendinopathy). Early research in people with Achilles tendon pain shows that taking a product containing alpha-ketoglutarate and other ingredients in addition to shock wave therapy seems to improve pain and function. It's unclear if the benefits are from alpha-ketoglutarate or other ingredients in this product.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Bone health.
  • Cataracts.
  • Intestinal and stomach disorders.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Lung health.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of alpha-ketoglutarate for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

  • For long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD): 1.187 grams of alpha-ketoglutarate plus 0.813 grams of calcium carbonate three times weekly has been used. Also, about 4.5 grams of calcium alpha-ketoglutarate has been used daily for 3 years.
  • Tissue damage caused when there is limited blood flow and then blood flow is restored (ischemia-reperfusion injury): Healthcare providers give alpha-ketoglutarate by IV.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AKG) interacts with any medicines. Before taking Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AKG), talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Phosphate salts: Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate can reduce blood levels of phosphate. Taking calcium alpha-ketoglutarate along with phosphate salts might reduce the effects of phosphate salts. However, alpha-ketoglutarate supplements that do not contain calcium are unlikely to interact with phosphate salts.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Alpha-ketoglutarate works in many pathways in the body, to help make muscle, and to help heal wounds.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 23/10/2022 19:56:28 and last updated on 20/01/2022 08:08:38. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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