Biological effects of 2-oxoglutarate with particular emphasis on the regulation of protein, mineral and lipid absorption/metabolism, muscle performance, kidney function, bone formation and cancerogenesis, all viewed from a healthy ageing perspective state of the art--review article

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;59 Suppl 1:91-106.


The fact that men and women are living longer than they have ever done before is something in which we can all rejoice. However, the process of ageing is associated with changes in skeletal, muscular, gastrointestinal, neural hormonal and metabolic processes that seriously affect an individual's performance and quality of life. Indeed, such changes can be contributory to a loss of independence in the elderly. This state-of-the art address highlights the main changes found to occur with ageing whilst simultaneously reporting findings of in vivo and in vitro studies designed to elucidate the potential of the Krebs cycle intermediate - alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG) in protecting elderly body systems from failing and degradation. The topics of paramount importance include impaired bone structure and strength, amino acid and mineral absorption, muscle performance, as well as highlighting the role of Krebs cycle intermediates in the debilitating changes that occur with end-stage renal failure and the regulation of the lipid metabolism. Finally, focus will be given to the role of 2-oxoglutarate as a potent protective factor in connection with the development of malignant cells in the body.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Body Composition
  • Bone Development*
  • Humans
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / metabolism*
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Ketoglutaric Acids