Single pyruvate intake induces blood alkalization and modification of resting metabolism in humans

Nutrition. 2015 Mar;31(3):466-74. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Objectives: Three separate studies were performed with the aim to 1) determine the effect of a single sodium pyruvate intake on the blood acid-base status in males and females; 2) compare the effect of sodium and calcium pyruvate salts and establish their role in the lipolysis rate; and 3) quantify the effect of single pyruvate intake on the resting energy metabolism.

Methods: In all, 48 individuals completed three separate studies. In all the studies, participants consumed a single dose of pyruvate 0.1 g/kg 60 min before commencing the measurements. The whole blood pH, bicarbonate concentration, base excess or plasma glycerol, free fatty acids, glucose concentrations, or resting energy expenditure and calculated respiratory exchange ratio were determined. The analysis of variance for repeated measurements was performed to examine the interaction between treatment and time.

Results: The single dose of sodium pyruvate induced blood alkalization, which was more marked in the male than in the female participants. Following the ingestion of sodium or calcium pyruvate, the blood acid-base parameters were higher than in the placebo trial. Furthermore, 3-h postingestion glycerol was lower in both pyruvate trials than in placebo. Resting energy expenditure did not differ between the trials; however, carbohydrate oxidation was increased after sodium pyruvate ingestion.

Conclusion: Pyruvate intake induced mild alkalization in a sex-dependent fashion. Moreover, it accelerated carbohydrate metabolism and delayed the rate of glycerol appearance in the blood, but had no effect on the resting energy expenditure. Furthermore, sodium salt seems to have had a greater effect on the blood buffering level than calcium salt.

Keywords: Acid-base status; Base excess; Blood bicarbonate; Free fatty acids; Glycerol; Respiratory exchange ratio; Resting energy expenditure.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / drug effects*
  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Pyruvates / pharmacology*
  • Rest / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Pyruvates
  • Glycerol