The biological role of a-ketoglutaric acid in physiological processes and its therapeutic potential

Dev Period Med. 2016 Jan-Mar;20(1):61-7.


In this article we present the results of recent studies on the mechanism of action and biological role of α-ketoglutaric acid (AKG) in animals including developmental period of life. AKG is an intermediate in the Krebs cycle, which generates energy for life processes. Administration of AKG has been shown to be beneficial for proper development and function of the skeletal system during growth of young organisms, as well as in adulthood. In the form of a dietary supplement it also contributes to inhibition of osteoporosis in women. Moreover, it promotes the growth of muscle mass and accelerates wound healing. AKG has a significant impact on the morphology of the gastrointestinal tract in healthy animals and animals with damaged gastrointestinal tract mucosa. It is also a promising substance for the treatment of patients with short bowel syndrome, as it stimulates beneficial changes in intestinal morphology. Recent research has also revealed that AKG has neuroprotective effects.

Keywords: dietary supplements; glutamine; intestinal absorption; α-ketoglutaric acid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*
  • Growth / drug effects*
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / metabolism*
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / pharmacology*
  • Muscles / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*


  • Ketoglutaric Acids
  • Neuroprotective Agents