Athletes and bodybuilders use arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) as a dietary supplement to enhance sports performance, decrease muscle fatigue, and improve recovery.

However, AAKG supplementation may have additional benefits for a variety of diseases. Continue reading to learn more about how AAKG works and the ways it has claimed to improve overall health.

Insufficient Evidence for Arginine AKG Supplement Benefits

There has been little research into the combination of arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate. The majority of the reported advantages of this combination are subjective.

The effects of arginine alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation for seven days after resistance training were studied in 24 healthy and active men. The combination of arginine alpha-ketoglutarate did not affect blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow, or nitric oxide levels. On the other hand, the quantity of L-arginine in the blood increased.

Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (300mg) supplementation did not affect performance in 16 healthy men, regardless of their structured exercise status.

In a clinical trial involving 12 trained men, AAKG did not affect muscle endurance or blood pressure reaction to anaerobic work.

Another study on 35 resistance-trained men found that arginine was safe, reliable, and well-tolerated and improved muscle strength and peak power performance. AAKG did not affect either body composition or aerobic fitness.

Although there is limited evidence that arginine alpha-ketoglutarate combined has health advantages, the individual molecules L-arginine and AKG have been studied for their health benefits.

Health Benefits of AKG

Although the evidence is limited, supplementing with alpha-ketoglutarate may help with infections, severe trauma, surgery, and wound healing.

Wound Healing

In 54 burn patients, ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation drastically enhanced wound healing.

Similarly, wound healing improved significantly in a study of 60 burn patients who were given ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate for 21 days.

Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation increased glutamine levels in burnt rats, resulting in improved wound healing.

Despite the promising results, the evidence to support the use of alpha-ketoglutarate in wound healing stems from two clinical trials as well as some animal studies. More clinical research is required to verify these preliminary findings.

Muscle Loss

In a controlled trial of 21 people who had undergone surgical trauma, AKG supplementation prevented muscle loss and increased protein synthesis.

Muscle protein synthesis is reduced, and fatigue is increased after abdominal surgery. Supplementing AKG enhanced glutamine supply in the muscles and avoided muscle loss in 22 adults who had stomach surgery.

Two small clinical trials stand insufficient to support the claim that AKG prevents muscle loss. Larger, more reliable clinical outcomes are required.

Bone Health

Alpha-ketoglutarate stimulates collagen and iron absorption production, potentially increasing bone density and strength.

In 76 menopausal women with bone weakness, taking alpha-ketoglutarate for 24 weeks prevented bone loss and alleviated menopausal symptoms. It also helped to rebuild bone tissue.

Many animal studies have shown that supplementing with alpha-ketoglutarate improves bone density.

Only one medical trial and a few animal studies back up the use of this amino acid to enhance bone health. Their preliminary results should be replicated in larger-scale clinical trials.

Immune Function

Alpha-ketoglutarate has been shown to improve immune function and is transformed into glutamine in the body. Glutamine can boost the number of white blood cells in the body (macrophages and neutrophils).

Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation improved overall health in elderly, nutrient-deficient patients. It was demonstrated by increased appetite and improved motor skills. It also sped up recovery from severe illnesses and surgery.

In mice, AKG added to drinking water enhanced stomach immunity and reduced body weight.

Again, there aren’t enough studies to back up the use of alpha-ketoglutarate to boost immune function. More clinical trials are required.

Bottom Line

Although arginine AKG supplement has shown some profound health benefits, it is advisable to consult a doctor before incorporating it into your routine life.