What are its benefits?
The gut microbiome is important in maintaining intestinal health, and imbalances in the microbiome may result in chronic intestinal inflammation and lead to colorectal cancer. A chemical produced in the body, alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG), is an intermediary in the pathway that maintains intestinal homeostasis and prevents intestinal inflammation.
A 2019 study found that supplementary AKG offered significant protection against colorectal cancer development in mice and exhibited immune support. In addition, the researchers saw another positive result: the supplementary AKG minimized the frequency of opportunistic pathogens while increasing the populations of beneficial microbes. Another study found that AKG promotes a longer, healthier life associated with a decrease in levels of systemic inflammatory cytokines, a regulatory protein produced by cells of the immune system.
What is it?
Alpha-ketoglutarate occurs naturally in the body. It is essential in metabolism, contributing to the oxidation of nutrients (i.e., amino acids, glucose, fatty acids) and providing energy for cell processes. It can be manufactured for use in dietary supplements.