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What is Ca-AKG (Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate) and how does it work?
What is Ca-AKG (Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate) and how does it work?

This article delves into the origins, biology, chemistry, and potential health benefits of Ca-AKG, and understand its significance.

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Written by Parth Amin
Updated over a week ago

Let’s Talk About Ca-AKG (Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate)

Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG), a compound gaining traction in scientific and health-conscious circles, is a fusion of calcium with alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG), a molecule pivotal in metabolic processes.

History and Discovery

The journey of Calcium AKG began with the discovery of AKG, a key component in the Krebs cycle, first proposed by Hans Adolf Krebs in 1937. This cycle is crucial for energy generation in all aerobic organisms. Calcium, known since ancient times for its vital role in the human body, was later combined with AKG, marking a significant advancement in nutritional science.

Chemistry and Biology

Alpha-ketoglutarate, continuously produced in our cells, plays a crucial role in the Krebs cycle, facilitating ATP production, the primary cellular energy source. Calcium, an alkaline earth metal, is essential for bone and tooth structure, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Calcium AKG represents a blend of vital metabolic pathways and nutritional elements, with its chelated form potentially improving the bioavailability of both substances when consumed as a supplement.

What is Ca-AKG?

Ca-AKG, or Calcium Alpha Ketoglutarate, is a compound that plays a crucial role in the body's cellular processes. It is a combination of calcium and alpha-ketoglutaric acid, which is an important intermediate in the Krebs cycle (also known as the citric acid cycle) – the process by which our cells generate energy.

The Role of AKG in Autophagy

One of the key functions of Ca-AKG is its involvement in the process of autophagy. In simple terms, autophagy is the body's way of removing and recycling damaged or dysfunctional cells and cell parts. This process is essential for maintaining the overall health and function of our cells, tissues, and organs.

As we age, our body's ability to carry out autophagy decreases. This decline is linked to accelerated ageing and increased risk of age-related diseases. Therefore, it is crucial to support our body's autophagy process, and Ca-AKG can play a significant role in doing so.

The Connection of Ca-AKG to Longevity

Several studies have shown a strong association between Ca-AKG supplementation and longevity. One such study, published in Cell Metabolism, found that mice receiving Ca-AKG supplementation displayed an increase of 12% in their lifespan. Similarly, studies on roundworms and fruit flies have also shown promising results, with a 50% increase in lifespan observed in roundworms and a 15% increase in fruit flies.

This significant increase in lifespan is believed to be due to the role of Ca-AKG in promoting autophagy and its impact on overall cellular health and function.

The Role of Ca-AKG in Cellular Energy Balance

In addition to its role in autophagy, Ca-AKG also activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is crucial for maintaining cellular energy balance. This protein helps to monitor and regulate the energy levels in our cells, ensuring that they have enough energy to carry out their various functions effectively.

By activating AMPK, Ca-AKG can improve energy homeostasis and support healthy blood sugar control – both of which play essential roles in overall health and have a direct impact on the ageing process.

Ca-AKG also acts as an Antioxidant

Another significant benefit of Ca-AKG is its antioxidant properties. Oxidative stress, characterized by the accumulation of harmful compounds like reactive oxygen species (ROS), contributes significantly to ageing and cellular damage. Ca-AKG acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing ROS and potentially slowing down aging-related processes.

Additionally, Ca-AKG is a precursor to glutamate, which is essential for producing glutathione, a potent antioxidant in the body. By supporting the production of this antioxidant, Ca-AKG enhances our body's natural defence against oxidative damage.

Ca-AKG Supporting Bone and Muscle Health in Adulthood

As we age, our bone and muscle strength naturally decline. Ca-AKG can help in maintaining bone and muscle health by aiding in the synthesis of collagen, a key protein for these tissues. Collagen provides support and structure to our bones, skin, and muscles, keeping them strong and healthy.

How Ca-AKG works on Cardiovascular and Brain Health

The heart and brain are essential organs that are particularly vulnerable to damage from oxidative stress. Fortunately, Ca-AKG's antioxidant properties also extend to protect these vital organs. Studies have shown that Ca-AKG can support the elasticity of blood vessels, promoting cardiovascular health. Additionally, Ca-AKG may also help maintain cognitive function.

Interesting Facts and Future Research

Space Exploration

NASA has explored Calcium AKG's efficacy in preserving bone density in microgravity, showcasing its diverse potential applications.

Anti-Aging and Longevity

Early findings in anti-ageing research are promising, though it's too early to label Calcium AKG as a 'fountain of youth.'


Are Ca-AKG Supplements Safe?

Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG) supplements have attracted attention for their potential health benefits, especially in the context of ageing and energy metabolism. Understanding their safety profile is crucial for informed usage. Here's what current research and guidelines suggest:

  1. General Safety: Studies on Ca-AKG have generally shown it to be safe for human consumption, with no significant adverse effects reported at doses up to 4.5 grams taken over periods as long as three years​​.

  2. Longevity and Health Research: Research has primarily been conducted on animal models, where Ca-AKG has shown promising results in extending lifespan and improving HealthSpan. While these studies are encouraging, it's important to note that human studies are still limited, and more research is needed to fully understand the effects on human health​​​​.

  3. Individual Considerations: As with any supplement, individual health conditions, existing medications, and overall health status should be considered. People with specific health conditions or those taking certain medications should consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, including Ca-AKG.

  4. Age Factor: Given that the body's production of AKG decreases with age, older adults might benefit more from Ca-AKG supplementation, especially in terms of bone, muscle, and metabolic health​​.

How to Be Sure You Are Purchasing Pure Ca-AKG?

When purchasing Ca-AKG supplements, ensuring their purity and quality is crucial. Here are some tips to help you choose a high-quality product:

  1. Reputable Brands and Manufacturers: Opt for supplements from well-known, reputable brands like Decode Age. Companies with a solid history in the industry are more likely to adhere to quality standards.

  2. Third-Party Testing: Look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and potency. This testing ensures that the supplement contains what it claims to and is free from harmful contaminants.

  3. Ingredient Transparency: Choose supplements with clear labelling that lists all ingredients, including the form and amount of Ca-AKG. Avoid products with ambiguous ingredient lists or proprietary blends where the exact amounts of Ca-AKG are not disclosed.

  4. Certifications and Quality Assurance: Check for certifications like GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), FDA Approved manufacturing, and Purity Levels. These certifications indicate that the product has been manufactured under high-quality standards.

  5. Consult Healthcare Providers: If unsure, consult a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a dietitian, who can provide guidance based on your health needs and the latest scientific research.

Conclusion

Ca-AKG, through its multiple roles in energy metabolism, antioxidative defence, and support for organ health, emerges as a compound of interest in the realm of ageing and longevity. While the majority of studies have been conducted on animals, the results are encouraging, suggesting potential benefits for human health and ageing. As research continues, Ca-AKG holds promise for those looking to support their health as they age.

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