Wouldn’t it be great if you keep the same energy in your 70’s that you had in your 30’s?Have you ever wished that you could just stop the timepiece on ageing? Well, there is no miracle cure for aging but what if I tell you that there is a magical powder that can help you to stay healthy as you age. The ingredient is known as Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate (Ca-AKG). In this article, we will discuss the five fascinating benefits of Ca-AKG. Before that we will discuss a bit about Ca-AKG and how it works.
Top 5 Anti-Aging Benefits of Calcium-AKG
Ca-AKG is a stable form of naturally occurring substance alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) that is found in the body. Up to the age of 40, the body is able to produce a sufficient amount of AKG and after that its production by the body radically decreases. Studies demonstrate that the levels of AKG at the age of 80 are just 10% of that found in the body at aged 40. During the early stage of life, AKG is produced by our body during the energy-producing process within the cells in our body. It provides fuel to the cells in terms of giving protective effects to the cells during our years of growth. It also provides support to our body at times of injury (particularly muscle tissue injury). Other than that, it provides support to digestive health and kidney function. When the production of this substance naturally declines in the system, our body is more likely to be vulnerable to age-related illnesses and infirmity (1).
Exploring the Mechanisms of Ca-AKG
AKG helps to maintain cellular energy and promotes cell renewal, which can prevent age-related illness and weakness. It acts as a nitrogen scavenger and provides glutamine and glutamate to support protein synthesis and prevent protein degradation in muscles. It can decrease protein catabolism (breakdown of proteins) and increase protein synthesis which leads to bone tissue formation in the skeletal muscles and can be used in clinical applications. It also provides protection to patients experiencing heart surgery by reducing metabolic abnormalities and giving improved myocardial protection (1-2).
The Countless Health Benefits of Ca-AKG:
1.Promotes gastrointestinal health
AKG supplements are believed to exhibit anti-catabolic properties, that means they could potentially slow down the rate of catabolism process (breakdown of the tissues). It was reported in a study that the AKG prevented the breakdown of the intestines in lab rats when they were fed a strict protein- free diet for 14 days. From the study, it was concluded that the rats, supplemented with AKG showed no evidence of obvious intestinal damage. Moreover, the rats who consumed the AKG were reported to uphold normal growth, even with the lack of protein in their diets. Rats with higher doses of AKG showed better results. Hence, the study supports the anti catabolic property of AKG (3).
2.Helps in the reduction of Age-related inflammation
In a study, it was reported that the AKG promotes a healthier and longer life by reducing the levels of inflammation causing cytokines in the body. The study showed that AKG can decrease chronic inflammation and lead to health benefits. Ca-AKG specifically reduces the inflammation caused by senescent cells (ageing cells) and slows down age-related DNA changes. In tests on mice, it was found to increase lifespan by 12% and improve health and reduce frailty by 41 and 46% respectively. Researchers gave Ca-AKG to 18-month-old mice to study its effect on ageing, and found that the metabolite promotes a longer and healthier life by decreasing inflammation-causing factors (2).
3. Promotes heightened metabolism
A stronger metabolism can help you to maintain a healthy body with a longer lifespan. Ca-AKG is helpful to improve amino acid metabolism. It can reduce the ammonia levels in the cells because of its ability to decrease hyperphosphatemia (high phosphate level in blood which can cause muscle spasms). Additionally, it provides a significant source of glutamate and glutamine in the cellular metabolism which leads to the protein synthesis and inhibit protein deterioration in muscle, and constitutes an important metabolic fuel for cells of the gastrointestinal tract (1).
4.Supports lengthen lifespan
AKG has been shown to have an impact on ageing in several species including yeast, fruit flies, C. elegans and mammals. It does this by indirectly influencing a central controller of cell and tissue growth called TOR (target of rapamycin). A study in 2014, found that the AKG is able to extend the lifespan of C. elegans by about 50%. It also made the species look younger by delaying the loss of body movement associated with age (4).
Another study was done by the researchers of Buck Institute for Research on Aging on mammals and found that supplementing mice with Ca-AKG could increase the lifespan by 16.6-19.7%. The study showed the improvement in hair quality and quantity, reduced frailty and decreased spine curvature of mice. Additionally, they experienced a reduction in conditions i.e., fur loss, gait disorders and eye discharge with o adverse effects. Ca-AKG works by reversing the process of DNA methylation, which impacts how the body converts food into energy, immune response, stress response, brain chemistry and damage repair (2).
5.Improves the quality of life
We cannot stop the ageing process completely but we can reverse it by following a healthy diet and taking supplements that are good for health. Ca- AKG improves the quality of life by reducing morbidity in following ways: Our DNA is harmed by toxic substances and our body tries to fix it through the process of demethylation. Ca-AKG can help this process and lead to healthy ageing.
Eating produces ammonia, which can harm the body’s ability to grow and repair. Ca-AKG helps to get rid of the excess ammonia and helps the body to maintain a healthy balance (3).
“The possibility of reversing the process of ageing and living a healthy life past 100 is a desirable goal, and Ca-AKG may hold the key.”
Ageing starts at a cellular level and now we all are aware that AKG level is declining between the age of 40-80. AKG is not available in the human diet but Exercise and fasting can promote an increase in the production of AKG. However, direct supplementation is a more effective and feasible route to restore AKG levels. Science supports calcium AKG as a natural option to increase living organisms' lifespans.
- Wu, N., Yang, M., Gaur, U., Xu, H., Yao, Y., & Li, D. (2016). Alpha-ketoglutarate: physiological functions and applications. Biomolecules & therapeutics, 24(1), 1.
- Shahmirzadi, A. A., Edgar, D., Liao, C. Y., Hsu, Y. M., Lucanic, M., Shahmirzadi, A. A., & Lithgow, G. J. (2020). Alpha-ketoglutarate, an endogenous metabolite, extends lifespan and compresses morbidity in aging mice. Cell metabolism, 32(3), 447-456.
- Prandini, A., Morlacchini, M., Sigolo, S., Fiorentini, L., & Gallo, A. (2012). Anticatabolic activity of alpha-ketoglutaric acid in growing rats. Italian Journal of Animal Science, 11(3), e52.
- Chin, R. M., Fu, X.,Pai, M. Y., Vergnes, L., Hwang, H., Deng, G., & Huang, J. (2014). The metabolite α-ketoglutarate extends lifespan by inhibiting ATP synthase and TOR. Nature, 510(7505), 397-401.