AAKG & Arginine
What is AAKG?
AAKG or Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate is comprised of the amino acid arginine attached to an alpha-ketoglutarate molecule. This dietary supplement is used by athletes to improve endurance, performance and avoid muscle fatigue, as well as enhancing recovery.
Alpha-ketoglutarate is an intermediate compound within the series of reactions that produce energy for the body. This is the source of the amino acid glutamate and glutamine. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and can increase bone formation, as well as glutamine being the main source of energy for cell division.
Alpha-ketoglutarate regulates amino acid synthesis, energy production and formation of free radicals. It functions as a messenger molecule in many chemical reactions within the body.
Arginine, also known as L-Arginine, stimulates the release of hormones such as insulin, glucagon, prolactin and the growth hormone. Arginine also plays a critical role in maintaining normal blood pressure, heart function and immunity. These functions are mediated through the production of nitric oxide. Arginine is broken down into ornithine and creatine. Ornithine is essential for cell growth and division, while creatine is essential for muscle contraction.
L-arginine is known to effectively improve blood flow around the body, helping to bring nutrients and oxygen to muscle and joint tissues. This means with L-arginine’s help, the consumer can enjoy more of the many benefits of exercise but with less pain. It’s even used in some cases for increasing heat and circulation to damaged joints or cold hands and feet, especially in people with complications from other health conditions like poor blood flow, arthritis or diabetes.
Immunity and Illness
Low-circulating L-arginine has been found in some patients suffering from illnesses and trauma. It is believed that certain immune system suppressor cells (called MSCs) might cause arginine deficiency or low levels circulating within the blood. This is problematic because the immune system’s protective lymphocytes and T-cells depend on arginine for defending the body.
L-arginine is used with omega-3 fish oils and other supplements for reducing risk for infections, improving wound healing, and shortening recovery time following illness or surgery. It’s sometimes added to topical ointments used to treat wounds for several reasons: It helps keep blood flowing more freely, can fight pain and swelling, forms L-proline, which is important for collagen synthesis within the skin, and increases antioxidant activity.