Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate and Longevity


  • Alpha-ketoglutarate is a small molecule that is naturally present in our body. 
  • During aging, levels of alpha-ketoglutarate decline. 
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate extends lifespan in various organisms. 
  • The calcium form of alpha-ketoglutarate extended lifespan by 12 percent in mice and increased health span by 41 percent. 
  • Studies show that alpha-ketoglutarate can significantly improve health span in older organisms.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate is used as a fuel by our mitochondria, the power plants of our cells. 
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate improves mitochondrial health. 
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate has beneficial impacts on the epigenome. The epigenome regulates which genes are active or not. During aging, the epigenome becomes more and more dysregulated. 
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate works synergistically with vitamin C to properly regulate the epigenome. 
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate enables metabolic flexibility: the ability to switch between carbohydrate and amino acid energy production. The older we get, the less metabolic flexibility we have.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate can help the body to get rid of deleterious waste products such as ammonia, a byproduct of protein breakdown.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate can maintain stem cell health.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate plays important roles in healthy bones, skin and gut.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate could provide more energy and endurance.
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate can improve skin appearance by impacting collagen production and by reducing fibrosis.
  • Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate can have advantages over alpha-ketoglutarate. This is the form used by NOVOS Core.

Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate Impacts Aging Via

The role of alpha-ketoglutarate in aging and longevity 

Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is a small molecule naturally present in our body. During aging, levels of AKG decline. 

Alpha-ketoglutarate is used by the mitochondria, which convert this substance into energy, but alpha-ketoglutarate has various other functions in the body. 

Alpha-ketoglutarate and lifespan

Numerous studies show that alpha-ketoglutarate can extend lifespan in various organisms. AKG extended lifespan in C elegans worms (R) and fruit flies (R,R,R) and mice. 

C elegans fed AKG (red) live longer than the control group (black). Source: Chin et al, Nature. 

A recent study in mice, conducted at the Buck Institute, one of the world-leading aging research institutes, found that alpha-ketoglutarate extended lifespan in old mice by 12 percent (R).

Very interestingly, alpha-ketoglutarate extended health span by an impressive 41 percent: the mice didn’t only live longer, they stayed healthier and disease-free for considerably longer.

Alpha-ketoglutarate also siginificantly reduced hair graying in elderly animals (R).

How alpha-ketoglutarate extends lifespan

Alpha-ketoglutarate impacts the aging process in various ways. 

First, alpha-ketoglutarate has epigenetic effects. The epigenome is the intricate molecular machinery surrounding the DNA that decides which genes are switched on or off. The older we get, the more the epigenome becomes dysregulated: some genes that should be silent are switched on, and some genes that should be active (like cancer protection genes) are switched off. This epigenetic dysregulation is one of the reasons why we age.

An important enzyme that regulates the epigenome is TET (ten eleven translocation). This enzyme can reprogram the epigenome to a more youthful state. TET needs alpha-ketoglutarate to function properly. TET also needs vitamin C to carry out its work properly. That is why we added vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to the NOVOS formulation, together with calcium alpha-ketoglutarate, for added synergistic effects.

Alpha-ketoglutarate is also at the nexus of carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. The older we get, the less flexible cells become at switching between carbohydrates and amino acids to produce energy. Alpha-ketoglutarate, however, can help cells to maintain this metabolic flexibility for longer.

Alpha-ketoglutarate also improves mitochondrial health, which makes sense, given this substance also an energy source for the mitochondria.

Alpha-ketoglutarate activates AMPK, an important metabolic and longevity switch (R). 

Besides that, we see that alpha-ketoglutarate can help the body to detoxify: alpha-ketoglutarate helps the body to get rid of ammonia. Ammonia is a waste product from the protein metabolism that tends to accumulate in the body (the more protein you eat, the more ammonium you produce). When we get older, the body has more difficulty getting rid of the ammonia. Too much ammonia is toxic, and alpha-ketoglutarate helps to detoxify the body from ammonium.

Also, given alpha-ketoglutarate serves as a fuel for the mitochondria, it could provide more energy and endurance. That is why athletes and bodybuilders have been taking alpha-ketoglutarate for decades. However, some studies show that alpha-ketoglutarate does not provide substantially extra energy (R). In these studies, however, the arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate form is taken, while ideally, the AKG form without arginine, but with calcium is taken, at least for longevity purposes. 

Alpha-ketoglutarate also plays a role in maintaining stem cell health (R), and in bone and gut metabolism (R).

Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate is also involved in collagen production, can reduce fibrosis, and can thus play a role in maintaining healthy, youthful skin (R,R). 

Regular alpha-ketoglutarate versus calcium alpha-ketoglutarate

Most alpha-ketoglutarate supplements contain plain alpha-ketoglutarate.

However, scientists believe that the calcium form of alpha-ketoglutarate, namely calcium alpha-ketoglutarate (calcium AKG or CAKG), is significantly better than regular alpha-ketoglutarate, in which the alpha ketoglutarate molecule is not linked to a calcium atom. 

Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate can have additional beneficial effects compared to alpha-ketoglutarate. One reason for this is that calcium alpha-ketoglutarate is more slowly absorbed in the gut and released into the bloodstream, so it can work for longer in the body. This makes sense, given alpha-ketoglutarate is an important metabolite and ideally it is present in our body at sufficiently high levels for as long as possible. 

Most supplements contain only alpha-ketoglutarate, not calcium alpha-ketoglutarate. Also, their dose of alpha-ketoglutarate is often too low. NOVOS contains a generous dose of calcium alpha-ketoglutarate. 

Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate: an exemplary longevity supplement?

Alpha-ketoglutarate ticks all the boxes of an ideal longevity molecule: there is substantial scientific evidence showing it extends lifespan in various model organisms (C elegans, fruit flies and mice).

Alpha-ketoglutarate works beneficially on various aging mechanisms (such as epigenetic and mitochondrial dysfunction).

It is a natural substance that occurs in our body, but of which the levels decrease as we get older.

It has been taken by humans for many decades with the only significant side effects seeming to be increased lifespan and healthspan. 

It’s for these reasons that calcium alpha-ketoglutarate (calcium AKG) is an important ingredient in our NOVOS Core formula.  

NOVOS CORE & calcium alpha-ketoglutarate

Calcium alpha-ketoglutarate is one of the 12 ingredients in NOVOS Core.

1 sachet of NOVOS Core contains 1,100 mg of high-quality calcium alpha-ketoglutarate.

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