Wednesday, October 14, 2020

MindBlog starts another anti-aging self experiment.

I've done a bit more reading on alpha-ketoglutarate, a natural component of the Krebs biochemical cycle that generates body energy and whose levels normally decline with aging. It was the subject of a recent post pointing to studies indicating the positive effects of its supplementation on health and longevity in mice.  So...I have started taking 300 mg capsules of the stuff with my other breakfast supplements. I decided to pass on the pricey 'Rejuvant Life Tabs', containing 1000 mg and offered by Ponce de Leon Health, a company set up by some of the researchers, and instead got the compound from Kirkman, one of the supplement providers. I'm inclined not to be too paranoid about their sending sawdust instead of the real product.  I noted that I could buy the >98% pure dry powder from the Sigma-Aldrich company, the supplier my biochemisty lab used for over 30 years, but decided the hassle of dealing with bulk powder wasn't worth it.  The compound is quite acidic, so best taken as the Calcium or Magnesium salt and with a meal.  I had an unhappy tummy when I tried it without food.  

I will continue taking the compound, will report imagined positive or negative effects as addenda to this post.  Undesirable side effects will lead me to discontinue the supplement, as was the case with my 2010 (Acetyl L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, and the B-vitamin biotin) and 2016 (pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside) self experiments.  The latter, like a 2008 experiment with resveratrol was terminated because of increasing arthritic symptoms. The 2008 post had 33 comments reporting negative effects resveratrol.

And, a necessary comment regarding Ponce de Leon Health and other purveyors of life extension elixirs:

You're gonna die..there is compelling evidence that none of us will make it past ~120 years of age.   

ADDENDUM... added 9/1/2022 Apologies for spacing out for almost two years.... I took 300 mg capsules of alpha-ketoglutarate with breakfast for one week in early Nov. 2020. It caused acid reflux and increasing hand arthritis over the week. Both side effects vanished after a week off the supplement. I had observed the hand arthritis side effect also in my resveratrol experiment.


  1. Hi Deric!

    First, congratulations for your blog, I always read it. Always interesting topics.

    I was wondering, what about using the Arginine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG) typical of body building and sport shops?

    I have notice that in the paper they use Calcium-Alpha-Ketoglutarate, but I'm unsure if Arginine instead of Calcium would make any difference in this sense.

    What do you think?


  2. I should look into this more. The calcium and magnesium are positive divalent metal cations meant to complex with the two negative acidic carboxylate groups of alpha keto glutarate. Arginine is an amino acid.

  3. It would also be interesting to know if this has mood effect.

  4. Thanks for pointing this out. I'll look into it. By the way, my experiment lasted all of 8 days, terminated (as were previous ones with other supplements) when I noticed significant increase in hand and finger arthritis. Maybe I'll try another week to see if that repeats.

  5. The article you reference notes that stress and anxiety compromise mitochondrial function, and compromised mitochondria decrease resilience to stress. Any number of supplements can goose mitochondrial function, the best idea is just to exercise.

  6. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Hi Deric,
    I've also got arthritis in my hands, but I cannot say using this compound has made that any worse, although I use regular hand exercises anyway so would be very difficult to tease out cause-and-effect here; however my main purpose in making a comment is that I'm somewhat younger than you, and like most men of my age have an enlarged prostate, and ever since I've been using this compound I have been getting up less in the nights, although not consistently, and in fact I started to take 2 capsules as recommended, after a period of only taking one, a couple of days ago, and last night I actually went 4 hours without waking up, which hasn't happened for about 25 years. Regards.

  7. Interesting...thanks for your comment.