EBSCO Health

Print PageSend to a Friend
Health Library Home>Natural & Alternative Treatments>Herbs & Supplements>Article

Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

L-ornithine α-ketoglutarate, ornithine ketoglutarate

Introduction

Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate is a salt that is made by joining two amino acids. It has been used to help heal skin problems such as wounds and burns. It can be taken as a pill or powder. It can also be injected under medical supervision.

Dosages

10 grams 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Pressure ulcers —may promote healing and ease painB1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • HIV infection A1
  • Wound healing D1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in small doses for a short time, but nausea and diarrhea may happen.C1, C2 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is not known whether it is safe to use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

 

References

A. HIV Infection

A1. Karsegard VL, Raguso CA, et al. L-ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in HIV infection: effects on muscle, gastrointestinal, and immune functions. Nutrition. 2004 Jun;20(6):515-520.

B. Pressure Ulcers

B1. Meaume S, Kerihuel JC, et al. Efficacy and safety of ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in heel pressure ulcers in elderly patients: results of a randomized controlled trial. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(7):623-630.

C. Safety

C1. Karsegard VL, Raguso CA, et al. L-ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in HIV infection: effects on muscle, gastrointestinal, and immune functions. Nutrition. 2004 Jun;20(6):515-520.

C2. Meaume S, Kerihuel JC, et al. Efficacy and safety of ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in heel pressure ulcers in elderly patients: results of a randomized controlled trial. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(7):623-630.

D. Wound Healing

D1. Coudray-Lucas C, Le Bever H, et al. Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate improves wound healing in severe burn patients: a prospective randomized double-blind trial versus isonitrogenous controls. Crit Care Med. 2000 Jun;28(6):1772-1776.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/17/2020