Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is pyruvate? Why do we need it?
Pyruvate is an enzyme. It is created in the body (in the
form of pyruvic acid) during the process of metabolizing carbohydrates
and proteins for energy.
Many studies have published results suggesting that pyruvate
may aid in weight loss. Three separate controlled studies
that combined various amounts of pyruvate (6-10 grams per
day) with an exercise program reported greater reduction of
body fat in overweight patients compared to those taking a
placebo. Some clinical trials indicate that pyruvate supplements
may increase the metabolic resting rate and improve endurance
Other research indicates that pyruvate functions as an antioxidant,
inhibiting the production of harmful free radicals. Preliminary
research with animals suggests that because of its antioxidant
properties, pyruvate may inhibit the growth of cancer tumors.
However, this effect has not been confirmed in human studies.
How much pyruvate should I take?
A recommended daily allowance for pyruvate has yet to be
established. Most weight-loss studies conducted in humans
have used at least 30 grams of pyruvate a day. However, a
study conducted in 1999 found that patients using six grams
of pyruvate per day in combination with exercise led to greater
weight loss and loss of body fat compared to those who exercised
but took a placebo.
What are some good sources of pyruvate? What forms are available?
In addition to being formed in the body during digestion,
pyruvate is found in many foods, including red apples, cheese,
dark beer and red wine. Many health food stores also sell
pyruvate supplements, either alone or as part of a multivitamin.
What can happen if I dont
get enough pyruvate? What can happen if I take too much? Are
there any side-effects I should be aware of?
High pyruvate intake can cause gastrointestinal disorders
such as gas, bloating and diarrhea. At present, there is no
evidence of any drug interactions with pyruvate.
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