Updated: May 8
Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate has been recently introduced to racing circles and is being touted as the new hot performance supplement. Studies report the use of OKG in Europe for a number of years- mainly for the treatment of burn victims, trauma, postsurgical healing, and cases of severe malnutrition.
OKG consists of two ornithine molecules and one alpha-ketoglutarate molecule. OKG seems to be a stimulus for a variety of molecule functions. It acts as an ammonia scavenger, increases the glutamine pool in muscle tissue, thereby reducing muscle breakdown (catabolism), elevates growth hormone levels, increases protein synthesis, increases insulin secretion, plays a role in glutamine and arginine synthesis, and provides anti-catabolic effect.
While studies on horses are still being conducted, based on clinical use, there are several reports of the beneficial benefits in performance horses. Note that there are many other effective nutrients for recovery and tissue repair like L-glutamine, glucosamine, curcumin, and antioxidant mixtures.