Pyruvate is a salt, ester or dissociated form of pyruvic acid. In biochemistry the term is used interchangeably with pyruvic acid even though pyruvate technically refers to the negatively charged ion.
Pyruvate is a metabolic end product of glycolysis, which may then be converted to lactate or acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA).
It has become popular among body builders as an aid to muscle endurance and for diabetics as it may improve insulin sensitivity.
Pyruvate has been studied for over 25 years at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine by Ronald T. Stanko, MD. Dr. Stanko's clinical studies in human trials have been published in highly-regarded peer-reviewed journals including; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Applied Physiology, and the International Journal of Obesity. Pyruvate is a naturally occurring substance in the body which is essential for metabolism to begin. infact, recent clinical studies conducted at university of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Abbott-Ross Laboratories have concluded that when compared to the placebo group, Pyruvate increased endurance levels by up to 20%, weight loss by as much as 37%, and fat loss up to 48%.
Several recent studies with the use of muscle biopsy and blood samples have shown that the use of Pyruvate has been found to increase blood flow and dramatically increase the endurance capacity of muscle by increasing glucose extraction of muscle. Increased glucose extraction (from blood) is indicative of enhancing muscle glucose uptake and prolonged oxidation of glucose. When the supply of the blood glucose is depleted muscles will utilize the intra muscular glucose. Therefore, the increased utilization of glucose delays the onset of fatigue, and extending the sub maximal endurance capacity, allowing the athlete to train longer and at a higher density. By increasing training time and intensity, athletes will become stronger and less vulnerable to injury, allowing them to be more competitive.
Pyruvate has additionally been shown to be effective in weight loss as well and inhibiting weight gain after weight loss. Pyruvate has the unique ability to maximize body fat loss and minimize body protein loss with weight reduction while minimizing the regaining of fat. (This makes it especially useful for people interested in long-term weight maintenance programs)
Weight reduction through the use of Pyruvate is achieved by increasing the membrance potential of mitochondria (the cell's furnace) and stimulating cellular respiration. Pyruvate has been shown to promote fat oxidation (consumption) instead of glucose oxidation which also helps to decrease fat deposits.
Stanko, RT et al., Body composition, energy utilization and nitrogen metabolism with a severely restricted diet supplemented with dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1992a, 55(4):771-776.
Stanko, RT et al., Body composition, energy utilization and nitrogen metabolism with a 4.25 MJ/d low-energy diet supplemented with pyruvate. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1992b, 56(4);630-635.
Stanko, RT et al., Plasma lipid concentration in hyperlipidemic patients consuming a high fat diet supplemented with pyruvate for 6 weeks. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1992c, 56(5):95-954.
Stanko, RT et al., Pyruvate supplementation of a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet: effects on plasma lipid concentrations and body composition in hyperlipidemic patients. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1994, 59(2):423-427.
Stanko, RT et al., Enhancement of arm exercise endurance capacity with dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate. J App. Phys. 1990a, 68(1):119-124.
Stanko, RT et al., Enhanced leg exercise endurance with a high carbohydrate diet and dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate. J App. Phys. 1990b, 69(5):1,651-1,656.
Stanko, RT et al., Effect of dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate on plasma glucose concentration and turnover in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Clin. Phys and Biochem. 1990c, 8(6)283-288.
Williams, Sue Rodwell. Nutrition And Diet Therapy. 5th edition. St Louis: Times Mirror Mosby, 1985.
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