If you’re looking for a supplement that provides a one-two-three punch that can help you lose weight, enhance your energy for improved athletic performance (if that is your game), and adds an anti-aging dimension, look no further than pyruvate. Maybe you’ve never heard of it before; well, now you have. So keep reading.
What Is Pyruvate?
Maybe you didn’t know this, either: your body already has its own supply of pyruvate. It is a natural substance that, per webmd.com, is available when your body’s digestion and breakdown of carbohydrates produces energy. During this process,, your body converts sugars (glucose) into energy. As the metabolism is ramped up, the body utilizes fats to provide energy, and that leads to the depletion of fat and, therefore, the loss of weight.
Pyruvate is produced in your liver and, at work, it helps regulate your metabolism. Per healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu, the more pyruvate that you can produce, the more fat you should be able to burn, even on a daily basis, generating weight loss.
Furthermore, pyruvate is not a manmade metabolic stimulant, so it shouldn’t raise blood pressure, and is reportedly safe for adults and kids alike. However, be sure to discuss this with your physician or other appropriate healthcare professional before starting a pyruvate regimen – especially for the sake of your children.
OK, we admit it, pyruvate has plenty of company in the marketplace when it comes to the availability of weight-loss supplements and other products. Fair enough. One of the factors that separate “good” weight-loss products from the “not-so-good” products are side effects. Pretty much all such products are accompanied by side effects of one sort or another when it comes to long-term use; the trick is in formulating weight-loss aids with minimal side effects.
Understanding Pyruvate and the Kreb’s Cycle
Pyruvate in its pure form, by itself, can produce side effects such as bloating, constipation or stomach upset. That’s why it is often combined with sodium or calcium to add stability. Per livestrong.com, calcium pyruvate is the compound that initiates the Kreb’s Cycle – also known as the citric acid cycle. That’s the process through which your bodies manufacture what is known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – the energy that is used during aerobic respiration. That’s what takes place during exercise in the presence of oxygen, used during athletic activities such as walking or jogging.
The science behind the Kreb’s Cycle/citric acid cycle sheds some light on the inner mechanism of your bodies during physical exertion. Per courses.lumenlearning.com, the breakdown of pyruvate works in tandem with the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl CoA. That’s where each pyruvate molecule loses one carbon atom because of the release of carbon dioxide. While this is going on, the transference of electrons contributes to a process involved in the production of ATP and, ultimately acetyl CoA – a molecule that ferries the carbon atoms from pyruvate to the citric acid cycle for the purpose of being oxidized for energy production.
Another thing interesting to note here is that in the absence of oxygen, or when oxygen demand exceeds supply, per biologydictionary.net, pyruvate can be subject to a fermentation process to produce lactate – or lactic acid. That’s the source of the burning sensation you might feel, say, in your thighs during extended strenuous exercise, such as when you’re running up a long hill or hiking up a mountain at a good clip. Pyruvate and lactate both can be useful in resupplying glucose as well, while pyruvate itself also could contribute to the anabolic synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids.
Note, too, that natural sources of pyruvate include apples, red wine, dark beer, and cheese – in other words, a preferred combination of treats for an appetizer for a party among friends and fellow exercise enthusiasts.
Pyruvate’s Other Health Benefits
Again, be sure to discuss any of these following possible benefits with your physician before trying them out for yourself:
- Antioxidant. Pyruvate’s reported antioxidant properties are such that hospitals are now storing human organs to be transplanted thanks to its capacity to fight the free radicals of the organs, essentially extending their ‘lifespan’ from 18 hours to about a week, per healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu. Its antioxidant nature is also why pyruvate has shown an ability to reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Anti-aging. Well, while pyruvate won’t necessarily add years to your life, it can ‘add life’ to one part of your body often in public view – your skin. Some users of pyruvic acid, which is a liquid form of pyruvate, have found that when it’s applied to your skin, per webmd.com, it can reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging, such as making skin smoother or reducing dark spots caused by exposure to the sun. Pyruvic acid is also occasionally applied to the skin as a facial peel.
- Congestive heart failure. Some research has seem to suggest that the injection of pyruvate injected into the artery that supplies blood to the heart can improve the symptoms and heart function in heart-failure patients.