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02.08.2023


Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect

Glyoxylic acid is a metabolite of glycine. Glyoxic acid is created when the body converts glycine into energy. According to a Japanese in vitro study, glyoxylic acid has an anabolic and an anti-catabolic effect.


Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect


Glyoxylic acid
Glyoxylic acid is an alpha-keto acid of glycine. You can see the spatial structure of glyoxylic acid above. Alpha-keto acids are created when the body converts amino acids into energy.

Doctors use alpha-keto acids if they want to slow down muscle breakdown in people with a metabolism that can process little urea and ammonia. Manufacturers of sports nutrition use alpha-keto acids to make amino acids such as arginine and ornithine more effective.

There are indications that alpha-keto acids are interesting sources of energy for athletes and, in large doses, inhibit muscle breakdown. Recent animal studies and human studies also suggest that the alpha-keto acid alpha-ketoglutarate AKG slows down aging processes. The related alpha-ketobutyrate also does this in fundamental research.


Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect


Study
Japanese researchers, affiliated with Aomori University of Health and Welfare, exposed young muscle cells in vitro to increasing concentrations of glyoxylic acid.

Results
Exposure to the glycine metabolite increased the amount of myosin heavy chain-2 [MyHCII] in the muscle cells. This indicates that the muscle cells developed. Myosin heavy chain-2 is a contractile muscle protein.

At the same time, glyoxylic acid increased the activity of the genes Myod1 and Myog in the muscle cells. The activity of those genes distinguishes mature and functional muscle cells from immature muscle cells.

Exposure to glyoxylic acid increased the amount of mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA]. The glycine metabolite apparently stimulated mitochondrial biosynthesis in muscle cells. This allows muscle cells to generate more energy.


Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect

Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect

Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect

Glyoxylic acid, a glycine metabolite with an anabolic effect


Mechanism
Glyoxylic acid activated the activity of genes such as SIRT1, PPAR-gamma, Tfam and NRF1. These are genes that initiate protective processes in cells and cause cells to produce mitochondria. The strength of the protective processes initiated by glyoxylic acid became clear when the Japanese exposed muscle cells to the catabolic synthetic hormone dexamethasone. Glyoxylic acid was able to neutralize the atrophying effect of dexamethasone.

Conclusion
"It would be important to determine the effects of long-term oral intake of glyoxylic acid on muscle mass and strength", the Japanese write. "After evaluating these experiments, intervention studies in chronic kidney disease patients undergoing strict dietary protein restriction should demonstrate whether glyoxylic acid has an effect on improving loss of muscle mass, strength, and function."

The researchers are aware that, according to textbooks, glyoxylic acid may contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Glyoxylic acid is a precursor of oxalic acid, so that idea is not so strange. But whether glyoxylic acid causes kidney stones to form in real life has never been properly investigated.

"Currently, glyoxylic acid may be regarded as a substance that induces ureteral stones", the Japanese continue. "However, in the future, it may be an important nutrient for promoting myogenesis in skeletal muscle, similar to keto acid analogs derived from essential amino acids without producing urinary toxins."

Source:
Nutrients. 2023 Apr 4;15(7):1763.

More:
If leucine isn't stimulating muscle growth, try combining it with glycine 14.06.2016
Three amino acids and selenium supplementation prevents age-related muscle breakdown 05.10.2015
Glycine AKG a longevity supplement? 25.08.2015
Glycine rejuvenates old cells 24.08.2015

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