What is the Difference Between Arginine and AAKG

The key difference between arginine and AAKG is that arginine is a natural semi-essential amino acid synthesized inside a healthy person’s body, while AAKG is a dietary supplement chemically made by reacting L-arginine and alpha-glutarate together under favorable conditions.

Arginine is an alpha-amino acid that is useful in the process of protein biosynthesis. Structurally, it contains an α amino group, an α-carboxylic acid, and a side chain with a 3-carbon aliphatic straight-chain ending in a guanidino group. In the human body, it is naturally synthesized by citrulline and proline (L-arginine). Chemically, it is made as a compound for liver therapy and dietary supplement by blending with other substances: arginine glutamate and AAKG.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Arginine
3. What is AAKG
4. Similarities – Arginine and AAKG
5. Arginine vs AAKG in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Arginine vs AAKG

What is Arginine?

Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is a natural semi-essential amino acid. A healthy body produces this amino acid. Arginine was first isolated by German chemist Ernst Schulze and his assistant Ernst Steiger in 1866 from yellow lupin seedlings. It contains an α amino group, an α-carboxylic acid, and a side chain. Genetic codons such as CGU, CGC, CGA, CGG, AGA, and AGG contain the genetic information to code for arginine. Moreover, it acts as a precursor for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide.

Figure 01: Arginine

Arginine is classified as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid. This depends on the developmental stage and the health status of the individual. Preterm infants are able to create arginine internally, which makes this amino acid nutritionally essential for them. Furthermore, most healthy people do not need to supplement arginine because it is a main component of all protein-containing foods and can also be synthesized in their body from glutamine via citrulline.

What is AAKG?

AAKG is a dietary supplement that is chemically made by reacting L-arginine and alpha-glutarate together under favorable conditions. It is also defined as a salt of arginine and ketoglutaric acid. AAKG is a complex dietary supplement. Normally, it is used to increase blood flow, oxygen delivery to muscles, muscle growth, and endurance by athletes. Moreover, AAKG is also commonly consumed for muscle gain purposes. Therefore, it is marketed as a bodybuilding supplement. However, peer-reviewed studies have found that there is no increase in muscle protein synthesis or improvement in muscle strength by using AAKG as a dietary supplement.

One of the advantages of AAKG is that it steadily releases arginine into the bloodstream. AAKG is also able to decrease the loss of arginine in the digestion process. Furthermore, AAKG makes it easier to control the flow of arginine in the bloodstream than pure arginine.

What are the Similarities Between Arginine and AAKG?

  • Arginine and AAKG are amino acids.
  • They contain L-arginine.
  • Both can produce nitric oxide in the body that can open up blood vessels wider and improve blood flow.
  • They carry out useful functions in the human body.

What is the Difference Between Arginine and AAKG?

Arginine is a natural semi-essential amino acid synthesized inside a healthy person’s body, while AAKG is a dietary supplement that is chemically made by reacting L-arginine and alpha-glutarate together under favorable conditions. Thus, this is the key difference between arginine and AAKG. Furthermore, arginine is a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid. On the other hand, AAKG is a salt of arginine and ketoglutaric acid.

The below infographic presents the differences between arginine and AAKG in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Arginine vs AAKG

Arginine and AAKG both contain L-arginine. They are used for different purposes. Arginine is a natural semi-essential amino acid synthesized inside a healthy person’s body, while AAKG is a dietary supplement that is chemically made by reacting L-arginine and alpha-glutarate together under favorable conditions. So, this summarizes the difference between arginine and AAKG.