Sodium pyruvate, Calcium pyruvate side effects, benefits
pyruvate weight loss, September 7, 2011
Pyruvate, a metabolic product of glycolysis, a natural metabolic fuel and antioxidant in myocardium and
other tissues, exerts a variety of cardioprotective actions when provided at supraphysiological
concentrations. [3-5] Pyruvate increases cardiac contractile performance and myocardial energy state,
bolsters endogenous antioxidant systems, and protects myocardium from ischemia-reperfusion injury and
oxidant stress. Researchers suggested its clinical uses in various conditions including cardiopulmonary
bypass surgery, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, myocardial stunning, and cardiac failure. [4]

How is calcium pyruvate marketed?
Calcium Pyruvate is a combination of two nutrients - calcium and pyruvic acid. This combination is stable
and is easily absorbed than calcium by itself. Calcium pyruvate is descrived as an aid to the body in
turning  sugars and starches which typically dwarf the results of any diet, into fuel to power your quick
weight loss. Most commercial product with the strength of 750 mg / unit. There is a huge variation in price.

Pyruvate is commonly used for weight loss, cholesterol, cataracts, cancer and athletic performance. Some
people apply pyruvic acid to the skin to reduce winkles (not sure if it works).

How may pyruvate benefit cardiac performance?
Researchers consider pyruvate as an oxidizable fuel in myocardium, increases cardiac mechanical
performance and energy reserves.

The inotropic effects of pyruvate are most impressive in hearts that have been reversibly injured (stunned)
by ischemia/reperfusion stress. According to Reference [5], metabolic inotropism by pyruvate increases
cardiac energy reserves and bolsters the endogenous glutathione antioxidant system. Pyruvate
enhancement of cardiac function may result from one or more of the following mechanisms: increased
cytosolic ATP phosphorylation potential and Gibbs free energy of ATP hydrolysis, enhanced sarcoplasmic
reticular calcium ion uptake and release, decreased cytosolic inorganic phosphate concentration,
oxyradical scavenging via direct neutralization of peroxides and/or enhancement of the intracellular
glutathione/NADPH antioxidant system, and/or closure of mitochondrial permeability transition pores. [5]

Texas researchers further found that pyruvate-dihydroxyacetone supplementation improved the insulin
sensitivity of insulin resistant rats and reduced plasma cholesterol levels induced by a high cholesterol diet
as well as lowered blood pressure and heart rate in obese individuals. [2]

Pyruvate Benefits - Liver
In another study, Bulgarian researchers applied pyruvate infusions in patients with alcoholic liver disease.
They observed that sodium pyruvate treatment resulted in significantly decreased serum AST, ALT, AP,
GGT, and total bilirubin. In addition, they also noted the improvement of liver function from the significantly
decreased Combined Clinical and Laboratory Index.  This study also demonstrated the good therapeutic
effectiveness and good tolerance of sodium pyruvate infusions in patients with alcohol liver disease. They
explained the benefits of rapid gain of ATP and GTP, required to redress defective cells, and to
antioxidant action of pyruvate. [7]

Pyruvate may be used as anti-toxic agent for neural protection.
Because zinc neurotoxicity is likely one of the key mechanisms of ischemic brain injury, Korean
researchers tested the beneficial effects of pyruvate on rats with transient forebrain ischemia. They found
that pyruvate almost completely blocked zinc toxicity but did not attenuate calcium-overload neuronal
death. [8]

Adult rats subjected to 12 min forebrain ischemia exhibited widespread zinc accumulation and neuronal
death throughout hippocampus and cortex 72 hr after reperfusion. However, rats injected intraperitoneally
with sodium pyruvate (500-1000 mg/kg) within 1 hr after 12 min forebrain ischemia showed almost no
neuronal death. [8]

Pyruvate Benefits on cataract
It has been reported that oral administration of sodium pyruvate inhibits oxidative stress and cataract
formation in diabetic animals. In a study, diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injections of
streptozotocin. At the onset of diabetes, an eye drop preparation containing 2.5% sodium pyruvate was
administered six times a day at 90-minute intervals. Treatment was continued for 6 weeks. Treatment with
pyruvate eye drops was found to be significantly effective in inhibiting protein glycation. [A3]

Pyruvate Benefits on Wrinkles
Pyruvic acid has the ability to stimulate new collagen production and elastic fibers formation. It penetrates
rapidly and deeply through the skin, so far as to be considered a potent chemical peel agent. It has
proven its efficacy for the treatment of many dermatological conditions such as acne, superficial scarring,
photodamage, and pigmentary disorders. A special formula of 50% pyruvic acid was found to be safe and
effective to treat photodamage, melasma, and superficial scarring. [A4] In fact, as early as in 2004,
researchers in Italy showed that 50% pyruvic acid peeling can be proposed as a safe and efficient
treatment for moderate facial skin aging. [A4]


Pyruvate weight loss
Pyruvate claims of boosting metabolism, decreasing appetite, and aiding in weight loss need further study.
[A1] However, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin noticed that infusion of pyruvate and
dihydroxyacetone directly into the blood produced strong metabolic effects. When chronically fed to
animals as part of their diet, pyruvate plus dihydroxyacetone reduce the rate of weight gain and body fat
content during growth. These alterations in growth pattern appear to be the result of an increased loss of
calories as heat at the expense of storage of lipid.  [A1] While, in a six-week study, 34 overweight subjucts
ate low-fat diets, while some took 22-44 grams of pyruvate and others a placebo. At the end of the study,
pyruvate group lost 38 percent more weight than the placebo group and experienced a 48-percent loss of
body fat. [A2] Dosage requirement to achieve weight loss is about 3-5 g. [A2]

Are there side effects of pyruvate?
In a study of acne, researchers found complete remission in some patients and no side effects. Pyruvic
acid therapy is an effective, safe and well-tolerated procedure in the study. [6] However, oral intake of high
doses of pyruvate may lead to side effects of gastrointestinal disturbance - such as bloating, gas or
[1] Pyruvate Metabolism, merck online publication, July 17, 2006. [2] Ivy JL. Effect of pyruvate and dihydroxyacetone on
metabolism and aerobic endurance capacity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Jun;30(6):837-43. [EMAIL] [3] Das UN. Is pyruvate an endogenous anti-inflammatory molecule? Nutrition. 2006 Jun 27.
[4] Mallet RT et al, Metabolic cardioprotection by pyruvate: recent progress. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2005
Jul;230(7):435-43. [5] Mallet RT. Pyruvate: metabolic protector of cardiac performance. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 2000
Feb;223(2):136-48. [6] Cotellessa C, et al, The use of pyruvic acid in the treatment of acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol.
2004 May;18(3):275-8. [7] Petkova I, et al, Sodium pyruvate infusions in patients with alcoholic liver disease. Preliminary
report. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 2000;25(3-4):103-8. [8] Lee JY, Kim YH, Koh JY. Protection by pyruvate against
transient forebrain ischemia in rats. J Neurosci. 2001 Oct 15;21(20):RC171. [A1]
[A2] [A3] Hegde K, Kovtun S, Varma S.
Prevention of cataract in diabetic mice by topical pyruvate. Clin Ophthalmol. 2011;5:1141-5. [A4] Berardesca E, Cameli N,
Primavera G, Carrera M  Clinical and instrumental evaluation of skin improvement after treatment with a new 50%
pyruvic acid peel. Dermatol Surg. 2006 Apr;32(4):526-31. [A4] Ghersetich I, Brazzini B, Peris K, Cotellessa C, Manunta T,
Lotti T.  Pyruvic acid peels for the treatment of photoaging. Dermatol Surg. 2004 Jan;30(1):32-6; discussion 36.
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