Alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG) is a ketone derivative of the organic compound glutaric acid. It is important for the proper metabolism of all essential amino acids and the transfer of cellular energy in the citric acid, or Krebs, cycle. It is a precursor to glutamic acid, the non-essential amino acid involved in protein synthesis and the regulation of blood glucose metabolism. In combination with L-glutamate, AKG can reduce levels of ammonia formed in the brain, muscles and kidneys, as well as help balance the body’s nitrogen chemistry and prevent nitrogen excess in body tissues and fluids. Individuals with high protein intake or gastrointestinal microbiota imbalance may benefit from supplemental AKG to help balance ammonia levels and protect tissues.