Ornithine Ketoglutarate (OKG)


Ornithine ketoglutarate is a salt made from the amino acid ornithine and the glutamine precursor alpha-ketoglutarate. People use it as a medicine.

Ornithine ketoglutarate is taken by mouth to build muscle and increase muscle strength. It is also used for HIV/AIDS and for healing wounds, skinpressure ulcers, and burns.

Ornithine ketoglutarate is sometimes included in nutritional formulas that healthcare providers give as an injection into the veins (intravenously, by IV). Ornithine ketoglutarate is added to the formulas to prevent abnormally slow growth in children who are receiving long-term intravenous feeding.

Ornithine ketoglutarate is also given by IV for helping the body make muscle protein after surgery or stroke; and for treating brain change caused by liver disease. It is also used to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and improving the health of people that have had a stroke.

Don't confuse ornithine ketoglutarate with ornithine or another chemical called L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA).


Is a Form Of:


Primary Functions:

Build muscle

Also Known As:

2-Oxopentanedioic Acid L-Ornithine, ACO, Alpha-Cétoglutarate de L-Ornithine

How Does It Work?

Ornithine ketoglutarate might change the way amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are used in the body. It also increases insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood.


  • Burns. Taking ornithine ketoglutarate by mouth might improve wound healing in people with burns.
  • Wound healing. Taking ornithine ketoglutarate before plastic surgery or after surgery for throat cancer improves healing time and reduces complications such as the number of infections.

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For burn wounds: 30 grams of ornithine ketoglutarate daily.
  • For other wounds: 10 grams daily beginning 5 days before and continuing until 10 days after surgery. 20 grams daily for one month.

Ornithine Ketoglutarate (OKG) Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What is ornithine alpha ketoglutarate?

Ornithine ketoglutarate is a salt made from the amino acid ornithine and the glutamine precursor alpha-ketoglutarate. Ornithine ketoglutarate is also given by IV for helping the body make muscle protein after surgery or stroke; and for treating brain change caused by liver disease.

What is ornithine used for?

Ornithine is used for improving athletic performance, reducing glutamine poisoning in the treatment of a brain condition due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy), and for wound healing.

What does arginine alpha ketoglutarate do?

Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) is a salt of the amino acid arginine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid. It is marketed as a bodybuilding supplement. Peer-reviewed studies have found no increase in muscle protein synthesis or improvement in muscle strength from use of AAKG as a dietary supplement.

What is arginine and ornithine good for?

Arginine and ornithine supplementation increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 serum levels after heavy-resistance exercise in strength-trained athletes.

Does L ornithine help you sleep?

L-ornithine helps manage fatigue by stabilizing energy levels and promoting better sleep.

What foods contain ornithine?

L Ornithine is an amino acid found in protein rich foods such as fish, dairy and eggs and is also produced in the body from Arginine in the Urea cycle. Ornithine is recycled back to Arginine making it an important component in clearing urea waste.

Is ornithine an essential amino acid?

A non-essential and nonprotein amino acid, ornithine is critical for the production of the body's proteins, enzymes and muscle tissue. Ornithine plays a central role in the urea cycle and is important for the disposal of excess nitrogen (ammonia).

Where is ornithine found?

Ornithine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Ornithine is one of the key reactants in the urea cycle that is responsible for 80% of the nitrogen excretion in the body.

What is the other name of ornithine cycle?

Urea cycle. The urea cycle (also known as the ornithine cycle) is a cycle of biochemical reactions that produces urea (NH2)2CO from ammonia (NH3). This cycle occurs in ureotelic organisms.

How does ornithine move into the mitochondria?

The Cytosolic Stage

Argininosuccinate synthetase (AS) takes the citrulline formed in the mitochondrial stage, and condenses it with aspartate to form argininosuccinate. ... The ornithine is then transported into the mitochondria by ornithine translocase. There, it is used by OTC again, to form citrulline.

Clinical Studies