Supplement Forms/Alternate Names
- Dihydroxyacetone Pyruvate (DHAP)
- Calcium Pyruvate
- Magnesium Pyruvate
- Potassium Pyruvate
- Sodium Pyruvate
Pyruvate supplies the body with pyruvic acid, a natural compound that plays important roles in the manufacture and use of energy. Pyruvate supplements have become popular with bodybuilders and other athletes, based on claims that pyruvate can reduce body fat and enhance the ability to use energy efficiently. However, at the present time, there is only preliminary evidence that it really works.
Pyruvate is not an essential nutrient, since your body makes all it needs. But it can be found in food, with an average diet supplying anywhere from 100 mg to 2 g daily. Apples are the best source: a single apple contains about 450 mg of pyruvate. Beer and red wine contain about 75 mg per serving.
Therapeutic dosages are usually much higher than what you can get from food: You'd have to eat almost 70 apples a day to get the proper amount! To use pyruvate for therapeutic purposes, you must take a supplement.
Although most products on the market contain only (or almost only) pyruvate, some also contain a related compound, dihydroxyacetone, which the body converts to pyruvate. The combination of the two products is known as DHAP.
A typical therapeutic dosage of pyruvate is 30 g daily, although 6 to 44 g daily have been used in studies. Dihydroxyacetone dosages in studies of DHAP (pyruvate plus dihydroxyacetone) have ranged from 12 to 75 g daily.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Pyruvate?
While all these studies are intriguing, we really need large studies (100 participants or more) to establish the potential benefits of pyruvate for weight loss.
Maximum safe dosages for children, women who are pregnant or nursing, or those with liver or kidney disease have not been established.
Keep in mind that if a contaminant were present, even in very small percentages, there could be harmful results due to the enormous doses of pyruvate used. For this reason, you should make sure to use a high-quality product.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -