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Pyruvate is an energy intermediate in cells, derived from both glucose and fatty acids to produce ATP. Despite this importance, human studies are not overly promising and the high doses needed are sometimes limited by intestinal side-effects.

Our evidence-based analysis on pyruvate features 14 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Pyruvate

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Pyruvate is a 3-carbon energy intermediate produced in cells from glucose, en route to creating ATP (the main energy currency of working cells). Pyruvate supplementation has been proposed to enhance work output and weight loss by providing more efficient energy that bypasses the ability of the body to store glucose as body fat.

Studies in humans with pyvuate supplementation show promise at high dosages when pyruvate replaces dietary carbohydrates.

Pyruvate has a lacklustre pharmacodynamic profile, and is not well absorbed. Some studies fail to note increases in blood pyruvate or muscle pyruvate in response to supplementation due to its inability to be absorbed and utilized well. Low doses of pyruvate (3-5g) tend to return null results rather than positive results in healthy persons.

Due to its poor absorption, high dose pyruvate is known to cause stomach distress and loose stools in dosages exceeding 15g.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Most studies on pyruvate substituted dietary carbohydrates for pyruvate as pyruvate itself does contain calories. The dose used in studies showing most fat loss is in the range of 20-50g daily, or replacing 10-20% of caloric intake (initially from carbohydrates) with supplemental pyruvate.

The lowest effective range noted in the aforementioned studies is replacing 6-12g of carbohydrates with pyruvate, but even then the results seen with pyruvate are variable and lacklustre enough to warrant caution in buying this supplement.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Pyruvate has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b - High See all 5 studies
The majority of the evidence currently does not support a role for supplemental Pyruvate in weight loss. The limited evidence to suggest fat loss are in obese women under severe caloric restriction, of which pyruvate was twice linked to increase the already drastic weight loss
grade-b - Low See all 5 studies
Most evidence suggests that standard oral doses of Pyruvate supplementation do not have a reducing effect on weight, but the effects of high dose pyruvate during severe caloric restriction cannot be ruled out
grade-c Minor - See study
May reduce blood pressure in hyperlipidemics, relation to weight loss not known
grade-c Minor - See study
May reduce fatigue during weight loss periods
grade-c Minor - See study
May decrease heart rate alongside blood pressure in hyperlipidemics according to one trial
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
A reducing effect on LDL-C has been noted once during caloric surplus; practical relevance of this information unknown
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being may occur secondary to weight loss, although due to the complications in weight loss with pyruvate this may not be feasible
grade-c Minor - See study
A reduction in total cholesterol has been noted once in response to a high fat hypercaloric diet; practical relevance unknown
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on aerobic exercise performance
grade-c - Moderate See 2 studies
No significant influence on HDL-C levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output noted with pyruvate supplementation in healthy athletes
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on training volume in otherwise healthy persons given an exercise protocol

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Things to Note

Primary Function:

  • Pyruvate has a caloric content, and will need to be worked into a diet's caloric total

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Click here to see all 14 references.