|Pyruvate is a three-carbon (triose) ketoacid that is produced in biological systems in the end stages of glycolysis, a product of sugar metabolism. It is also a breakdown product of certain amino acids (alanine, glycine, cysteine, serine). Pyruvate is the ionized form of pyruvic acid. At physiologic pH, the hydrogen proton dissociates from the carboxylic acid group, thereby generating the pyruvate
anion. Pyruvate and pyruvic acid are frequently use interchangeably. Pyruvic acid in various organic and inorganic derivatives, is found in diverse tissue systems and regions of the body. Pyruvic acid becomes anionic when the pH becomes more basic than the pKa of the carboxylic acid moiety of the molecule. Following the expected ionization of the acidic portion pyruvic acid yields the cation H.sup.+ and the anion pyruvate.
Pyruvate is a naturally occurring substance in the human body. Pyruvate is the output of the breakdown of glucose known as glycolysis, and (in aerobic respiration) the main input for the citric acid cycle via acetyl CoA. The six-carbon glucose molecule is broken down to two molecules of pyruvic acid in aerobic condition as the main input for Krebs cycle. Krebs cycle (also called citric acid cycle; tricarboxylic acid cycle) is a sequent process of enzymatic reaction which a two-carbon acetyl unit is oxidized to carbon dioxide and water to provide energy in the form of high-energy phosphate bonds. When used as a pharmaceutical, this anion is usually formulated as a salt, using a monovalent or divalent cation such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium. Typically, pyruvates are available in the form of salts, for example, calcium pyruvate and sodium pyruvate. Sodium pyruvate is not especially preferred as it is known that sodium is associated with various negative medical conditions such as high blood pressure, water retention and heart disease.
Pyruvic acid is an important intermediate in the in vivo metabolism and a starting material for synthesizing various physiologically active substances. Pyruvate serves as a biological fuel by being converted to acetyl coenzyme A, which enters the tricarboxylic acid or Krebs cycle where it is metabolized to produce ATP aerobically. Pyruvate carboxylate is an important anaplerotic enzyme replenishing oxaloacetate consumed for biosynthesis during growth, or lysine and glutamic acid production in industrial fermentations. Pyruvate controls a person's metabolic rate and is produced in the liver. The more pyruvate a person can produce, the more fat they will burn daily.
Pyruvate is sold as a dietary supplement for use in promoting weight loss and enhancing energy. It has also been suggested as a therapeutic intervention for clinical management of myocardial insufficiency and to prevent the adverse effects of myocardial ischemia. Pyruvate has a number of useful applications in medicine. Pyruvate has been described for retarding fatty deposits in livers, treating diabetes, retarding weight gain, to increase body protein concentrations in a mammal, treating cardiac patients to increase the cardiac output without accompanying increase in cardiac oxygen demand, extending athletic endurance, retarding cholesterol increase, inhibiting growth and spread of malignancy and retarding DNA breaks, and for inhibiting generation of free radicals. Because it is not an artificial stimulant to the metabolism, it will not increase blood pressure and is safe for both children and adults to use.