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Some athletes say that pyruvate helps them lose body fat and also helps boost metabolism and increase endurance.
Pyruvate appears to promote weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate. There is good research based on human studies showing that pyruvate helps to promote weight loss in overweight people on low-fat diets.
Although pyruvate promotes weight loss, which is good for heart health, it is important to monitor cholesterol levels as it may reduce HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Three controlled studies of untrained individuals using a combination of 6 to 10 grams per day of pyruvate and an exercise program reported greater effects on weight loss and body fat compared with those taking a placebo with the exercise program.1, 2, 3 However, controlled studies of the effects of pyruvate supplementation on exercise performance have tested only trained athletes, and these athletes did not experience improvements from pyruvate supplementation. Seven grams per day did not improve aerobic exercise performance in cyclists,4 and an average of 15 grams per day did not improve anaerobic performance or body composition in football players.5
1. Kalman D, Colker CM, Wilets I, et al. The effects of pyruvate supplementation on body composition in overweight individuals. Nutrition 1999;15:337-40.
2. Kreider R, Koh P, Ferreira M, et al. Effects of pyruvate supplementation during training on body composition & metabolic responses to exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:S62 [abstract].
3. Kalman D, Colker CM, Stark S, et al. Effect of pyruvate supplementation on body composition and mood. Curr Ther Res 1998;59:793-802.
4. Morrison MA, Spriet LL, Dyck DJ. Pyruvate ingestion for 7 days does not improve aerobic performance in well-trained individuals. J Appl Physiol 2000;89:549-56.
5. Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5 weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.