September 25, 2004
Q: What is OKG and what is it used for? - Layperson
A: The amino acids ornithine and glutamine are combined to form ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG) . This supplement has been clinically proven to enhance protein retention and synthesis, wound healing, and immune function by increasing levels of growth (anabolic) hormones such as insulin, IGF-1, and growth hormone. In Europe, OKG is classified as a drug and in the US as a supplement. In Europe and other parts of the world, it is used on burn patients to help reduce and/or eliminate catabolism (breakdown) of protein tissues which in turn helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balances. It is also used to prevent or slow down losses in muscle-wasting diseases. It also has some use in Sarcopenia, age-related muscle deterioration we all get to one degree or another as we age, even in those who remain fit and active. Although the two amino acids above, occur naturally, they only produce benefits listed when combined to form OKG, which does not occur naturally. Do not be fooled into using the cheaper calcium chloride and magnesium chloride salts of OKG. OKG has become popular among weight lifters and bodybuilders, although there is no clinical data to back claims of improvement in muscle size and strength in healthy exercised individuals.
Q: I have hit a plateau in my weight training program where I cannot seem to make any further gains. What can I do to break this plateau? - Layperson
A: Plateaus are usually do to overtraining in which the muscle groups are not given enough time to recover or heal. A number of ways can break the plateau. Either give more time away from the particular exercise in which the plateau occured or hit the muscle groups with an exercise using them from another angle. Another method is to use what is known as a "forced rep" and should only be used by experienced lifters. Using a spotter, a weight that is five to twenty-five pounds over a person's maximum lift, is used to perform the exercise in which the plateau has occurred. The spotter gives the lifter just enough help to keep the weight moving. Do only one repetition per set for maybe two or three sets. After this has been done, drop back and try the weight where the plateau was produced. Most of the time, you will be able to blast your way through the plateau.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this column, is NOT intended to diagnose and/or treat any health related issues and is provided solely for informational purposes only. Consult the appropriate healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare regime. Even what may seem like simple changes in the diet for example, can interact with, and alter, the efficiency of medications and/or the body's response to the medications. Many herbs and supplements exert powerful medicinal effects. Neither the author, nor the website designers, assume any responsibility for the reader's use or misuse of this information.