Slideshows Images Quizzes


font size

What other names is Pyruvate known by?

2-Oxopropanoate, 2-Oxopropanoic acid, 2-Oxypropanoic Acid, Acetylformic Acid, Acide Acétylformique, Acide Alpha-Kéto, Acide Oxo-2 Propanoïque, Acide Pyruvique, Alpha-Keto Acid, Alpha-Ketopropionic Acid, Calcium Pyruvate, Calcium Pyruvate Monohydrate, Creatine Pyruvate, Magnesium Pyruvate, Monohydrate de Pyruvate de Calcium, Piruvato, Potassium Pyruvate, Proacemic Acid, Pyruvate de Calcium, Pyruvate de Créatine, Pyruvate de Magnésium, Pyruvate de Sodium, Pyruvic Acid, Sodium Pyruvate.

What is Pyruvate?

The body produces pyruvate when it breaks down sugar (glucose). Pyruvate is available as a supplement.

Pyruvate is used for weight loss and obesity, high cholesterol, cataracts, cancer, and improving athletic performance.

Some people apply pyruvic acid, a liquid form of pyruvate, to the skin to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Pyruvic acid is sometimes applied to the skin as a facial peel.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Aging skin. Applying a 50% pyruvic acid skin peel once a week for 4 weeks seems to smooth skin, decrease wrinkles, and decrease dark spots associated with aging due to sun exposure.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Athletic performance. Some early research suggests that increasing the intake of dietary pyruvate and dihydroxyacetone for one week increases exercise endurance. However, most research shows that taking pyruvate by mouth for up to 5 weeks, alone or along with creatine, does not improve athletic performance.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Alcohol-related liver disease. Early research suggests that giving sodium pyruvate intravenously (by IV) for 25 days improves measures of liver function in people with alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Long term lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD). Early research shows that inhaling sodium pyruvate using a nebulizer for 6 weeks may improve lung function in people with COPD.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF). Early research suggests that injecting pyruvate into the artery that feeds blood into the heart may improve symptoms and heart function in people with heart failure.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Early research suggests that adding pyruvate to a solution that is used to help stop the heart during a CABG surgery improves recovery and may reduce heart complications after surgery.
  • Scaly, flaky skin (ichthyosis). Early research suggests that topically applying a Eucerin skin cream containing 5% pyruvate for at least 2 weeks helps increase skin shedding in people with scaly, flaky skin.
  • Weight loss and obesity. So far, early studies disagree about the effectiveness of pyruvate for weight loss. Some results show pyruvate may help increase weight loss and decrease body fat, while other results show no effect.
  • Cataracts.
  • Cancer.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pyruvate for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors