Grocery Trends

Nitric Oxide

Also indexed as:AAKG, Arginine AKG (NO2 Compound), NO2
Nitric Oxide: Main Image

Nitric oxide is the popular name for AAKG (arginine alpha-ketoglutarate), a compound made from the amino acid L-arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate, a substance formed in the body’s energy-generating process. AAKG is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and other athletes because of claims that it increases production of nitric oxide in muscles. Nitric oxide is known to have blood-flow-enhancing effects,1 which could in theory increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to exercising muscle. While L-arginine by itself is known to increase nitric oxide production, no research has been done to show that AAKG does the same. However, double-blind trials of AAKG suggest it improves some measures of strength and power resulting from weight training.2, 3

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance
4 gram three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
It has been speculated that AAKG may increase production of nitric oxide, a substance known to enhance blood flow. In one study, AAKG improved measures of strength and short-term power performance in weight lifters.

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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. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. 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 2015.