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Nutritional Supplement

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Where to Find It

The body makes small amounts of alpha lipoic acid. There is only limited knowledge about the food sources of this nutrient. However, foods that contain mitochondria (a specialized component of cells), such as red meats, are believed to provide the most alpha lipoic acid. Supplements are also available.

How to Use It

The amount of alpha lipoic acid used in research to improve diabetic neuropathies is 800 mg per day and 150 mg per day for glaucoma. However, much lower amounts, such as 20–50 mg per day, are recommended by some doctors for general antioxidant protection, although there is no clear evidence that such general use has any benefit.

References

1. Kagan V, Khan S, Swanson C, et al. Antioxidant action of thioctic acid and dihydrolipoic acid. Free Radic Biol Med 1990;9S:15.

2. Gomes M, Negrato C. Alpha-lipoic acid as a pleiotropic compound with potential therapeutic use in diabetes and other chronic diseases. Diabetol Metab Syndr 2014;6:80.

3. Garcia-Alcala H, Santos Vichido C, Islas Macedo S, et al. Treatment with alpha-Lipoic Acid over 16 Weeks in Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Symptomatic Polyneuropathy Who Responded to Initial 4-Week High-Dose Loading. J Diabetes Res 2015;2015:189857.

4. Ziegler D, Low P, Litchy W, et al. Efficacy and safety of antioxidant treatment with alpha-lipoic acid over 4 years in diabetic polyneuropathy: the NATHAN 1 trial. Diabetes Care 2011;34:2054–60.

5. Udupa A, Nahar P, Shah S, et al. A comparative study of effects of omega-3 Fatty acids, alpha lipoic Acid and vitamin e in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ann Med Health Sci Res 2013;3:442–6.

6. Zhao L, Hu F. Alpha-Lipoic acid treatment of aged type 2 diabetes mellitus complicated with acute cerebral infarction. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2014;18:3715–9.

7. Okanovic A, Prnjavorac B, Jusufovic E, Sejdinovic R. Alpha-lipoic acid reduces body weight and regulates triglycerides in obese patients with diabetes mellitus. Med Glas (Zenica) 2015;12:122–7.

8. Nebbioso M, Pranno F, Pescosolido N. Lipoic acid in animal models and clinical use in diabetic retinopathy. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2013;14:1829–38.

9. Gebka A, Serkies-Minuth E, Raczynska D. Effect of the administration of alpha-lipoic acid on contrast sensitivity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Mediators Inflamm 2014;2014:131538.

10. Hong Y, Peng J, Cai X, et al. Clinical Efficacy of Alprostadil Combined with alpha-lipoic Acid in the Treatment of Elderly Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy. Open Med (Wars) 2017;12:323–7.

11. Mitkov M, Aleksandrova I, Orbetzova M. Effect of transdermal testosterone or alpha-lipoic acid on erectile dysfunction and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Folia Med (Plovdiv) 2013;55:55–63.

12. Agathos E, Tentolouris A, Eleftheriadou I, et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on symptoms and quality of life in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. J Int Med Res 2018;46:1779–90.

13. Ametov A, Barinov A, Dyck P, et al. The sensory symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy are improved with alpha-lipoic acid: the SYDNEY trial. Diabetes Care 2003;26:770–6.

14. Han Y, Wang M, Shen J, et al. Differential efficacy of methylcobalamin and alpha-lipoic acid treatment on symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Minerva Endocrinol 2018;43:11–8.

15. Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy: the SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care 2006;29:2365–70.

16. Nebbioso M, Federici M, Rusciano D, et al. Oxidative stress in preretinopathic diabetes subjects and antioxidants. Diabetes Technol Ther 2012;14:257–63.

17. Gebka A, Serkies-Minuth E, Raczynska D. Effect of the administration of alpha-lipoic acid on contrast sensitivity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Mediators Inflamm 2014;2014:131538.

18. Koh EH, Lee WJ, Lee SA, et al. Effects of alpha-lipoic acid on body weight in obese subjects. Am J Med 2011;124:85.e1-85.e8.

19. Huerta AE, Navas-Carretero S, Prieto-Hontoria PL, et al. Effects of alpha-lipoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in overweight and obese women during weight loss. Obesity 2015;23:313–21.

20. Magis D, Ambrosini A, Sandor P, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of thioctic acid in migraine prophylaxis. Headache 2007;47:52-7.

21. Filina AA, Davydova NG, Endrikhovskii SN, et al. Lipoic acid as a means of metabolic therapy of open-angle glaucoma. Vestn Oftalmol 1995;111:6-8.

22. Dell'Anna ML, Mastrofrancesco A, Sala R, et el. Antioxidants and narrow band-UVB in the treatment of vitiligo: a double-blind placebo controlled trial. Clin Exp Dermatol 2007;32:631-6.

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The information presented by Healthnotes 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 December 2020.