The Benefits Of Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements

The first clinical application of Alpha-lipoic acid was used by German doctors to treat acute poisoning caused by dead cap mushrooms (commonly known as “dead cap”). In the 1980s, Alpha-lipoic acid was found to be a powerful antioxidant, and With fat-soluble and water-soluble characteristics, it has the effect of resisting many chronic diseases, so it has gradually attracted attention.

American anti-oxidation pioneer Dr. Lester Packer mentioned in his books (The Antioxidant Miracle, Chinese translation: Miracle of Antioxidant) that Alpha-lipoic acid is an ideal super antioxidant and an important role of the human antioxidant network.

What are the benefits of alpha-lipoic acid supplements? Are there any side effects?

Table of Contents

What is Alpha-lipoic acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid originated from the 1937 scientist Snell and others found that certain bacteria require a compound in potato extract to grow. After several years, the growth factor in it is isolated, which is Alpha-lipoic acid.

In recent years, it has been found that Alpha-lipoic acid is an auxiliary factor involved in energy production and catabolism of mitochondria, and is closely related to glycolysis and citric acid cycle.

In addition, Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant, and its potential functions include the following

(1) Inhibition of active oxygen
(2) Regeneration of exogenous and endogenous antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, glutathione
(3) Chelation of metal ions
(4) Oxidized protein repair
(5) Gene transcription regulation
(6) Inhibition of nuclear factor Kapp B (NF-kB) activation

What are the benefits of Alpha-lipoic acid?

1. Alpha-lipoic acid regulates blood pressure

Hypertension is an abnormal increase in arterial blood pressure, defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg. The gray area with systolic blood pressure between 120-139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure between 80-89 mmHg is defined as prehypertension.

Increased blood pressure is positively correlated with the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. In addition, its complications include heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, impaired renal function, retinal bleeding, and visual impairment.

A meta-analysis of literature (including 7 randomized controlled trials with a total of 478 participants) pointed out that supplementation with Alpha-lipoic acid (daily dose from 300 to 1800 mg, duration from 8 to 20 weeks) has systolic blood pressure reduction and The effect of diastolic blood pressure, especially in subjects whose blood pressure is slightly higher than normal (elevated blood pressure, <130/80 mmHg).

*Conclusion: For subjects whose blood pressure is slightly higher than normal, oral Alpha-lipoic acid has the effect of lowering blood pressure, but it is limited by the heterogeneity of the included studies and the small sample size, and more studies are needed to corroborate.

2. Alpha-lipoic acid is beneficial for type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can change the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, mainly caused by insufficient compensatory insulin resistance and insulin secretion.

In the same patient, insulin secretion disorders and defects in insulin action often coexist, and it is often unclear which abnormalities are the main cause of hyperglycemia.

Obvious symptoms of hyperglycemia include polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss, and sometimes accompanied by polyphagia and blurred vision.

A randomized controlled trial (2 months, 57 subjects with type 2 diabetes) pointed out that compared with placebo, oral Alpha-lipoic acid (daily dose 300 mg) can reduce fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, insulin resistance index, (Glutathione peroxidase, GSH-Px).

*Conclusion: For patients with type 2 diabetes, oral Alpha-lipoic acid may be helpful for blood sugar control, but it is limited by small samples and the test period is too short. More research is needed to corroborate it.

3. Alpha-lipoic acid improves diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common microvascular complication in diabetic patients, which increases the risk of foot infections, ulcers, and non-traumatic amputations, which ultimately leads to long-term disability.

The main features are tingling, burning, pain, cramps, abnormal sensation, or numbness, usually more severe at night, causing sleep disturbances, which seriously affect the patient’s quality of life and daily activities.

It is generally believed that diabetic peripheral neuropathy is related to metabolic disorders, oxidative stress, vascular injury, nerve ischemic injury, and autoimmune disorders caused by long-term hyperglycemia.

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (including 20 randomized controlled trials, a total of 1894 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy) pointed out that the combined use of alpha-lipoic acid and drugs (epalrestat) was significantly better than the use alone that Can significantly improve the median motor nerve conduction velocity/MNCV, median sensory nerve conduction velocity/SNCV, fibula MNCV and fibula SNCV.

*Conclusion: Compared with Alpha-lipoic acid or epalrestat monotherapy, Alpha-lipoic acid + epalrestat combination therapy can significantly improve clinical efficacy and accelerate nerve conduction, but more large-scale randomized controlled trials are still needed to corroborate these findings.

4. Alpha-lipoic acid improves inflammation markers

Inflammation is the organism’s physiological protective response to harmful stimuli (whether physical, chemical, or biological), which can eliminate or neutralize foreign organisms or substances, and is used to restore homeostasis.

In general, the inflammatory reaction starts within a few minutes, and if everything goes well, it will disappear within a few hours. On the contrary, chronic inflammation lasts for weeks, months, or even years.

Increased chronic inflammation is associated with metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, arteriosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, vascular calcification, increased metalloproteinase activity, oxidative damage, and collagen degradation.

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (including 18 randomized controlled trials, a total of 912 participants) pointed out that for patients with metabolic syndrome and related diseases, oral Alpha-lipoic acid can significantly reduce c-reactive protein (CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha levels (TNF-α).

*Conclusion: Oral Alpha-lipoic acid can improve a variety of inflammatory markers but is limited by the heterogeneity of the included studies and the small number of samples, and more studies are needed to corroborate.

5. Alpha-lipoic acid helps lose weight

As of now, more than 2.1 billion people, or close to 30% of the global population, are overweight or obese. Therefore, obesity can be regarded as a global epidemic and a major public health problem.

Overweight and obesity are both characterized by high levels of fat in the body, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and overall mortality.

For those who are overweight, successful weight loss is defined as subtracting 10% or more of the initial weight and maintaining it for more than one year.

A literature review and meta-analysis (including 12 placebo-controlled clinical trials) pointed out that supplementation with AlphaAlpha-lipoic acid can help reduce body weight (-0.69 kg) and body mass index/BMI (-0.38 kg), but The effect of waist circumference is not significant.

The subgroup analysis found that the weight loss effect is particularly significant for those who use it for less than 10 weeks, whose daily dose is less than 600 mg, and who are overweight.

*Conclusion: Supplementing AlphaAlpha-lipoic acid has a small but statistically significant effect on weight loss and body mass index improvement.

6. Alpha-lipoic acid improves burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is a complex disease, which is characterized by a feeling of fever or burning in the oral mucosa, without obvious mucosal changes or lesions, such as mouth pain, tongue pain, neuropathic pain, glossitis, scald, etc.

The prevalence of burning mouth syndrome is between 0.7% and 4.6% of the general population, which increases with age and mainly affects menopausal women (up to 18% to 33%).

Possible causes include hormonal changes, psychological factors (including anxiety, depression, stress, life events), salivary dysfunction, etc.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (8 weeks, 60 patients with burning mouth syndrome) pointed out that oral Alpha-lipoic acid (daily dose 800 mg) did not significantly improve the symptoms (visual analog score / Visual Analogue Scale measurement).

*Conclusion: Alpha-lipoic acid has no obvious effect on improving burning mouth syndrome, and further research is needed to verify it.

Food source of Alpha-lipoic acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid can be found in natural foods covalently bound to lysines, such as vegetables (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes) and meat (especially red meat or animal offal), and can also be composed of octanoic acid in animal and plant mitochondria. And sulfur source cysteine ​​(cysteine) formed by enzyme conversion.

How to take Alpha-lipoic acid (how much dose)?

Regarding the dosage of Alpha-lipoic acid, most of the evidence indicates that 100 to 600 mg is sufficient and safe, but it also varies with the type (S type, R type or sodium combined with R type). In addition, the absorption rate when taken on an empty stomach high.

People with diabetes complications or cognitive impairment may need more Alpha-lipoic acid. In this case, it is best to consult a doctor about the physical condition before use.

How to choose Alpha-lipoic acid?

R-Lipoic Acid is the only natural form that can be used by the human body, but the commercially available Alpha-lipoic acid is divided into two types, namely Alpha-lipoic acid (artificial S type + natural R type) and R Lipoic Acid (natural R type).

The study also found that after taking R-form Alpha-lipoic acid, the blood drug concentration is not only double that of artificial S-form but also the reaction rate is 60% higher (compared to artificial S-form), so choose R-form (R-Lipoic Acid ) Is more effective.

At present, the pharmaceutical industry has also developed the second generation of natural R-type Alpha-lipoic acid, which combines sodium with R-type to form sodium-R-lipoic acid (NaRLA), which can solve the polymerization problem (polymerization). In addition to improving stability, it also increases 10-30 times the blood concentration.

Are there any side effects of Alpha-lipoic acid?

In general, an appropriate dose of Alpha-lipoic acid is generally considered to be safe, but possible minor side effects and adverse reactions that have been reported include skin allergic reactions, including rash, urticaria and itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, Vertigo, urine odor, etc., especially when used in large doses (1200 mg to 1800 mg).

Safety Precautions

1. There was a rare case of refractory convulsions caused by children taking an unknown dose of Alpha-lipoic acid.

2. There was a case in which a man (with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and mild chronic renal failure) who took high doses of Alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg/day) caused acute cholestatic hepatitis.

3. Large doses of Alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg/day) reduce blood iron levels and are thought to cause iron deficiency anemia, but nonetheless, no such incidents have been reported in humans.

4. The chemical structure of biotin is similar to Alpha-lipoic acid. There is evidence that a high concentration of Alpha-lipoic acid may compete with biotin for transport across cell membranes and reduce the activity of two biotin-dependent enzymes, but it is still unclear Oral or intravenous

Where to buy the most recommended R-type Alpha-lipoic acid capsules?

In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.

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