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    Alpha Lipoic Acid

    Alpha Lipoic Acid

    Uses

    What Are Star Ratings?

    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.

    3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

    2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

    1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement,little scientific support.

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

    Used for Why
    3 Stars
    Type 1 Diabetes
    600 to 1,200 mg a day
    Supplementing with alpha lipoic acid may protect against diabetic complications, such as nerve and kidney damage.
    Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant . Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that supplementing with 600 to 1,200 mg of lipoic acid per day improves the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy).2 , 3 , 4 , 5 In a preliminary study, supplementing with 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day for 18 months slowed the progression of kidney damage in people with type 1 diabetes.6
    3 Stars
    Type 2 Diabetes
    600 to 1,200 mg a day
    Taking alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and help protect against diabetic complications such as nerve damage.
    Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant . Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that supplementing 600 to 1,200 mg of lipoic acid per day improves insulin sensitivity and the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 In a preliminary study, supplementing with 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid per day for 18 months slowed the progression of kidney damage in patients with type 2 diabetes.15
    2 Stars
    Migraine Headache
    600 mg per day
    In a small double-blind trial, supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid significantly reduced the frequency of migraine attacks.

    In a small double-blind trial, supplementation with 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid once a day for three months significantly reduced the frequency of migraine attacks. However, this improvement was not statistically significant when compared with the change in the placebo group.16 Additional research is needed to determine whether alpha-lipoic acid is effective for preventing migraines.

    2 Stars
    Vitiligo
    Refer to label instructions
    In one study, supplementing with a combination of antioxidants including alpha-lipoic acid increased the effectiveness of ultraviolet light therapy.
    In a double-blind trial, supplementation with antioxidants for two months before and for six months during treatment with narrowband ultraviolet B light increased the effectiveness of the ultraviolet light therapy. The antioxidant supplement contained daily 100 mg of alpha-lipoic acid, 100 mg of vitamin C, 40 IU of vitamin E, and 100 mg of cysteine.18
    1 Star
    Glaucoma
    Refer to label instructions
    Alpha lipoic acid may improve visual function in people with some types of glaucoma.

    Alpha lipoic acid (150 mg per day for one month) improves visual function in people with some types of glaucoma.19

    1 Star
    Hepatitis
    Refer to label instructions
    In one trial, a combination of alpha lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium led to significant improvements in liver function and overall health in people with hepatitis C.

    A potent antioxidant combination may protect the liver from damage in people with hepatitis C, possibly decreasing the necessity for a liver transplant. In a preliminary trial,20 three people with liver cirrhosis and esophageal varices (dilated veins in the esophagus that can rupture and cause fatal bleeding) caused by hepatitis C received a combination of Alpha lipoic acid (300 mg twice daily), silymarin (from milk thistle ; 300 mg three times daily), and selenium (selenomethionine; 200 mcg twice daily). After five to eight months of therapy that included other ?supportive supplements,? such as vitamin C and B vitamins , all three people had significant improvements in their liver function and overall health. Larger clinical trials are needed to confirm these promising preliminary results.

    How It Works

    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.

    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.

    Possible Deficiencies

    Although alpha lipoic acid was thought to be a vitamin when it was first discovered, subsequent research determined that it is created in the human body?and thus is not an essential nutrient. For this reason, deficiencies of alpha lipoic acid are not known to occur in humans.

    Interactions

    Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

    Chronic administration of alpha lipoic acid in animals has interfered with the actions of the vitamin, biotin . Whether this has significance for humans remains unknown.21

    Interactions with Medicines

    As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers? package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Side Effects

    Side Effects

    Side effects with alpha lipoic acid are rare but can include skin rash and the potential of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients. People who may be deficient in vitamin B1 (such as alcoholics) should take vitamin B1 along with alpha lipoic acid supplements.

    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. Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Finn JR, et al. Effects of 3-week oral treatment with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid) in symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabet Med 1999;16:1040?3.

    3. Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Finn JR, et al. Effects of 3-week oral treatment with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid) in symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabet Med 1999;16:1040?3.

    4. Reljanovic M, Reichel G, Rett K, et al. Treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid): a two year multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial (ALADIN II). Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Free Radic Res 1999;31:171?9.

    5. Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau KJ, et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a 7-month multicenter randomized controlled trial (ALADIN III Study). ALADIN III Study Group. Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetes Care 1999;22:1296?301.

    6. Morcos M, Borcea V, Isermann B, et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on the progression of endothelial cell damage and albuminuria in patients with diabetes mellitus: an exploratory study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2001;52:175?83.

    7. Konrad T, Vicini P, Kusterer K, et al. alpha lipoic acid treatment decreases serum lactate and pyruvate concentrations and improves glucose effectiveness in lean and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1999;22:280?7.

    8. Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Finn JR, et al. Effects of 3-week oral treatment with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid) in symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabet Med 1999;16:1040?3.

    9. Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Finn JR, et al. Effects of 3-week oral treatment with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid) in symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabet Med 1999;16:1040?3.

    10. Reljanovic M, Reichel G, Rett K, et al. Treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid): a two year multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial (ALADIN II). Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Free Radic Res 1999;31:171?9.

    11. Ziegler D, Schatz H, Conrad F, et al. Effects of treatment with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid on cardiac autonomic neuropathy in NIDDM patients. A 4-month randomized controlled multicenter trial (DEKAN Study). Diabetes Care 1997;20:369?73.

    12. Jacob S, Ruus P, Hermann R, et al. Oral administration of RAC-alpha-lipoic acid modulates insulin sensitivity in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled pilot trial. Free Radic Biol Med 1999;27:309?14.

    13. Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau KJ, et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a 7-month multicenter randomized controlled trial (ALADIN III Study). ALADIN III Study Group. Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetes Care 1999;22:1296?301.

    14. 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.

    15. Morcos M, Borcea V, Isermann B, et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on the progression of endothelial cell damage and albuminuria in patients with diabetes mellitus: an exploratory study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2001;52:175?83.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. Berkson BM. A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the treatment of hepatitis C. Combination of Alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: three case histories. Med Klin 1999;94 Suppl 3:84?9.

    21. Zempleni J, Trusty TA, Mock DM. Lipoic acid reduces the activities of biotin-dependent carboxylases in rat liver. J Nutr 1997;127:1776?81.

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