Lipoic acid (LA) is a naturally occurring compound that’s made in the body. It serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production. Despite that fact, there has been a lot of recent interest in using Lipoic Acid supplements.
When taken as a dietary supplement, lipoic acid displays additional properties that might be unrelated to the mitochondria’s function. They include stimulating glucose metabolism, antioxidant defenses, and anti-inflammatory responses – making it a possible complementary treatment for people with diabetes, heart disease, and age-related cognitive decline.
Scientists have been researching the potential health benefits of lipoic acid supplements for decades, including how it might enhance healthy aging and mitigate cardiovascular disease.
A new study came out by Oregon State University, and Oregon Health & Science University suggests that Lipoic acid supplements help some obese, but otherwise healthy people lose weight.
Through this study, scientists wanted to evaluate whether LA supplementation decreases elevated plasma triglycerides in overweight or obese adults.
The scientists analyzed the effects of 24 weeks of daily, 600-milligram doses of lipoic acid supplements on 31 people, with a similarly sized control group receiving a placebo.
Balz Frei, director emeritus of OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and one of the scientists on the study, said, “The data clearly showed a loss in body weight and body fat in people taking lipoic acid supplements. Particularly in women and in the heaviest participants.”
Tory Hagen, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science said, “Many existing clinical studies using lipoic acid have focused on volunteers with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, making it difficult to determine if lipoic acid supplements act as a disease treatment or have other beneficial health effects. Another issue is the formulation of the supplement. Many previous studies have used the S form of lipoic acid, a product of industrial synthesis, and not found in nature. We only used the R form of lipoic acid – the form found in the body naturally.”
Contrary to what was expected by the scientists, decreased triglycerides were not seen in all the participants taking lipoic acid.
Hagen said, “By the end of the study, some markers of inflammation declined. The findings also suggest that lipoic acid supplementation provides a mild reduction in oxidative stress. It is not a perfect panacea, but our results show that lipoic acid supplements can be beneficial.”
Identifying which patients will benefit the most from lipoic acid supplementation, and how much they need, is essential for clinical and economic reasons.”
“Lipoic acid supplements are often quite expensive. So understanding how we can maximize benefits with smaller amounts of the supplement is something we are interested in pursuing.”
- Gerd Bobe, et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Long-Term (R)-α-Lipoic Acid Supplementation Promotes Weight Loss in Overweight or Obese Adults without Altering Baseline Elevated Plasma Triglyceride Concentrations. DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxaa203