Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is a natural occurring fatty acid and antioxidant found inside every cell of the body. The body needs this to convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Alpha lipoic acid is the only water and fat soluble antioxidant. It also appears to be able to recycle antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione after they have been consumed. Glutathione is another important antioxidant that helps the body eliminate potentially harmful substances.

Alpha lipoic acid is neuroprotective in animal models. It protects neurons from free radical damage cause by both beta amyloid and free radicals (hydrogen peroxide) [1]. A small human study demonstrated delayed Alzheimer’s Disease progression when subjects were given alpha lipoic acid for one year [2]. This study demonstrated alpha lipoic acid supplementation appeared to dramatically lower Alzheimer’s disease compared to untreated patients, or patients on choline-esterase inhibitors [3]. The authors concluded “that treatment with alpha lipoic acid might be a successful neuroprotective therapy” [4]. Moreover, other publications have suggested that alpha lipoic acid has a benefit in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease [5].


  1. Zhang L, Xing GQ, Barker JL, Chang Y, Maric D, Ma W, Li BS, Rubinow DR. Alpha-lipoic acid protects rat cortical neurons against cell death induced by amyloid and hydrogen peroxide through the Akt signalling pathway. Neurosci Lett. 2001 Oct 26;312(3):125-8.
  2. Hager K, Kenklies M, McAfoose J, Engel J, Münch G.
    Alpha-lipoic acid as a new treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease–a 48 months follow-up analysis. J Neural Transm Suppl. 2007;(72):189-93.
  3. Maczurek A, Hager K, Kenklies M, Sharman M, Martins R, Engel J, Carlson DA, Münch G. Lipoic acid as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Oct-Nov;60(13-14):1463-70.
  4. Holmquist L, Stuchbury G, Berbaum K, Muscat S, Young S, Hager K, Engel J, Münch G. Lipoic acid as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jan;113(1):154-64.
  5. Salinthone S, Yadav V, Bourdette DN, Carr DW. Lipoic acid: a novel therapeutic approach for multiple sclerosis and other chronic inflammatory diseases of the CNS. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2008 Jun;8(2):132-42.