Weight Loss: Clinical Trial Study Led By Oregon State University Shows That Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplements Help Overweight Individuals Lose Weight
: A new clinical trial study led by researchers from Oregon State University and included experts from Oregon Health & Science University and Boston University has demonstrated that alpha-lipoic acid given as a dietary supplement to overweight but otherwise healthy people was able to help many the patients in the study slim down.
The study findings are published in the Journal of Nutrition
The study 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.
Professor Dr Balz Frei, director emeritus of Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute and one of the scientists on the study told Thailand Medical News, “The data clearly showed a loss in body weight and body fat in people taking lipoic acid supplements. The results were most apparent particularly in women and in the heaviest participants.”
The compound alpha-lipoic acid that produced by both plants and animals, sets up shop in cells’ mitochondria, where it’s normally attached to proteins involved in energy and amino acid metabolism.
As a specialized, medium-chain fatty acid, it is unique in having two sulfur atoms at one end of the chain, allowing for the transfer of electrons from other sources.
Although the human body generally produces enough lipoic acid to supply the enzymes whose proper function requires it, when taken as a dietary supplement, lipoic acid displays additional properties that might be unrelated to the function in the mitochondria. They include the stimulation of 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.
Dr Alexander Michels, another Linus Pauling Institute scientist involved with the study commented, “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. In both rodent models and small-scale human clinical trials, researchers at the LPI have demonstrated the beneficial effects of lipoic acid on oxidative stress, lipid metabolism, and circadian rhythm.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147855/
The new clinical study to assess alpha-lipoic role in weight loss addressed two issues commonly ignored by previous human trials, said Dr Tory Hagen, a Professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science and the study’s corresponding author.
Dr Hagen, principal investigator and Dr Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Healthy Aging Research at the institute commented, “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 simply 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, which is 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.”
Interestingly, contrary to what was expected by the researchers, decreased levels of triglycerides ie a type of fat, or lipid, found in the blood were not seen in all the participants taking lipoic acid.
Dr Gerd Bobe, another LPI scientist who collaborated on the study said, “The effect of lipoic acid supplements on blood lipids was limited. But individuals who lost weight on lipoic acid also reduced their blood triglyceride levels that effect was clear.”
Significantly, other effects of the lipoic acid supplements were measurable as well.
Dr Hagen added, “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.”
He added that identifying which patients will benefit the most from lipoic acid supplementation, and how much they need, is important for both clinical and economic reasons.
He said, “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.”
Thailand Medical News warns that any readers planning to take alpha-lipoic acid supplements to always consult their doctors first and also when shopping for these supplements, stay away from brands made in Asia as most are using the cheaper S-isomer forms of alpha-lipoic acid that have lesser therapeutic potency. Stick to certain credible brands from America, Canada, Europe and Australia including brands like Life Extension and Now.
For more about Weight Loss
which is a currently a trending topic as obesity increases the risk of COVID-19 disease severity and mortality, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.