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Evidence that Alpha Lipoic Acid Could Help Combat Heart Disease

Alpha lipoic acid may have cardiovascular benefits

Lab and animal research involving alpha lipoic acid (alpha lipoic acid) shows it has multiple benefits in preventing or reducing risk factors for heart disease. These include: (iv.8291)

  • Blood vessel functioning.
  • Thickness of plaque build-up in arteries.
  • Accumulation of fats and collagen that make up plaque.
  • Stress on blood vessel cells from free radicals.
  • Inflammation in blood vessels.

Clinical studies in patients with heart disease suggest alpha lipoic acid can help reduce the progression of heart disease. Although alpha lipoic acid hasn't been studied in stroke patients, it has shown beneficial effects in animal models for ischemic stroke. Alpha lipoic acid limits brain damage from stroke, and works especially well in combination with vitamin E(iv.94)

However, alpha lipoic acid may only be beneficial if taken before a stroke happens (e.g., as a daily supplement). When alpha lipoic acid is only given after a stroke, animal studies suggest it doesn't protect brain cells from stroke injury. (iv.107)

Table IV.13: Clinical Studies of Alpha Lipoic Acid in Heart Disease
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. (iv.89)

Intravenous injection of 600 mg/day of alpha lipoic acid for 5 days. (iv.89)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

63 patients with heart disease. (iv.89)

Alpha lipoic acid could reduce the risks of atherosclerosis, including a heart attack. (iv.89)

Outcomes

Activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2, an enzyme in cell mitochondria that neutralizes free radicals(iv.89)

Atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, describes the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in these blood vessels. Stress from free radicals makes plaques in arteries unstable. (iv.89-90)

When the plaques rupture, they can cause acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a blockage that stops blood flow in the heart. ACS includes medical emergencies such as severe chest pain, unstable angina, or even a heart attack. (iv.89-90)

 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. (iv.51)

300 mg/day of oral alpha lipoic acid supplement, by itself or in combination with 150 mg/day of irbesartan for 4 weeks. (iv.51)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

58 people with metabolic syndrome. (iv.51)

Alpha lipoic acid could help reduce the risks of atherosclerosis in people with metabolic syndrome. It also improves the effectiveness of drugs used to treat high blood pressure(iv.51)

Outcomes
Clinical studies in patients with heart disease suggest alpha lipoic acid can help reduce the disease progression.

ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (such as irbestan) are used to treat heart conditions such as high blood pressure. Research shows alpha lipoic acid works in similar ways. (iv.91)

 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. (iv.49)

200 mg of alpha-lipoic acid and 500 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine daily for two 8 week periods. (iv.49)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

36 patients over age 55 with coronary artery disease. (iv.49)

Combined with acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid could help reduce blood pressure in people with heart disease(iv.49)

Outcomes
 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Open clinical study. (iv.54)

600 mg of alpha lipoic acid twice a day for 16 weeks. (iv.54)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

6 non-diabetic lean adult females with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). (iv.54)

Alpha lipoic acid could reduce the risks of atherosclerosis in women with PCOS. (iv.54)

Outcomes
  • Triglyceride cholesterol levels. (iv.54)
  • LDL4, the LDL cholesterol particle most prone to atherosclerosis. (iv.54)
 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. (iv.108)

600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily for 8 weeks. (iv.108)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

63 patients with end stage kidney disease and on hemodialysis. (iv.108)

Alpha lipoic acid could lower the risk of heart disease in people with kidney disease. (iv.108)

Outcomes

Pro-inflammatory marker hsCRP, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. (iv.108)

 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Randomized, controlled clinical trial. (iv.109)

Alpha lipoic acid for 3 weeks. (iv.109)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

40 women with subclinical hypothyroidism randomly assigned to receive either alpha lipoic acid or no treatment. (iv.109)

Alpha lipoic acid can improve impaired blood flow in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. (iv.109)

Outcomes
  • Blood flow in arteries. (iv.109)
  • Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels, which are markers of free radical damage. (iv.109)
 
Study Details Alpha Lipoic Acid Form/Dosage and/or Drug Combination

Open clinical study. (iv.110)

600 mg/day doses during the first four weeks, and 1,200 mg/day doses during the second four weeks. (iv.110)

Patients TAKE AWAY POINT

Alpha lipoic acid can improve blood vessel function in patients with diabetes or hypertension. (iv.110)

Outcomes
  • Blood flow in arteries, a sign of improved blood vessel functioning. (iv.110)
  • Fibrinogen levels in diabetic patients. (iv.110)

Improved endothelial functioning and blood vessel dilation occurred in both groups, but only at the higher dose for patients with hypertension. (iv.110)

The type caused by a blockage of an artery in the brain. (iv.94)
A study where neither the researcher nor the subject/patient knows who is receiving the placebo and who is receiving the tested substance. (iv.33)
An angiotensin receptor blocker. (iv.51)
Interleukin-6 and plasminogen activator-1. (iv.51)
A study where neither the researcher nor the subject/patient knows who is receiving the placebo and who is receiving the tested substance. (iv.33)
A protein involved in blood clotting. Insulin resistance, heart disease, and diabetes are associated with elevated fibrinogen levels. (iv.6170)
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