A Powerful Natural Antioxidant for Health and Beauty

Help Treat Arthritis and Prevent Bone Loss with Alpha Lipoic Acid

Clinical studies suggest alpha lipoic acid may help prevent bone loss and treat arthritis.

Research suggests alpha lipoic acid could help prevent or treat bone and joint diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. It may also relieve conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis. (ii.15138)

How Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help?

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of alpha lipoic acid appear to protect bone cells and cartilage. It can also reduce the inflammation related to osteoarthritis. (ii.15139)

Table II.9: Alpha Lipoic Acid's Effects on Bones and Joints
Condition Effect of Alpha Lipoic Acid


Clinical Trial
Alpha lipoic acid can reduce bone lose in patients with osteoporosis.

In a clinical study, daily supplements of alpha lipoic acid and other antioxidants helped maintain bone mass. The one-year trial involved 50 post-menopausal women. They were randomly assigned to take antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin D3 or calcium and vitamin D3 by themselves. Bone loss was less in the group who took the antioxidant supplements (alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium). (ii.5)

The dose of alpha lipoic acid was 300 mg, twice a day. In comparison, the other antioxidants totaled less than 80 mg daily. (ii.5)

There may be another potential beneficial effect of alpha lipoic acid in protecting bones. Lab studies show alpha lipoic acid helps regulate inflammatory enzymes and proteins related to the immune system that can damage bone cells. (ii.140)


Alpha lipoic acid may help protect against damage to knee cartilage caused by osteoarthritis. In preclinical studies, alpha lipoic acid blocked harmful inflammatory proteins and enzymes in joint membrane and cartilage cells. (ii.139)

Rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical Trial

Preclinical studies show that alpha lipoic acid has anti-inflammatory effects that could benefit arthritic patients. (ii.141)

Clinical study results are mixed. No study showed a negative effect from alpha lipoic acid. However, it didn't lower levels of inflammatory markers linked to rheumatoid arthritis: (ii.138142)

  • An 8 week clinical trial showed 1200 mg/day of alpha lipoic acid did not reduce blood levels of inflammatory markers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (ii.142)
  • Alpha lipoic acid reduced blood pressure in a study involving 70 women with rheumatoid arthritis. There was no change in levels of the inflammatory proteins and enzymes measured. The dosage was 1200 mg/day in this 8-week clinical trial, which was randomized, double-blinded, and placebo controlled. (ii.138)
  • In combination with curcumin and B vitamins, alpha lipoic acid helped reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome when taken before and after surgery. This painful condition has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, and surgery is often necessary to decompress the nerve. (ii.143-144)

The clinical trial involved 180 patients and was a randomized, controlled, prospective observational study. The dosage of alpha lipoic acid in the multivitamin/nutrient supplement was 300 mg twice daily 3 months before and 3 months after surgery. (ii.144)

Radiation Bone Loss

Whether you're exploring the galaxy on a SpaceX rocket or undergoing radiation treatment, you could be at risk of bone loss and bone damage. Radiation not only reduces bone mass but makes bones more susceptible to fracture. (ii.145-146)

The good news is studies suggest alpha lipoic acid could help protect bones against radiation, whatever the source. In experiments involving x-rays, gamma-rays, protons, and HZE particles, alpha lipoic acid was highly effective in protecting cells from radiation. In animal studies, alpha lipoic acid's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties helped counteract bone loss from radiation. (ii. 146-147)

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