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Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid on Body Weight in Obese Subjects *

Purpose

Alpha-lipoic acid is an essential cofactor for mitochondrial respiratory enzymes that improves mitochondrial function. We previously reported that alpha-lipoic acid markedly reduced body weight gain in rodents. The purpose of this study was to determine whether alpha-lipoic acid reduces body weight in obese human subjects.

Methods

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 20-week trial, 360 obese individuals (body mass index [BMI]≥30 kg/m2 or BMI 27-30 kg/m2 plus hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or hypercholesterolemia) were randomized to alpha-lipoic acid 1200 or 1800 mg/d or placebo. The primary end point was body weight change from baseline to end point.

Results

The 1800 mg alpha-lipoic acid group lost significantly more weight than the placebo group (2.1%; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-2.8; P<.05). Urticaria and itching sensation were the most common adverse events in the alpha-lipoic acid groups, but these were generally mild and transient.

Conclusion

Alpha-lipoic acid 1800 mg/d led to a modest weight loss in obese subjects. Alpha-lipoic acid may be considered as adjunctive therapy for obesity.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

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Published on 05-09-2013