March 31, 2009
Lipoic Acid Cuts Triglyceride Levels In Rats

At least in rats a widely available supplement cuts blood triglycerides. Confirmation with humans is needed.

CORVALLIS, Ore. Studies done with laboratory rats suggest that supplementation of their diet with lipoic acid had a significant effect in lowering triglycerides, which along with cholesterol levels and blood pressure are one of the key risk factors in cardiovascular disease.

In the lab animals, supplements of lipoic acid lowered triglyceride levels up to 60 percent. If the effect were the same in humans which is not yet clear that would be a greater impact than found with other dietary supplements, and similar to the effects of some prescription drugs.

The results were just published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, a professional journal.

"The extent of triglyceride reduction was really dramatic, we didn't expect it to be this profound," said Regis Moreau, an assistant professor with the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. "The potential is good that this could become another way to lower blood triglycerides and help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. It's pretty exciting."

Lipoic acid seems to work 2 ways.

In this research, it was found that supplements of lipoic acid appeared to affect triglyceride levels through two pathways. After eating, lipoic acid supplementation increased the rate of disappearance of triglycerides in the bloodstream. And supplements also reduced the genetic expression of enzymes in the liver that synthesize triglycerides.

I wonder what other common compounds produce such benefit but haven't been noticed yet.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 March 31 12:23 AM  Aging Diet Heart Studies


Comments
Jake said at March 31, 2009 5:33 AM:

Is alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) the same as the lipoic acid used here?

John F. said at April 2, 2009 9:19 AM:

Alpha-lipoic acid can be abbreviated to ALA, but the ALA you see most often on product labels is an abbreviation for alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.

John F. said at April 2, 2009 9:20 AM:

Alpha-lipoic acid can be abbreviated to ALA, but the ALA you see most often on product labels is an abbreviation for alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.

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