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Old 03-09-2008, 04:14 PM
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Default Alpha Lipoic Acid May Benefit Those with HIV

In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 33 subjects infected with HIV, treatment with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) was found to significantly increase blood total glutathione levels and improve lymphocyte proliferation response to T-cell mitogens, over a period of 6 months.

Patients were between the ages of 44 and 47 years, 36% nonwhite, with viral loads greater than 10,000 copies/cm(3) despite undergoing highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).

Patients were randomized to either receive alpha-lipoic acid (300 mg, 3 times/day), or a placebo. After six months, patients who received ALA were found to have: 1) significant elevations in mean blood total glutathione levels (from 0.81 mmol/L to 1.34 mmol/L), compared with insignificant change found in the placebo group; and 2) significant enhancement or stabilization of lymphocyte proliferation response to T-cell mitogens, compared with a progressive decline found in the placebo group.

In addition, a positive correlation was found between blood total glutathione level and lymphocyte response to anti-CD3 stimulation. No significant differences were found in either HIV RNA level or CD4 count change between the 2 groups.

The authors conclude, "Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid may positively impact patients with HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome by restoring blood total glutathione level and improving functional reactivity of lymphocytes to T-cell mitogens." Additional research into the effects of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation in patients infected with HIV is warranted.
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