Alpha-Lipoic Acid Effective in Reducing Body Weight


perpetual student
Dec 3, 2007
Texas, USA
Body weight is one of the most basic issues of human life. Self-esteem, acceptance among peers-- and perhaps lifelong success or failure—are, unfortunately, all tied to our physical appearance. Medically speaking, not all overweight people are obese. Obesity is defined as weight that exceeds 15 percent of normal weight for height and body type. "Morbid" obesity exceeds 20 percent of optimum weight. The long-term health implications are well known, in fact, obesity is considered an outright disease. Life expectancy may be decreased in overweight and obese individuals. An obese person is at high risk for a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, psychological stress, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Many scientists believe that Alpha-lipoic acid is an important antioxidant. One of its most key characteristics is that it is both fat-soluble and water-soluble. This enables it to provide antioxidant protection in a much wider range of body systems, which has resulted in some scientists referring to alpha-lipoic acid as the “universal” antioxidant.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine was to determine whether alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) could be effective in reducing body weight in obese people. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 360 obese individuals with hypertension, diabetes mellitus or hypercholesterolemia. These subjects were randomly given alpha-lipoic acid 1200 mg per day or 1800 mg per day or placebo for 20 weeks. The results were the group taking 1800 mg of ALA experienced significantly more weight loss than the placebo group. The most common side effects from the ALA were urticaria and an itching sensation but these were generally mild. In conclusion the authors stated that “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.”1

1 Koh EH, Lee WJ, Lee SA, et al. Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects. Am J Med. Jan2011;124(1):85.