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lipoic, lipoic acid, alpha lipoic, alpha-lipoic acid, antioxidant

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and diabetes

Improvement of insulin-stimulated glucose-disposal in type 2 diabetes after repeated parenteral administration of thioctic acid.
Jacob S, Henriksen EJ, Tritschler HJ, Augustin HJ, Dietze GJ.
Hypertension and Diabetes Research Unit, Max Grundig Clinic, Buhl, Germany.
Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1996;104(3):284-8.

Insulin resistance of skeletal muscle glucose uptake is a prominent feature of Type II diabetes (NIDDM); therefore, pharmacological intervention should aim to improve insulin sensitivity. Thioctic acid (TA), a naturally occurring compound, was shown to enhance glucose utilization in various experimental models after acute and chronic administration. It also increased insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in patients with NIDDM after acute administration. This pilot study was initiated to see whether this compound also augments glucose disposal in humans after repeated treatment. Twenty patients with NIDDM received TA (500 mg/ 500 ml NaCl, 0.9%) as daily infusions over a period of ten days. A hyperinsulinaemic, isoglycaemic glucose-clamp was done on day 0 and day 11. Parenteral administration of TA resulted in a significant increase of insulin-stimulated glucose-disposal by about 30% (metabolic clearance rate for glucose, 2.5 +/- 0.3 vs. 3.2 +/- 0.4 ml/kg/min and insulin-sensitivity-index: 3.5 +/- 0.5 vs. 4.7 +/- 0.4 mg/kg/microU/ml; p < 0.05, Wilcoxon-Rank-Sum-Test). There were no changes in fasting plasma levels for glucose or insulin; this can be explained, however, by the short period of treatment and observation. This is the first clinical study to show that a ten day administration of TA is able to improve resistance of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in NIDDM. Experimental data suggest several mechanisms in the mode of action. As the present investigation was an uncontrolled pilot trial, the encouraging results call for controlled studies to further elucidate the clinical relevance of the findings and the mode of action of this compound

Efficacy of thioctic acid in the therapy of peripheral diabetic neuropathy.
Sachse G, Willms B.

The therapeutic efficacy of thioctic acid was studied in patients with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. In a double-blind study ten diabetics were treated with thioctic acid or a placebo for 21 days. In a second study ten diabetics were also treated with thioctic acid intravenously (i.v.) for 21 days. Before and on the 11th and 21st day of treatment, we examined the clinical neurological state, the vibration sense according to biothesiometry, the nerve conduction velocity, and the degree of diabetic control. In addition the patients were asked about neuropathic complaints. The therapeutic efficacy of oral or i.v. thioctic acid could not be verified by measurements of the nerve conduction velocity or the vibration sensibility. No effect of oral thioctic acid on subjective complaints was observed. However, i.v. treatment with thioctic acid resulted in a distinct improvement of subjective complaints.

Treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid): a two year multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial (ALADIN II). Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy.
Reljanovic M, Reichel G, Rett K, Lobisch M, Schuette K, Moller W, Tritschler HJ, Mehnert H.
University of Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Vuk Vrhovac, Medical faculty, University of Zagreb, Coratia. Free Radic Res. 1999 Sep;31(3):171-9.

Short-term trials with the antioxidant thioctic acid (TA) appear to improve neuropathic symptoms in diabetic patients, but the long-term response remains to be established. Therefore, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients with symptomatic polyneuropathy were randomly assigned to three treatment regimens: (1) 2 x 600(mg of TA (TA 1200), (2) 600)mg of TA plus placebo (PLA) (TA 600) or (3) placebo and placebo (PLA). A trometamol salt solution of TA of 1200 or 600 mg or PLA was intravenously administered once daily for five consecutive days before enrolling the patients in the oral treatment phase. The study was prospective, PLA-controlled, randomized, double-blind and conducted for two years. Severity of diabetic neuropathy was assessed by the Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS) and electrophysiological attributes of the sural (sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV), sensory nerve action potential (SNAP)) and the tibial (motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV), motor nerve distal latency (MNDL)) nerve. Statistical analysis was performed after independent reviewers excluded all patients with highly variable data allowing a final analysis of 65 patients (TA 1200: n = 18, TA 600: n = 27; PLA: n = 20). At baseline no significant differences were noted between the groups regarding the demographic variables and peripheral nerve function parameters for these 65 patients. Statistically significant changes after 24 months between TA and PLA were observed (mean +/- SD) for sural SNCV: +3.8 +/- 4.2 m/s in TA 1200, +3.0+/-3.0m/s in TA 600, -0.1+/-4.8m/s in PLA (p < 0.05 for TA 1200 and TA 600 vs. PLA); sural SNAP: +0.6+/-2.5 microV in TA 1200, +0.3+/-1.4 microV in TA 600, -0.7 +/- 1.5 microV in PLA (p = 0.076 for TA 1200 vs. PLA and p < 0.05 for TA 600 vs. PLA), and in tibial MNCV: +/- 1.2 +/- 3.8 m/s in TA 1200, -0.3 +/- 5.2 m/s in TA 600, 1.5 +/- 2.9 m/s in PLA (p < 0.05 for TA 1200 vs. PLA). No significant differences between the groups after 24 months were noted regarding the tibial MNDL and the NDS. We conclude that in a subgroup of patients after exclusion of patients with excessive test variability throughout the trial, TA appeared to have a beneficial effect on several attributes of nerve conduction.

Molecular aspects of lipoic acid in the prevention of diabetes complications.
Packer L, Kraemer K, Rimbach G.
Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, 1985 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90098-9121, USA.
Nutrition. 2001 Oct;17(10):888-95.

Alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid, are powerful antioxidants. LA scavenges hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, peroxynitrite, and singlet oxygen. Dihydrolipoic acid also scavenges superoxide and peroxyl radicals and can regenerate thioredoxin, vitamin C, and glutathione, which in turn can recycle vitamin E. There are several possible sources of oxidative stress in diabetes including glycation reactions, decompartmentalization of transition metals, and a shift in the reduced-oxygen status of the diabetic cells. Diabetics have increased levels of lipid hydroperoxides, DNA adducts, and protein carbonyls. Available data strongly suggest that LA, because of its antioxidant properties, is particularly suited to the prevention and/or treatment of diabetic complications that arise from an overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. In addition to its antioxidant properties, LA increases glucose uptake through recruitment of the glucose transporter-4 to plasma membranes, a mechanism that is shared with insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Further, recent trials have demonstrated that LA improves glucose disposal in patients with type II diabetes. In experimental and clinical studies, LA markedly reduced the symptoms of diabetic pathologies, including cataract formation, vascular damage, and polyneuropathy. To develop a better understanding of the preventative and therapeutic potentials of LA, much of the current interest is focused on elucidating its molecular mechanisms in redox dependent gene expression. Scientific abstracts from Pubmed