alpha-Lipoic acid decreases oxidative stress even in diabetic patients with poor glycemic control and albuminuria

Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Jun;26(11-12):1495-500. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(99)00011-8.


In the present cross-sectional study, the influence of alpha-lipoic acid on markers of oxidative stress, assessed by measurement of plasma lipid hydroperoxides (ROOHs), and on the balance between oxidative stress and antioxidant defence, determined by the ratio ROOH/(alpha-tocopherol/cholesterol), was examined in 107 patients with diabetes mellitus. Patients receiving alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg/day for > 3 months) had significant lower ROOHs and a lower ROOH/(alpha-tocopherol/cholesterol) ratio than those without alpha-lipoic acid treatment [ROOH: 4.76 +/- 2.49 vs. 7.16 +/- 3.22 mumol/l; p < .0001] and [ROOH/(alpha-tocopherol/cholesterol): 1.37 +/- 0.72 vs. 2.16 +/- 1.17; p < 0.0001]. In addition, the influence of glycemic control and albuminuria on ROOHs and on the ratio of ROOH/(alpha-tocopherol/cholesterol) was examined in the presence and absence of alpha-lipoic acid treatment. Patients were subdivided into three groups based on (1) their HbA1 levels (< 7.5, 7.5-9.5, and > 9.5%) and (2) their urinary albumin concentrations (< 20, 20-200, and > 200 mg/l). Neither poor glycemic control, nor the presence of micro- or macroalbuminuria prevented the antioxidant effect of alpha-lipoic acid. Using stepwise multiple regression analysis, alpha-lipoic acid was found to be the only factor significantly predicting low ROOHs and a low ratio of ROOH/(alpha-tocopherol/cholesterol). These data provide evidence that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves significantly the imbalance between increased oxidative stress and depleted antioxidant defence even in patients with poor glycemic control and albuminuria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / drug therapy*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxides / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Thioctic Acid