Alpha-lipoic acid: a multifunctional antioxidant that improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. Autumn 2000;2(3):401-13. doi: 10.1089/15209150050194279.

Abstract

Alpha-Lipoic acid (LA) is a disulfide compound that is produced in small quantities in cells, and functions naturally as a co-enzyme in the pyruvate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase mitochondrial enzyme complexes. In pharmacological doses, LA is a multifunctional antioxidant. LA has been used in Germany for over 30 years for the treatment of diabetes-induced neuropathy. In patients with type 2 diabetes, recent studies have reported that intravenous (i.v.) infusion of LA increases insulin-mediated glucose disposal, whereas oral administration of LA has only marginal effects. If the limitations of oral therapy can be overcome, LA could emerge as a safe and effective adjunctive antidiabetic agent with insulin sensitizing activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Thioctic Acid