Treatment with alpha-lipoic acid reduces asymmetric dimethylarginine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Transl Res. 2010 Jan;155(1):6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2009.08.004.


Elevated asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) concentrations predict cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). It has been shown that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) improves endothelial function and oxidative stress in these patients. The present study investigated if ALA reduces ADMA in patients with T2DM. Plasma concentrations of ADMA, L-arginine and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) were determined in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study in patients with T2DM. Intravenous ALA (n = 16) or placebo (n = 14) was administered daily for 3 weeks. ALA reduced ADMA while no change was observed with placebo (mean change -0.05 micromol/1[95% CI: -0.01; -0.09] vs. 0.01 micromol/1 [95% CI: -0.05; -0.03]; ANOVA p = 0.031). SDMA and L-arginine were not affected by ALA. In conclusion ALA treatment reduces ADMA in patients with T2DM. Long-term studies need to demonstrate if ALA may cause cardiovascular risk reduction.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • symmetric dimethylarginine
  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Arginine