Therapeutic effects of alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C on alveolar bone resorption after experimental periodontitis in rats: a biochemical, histochemical, and stereologic study

J Periodontol. 2013 May;84(5):666-74. doi: 10.1902/jop.2012.120252. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Background: Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and vitamin C (Vit-C) are very important and powerful antioxidants that have been used for the treatment of many diseases. The present study aims to investigate the role of ALA and Vit-C substances in the treatment of alveolar bone resorption in periodontal diseases.

Methods: Thirty-six male Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into four groups as follows: 1) control rats; 2) rats with experimental periodontitis (PED); 3) rats with PED treated with ALA (ALA); and 4) rats with PED treated with ALA+Vit-C (ALA+Vit-C). PED was simulated by placing ligatures around the neck of teeth for 5 weeks. After ligature removal, the PED group was given a single intragastric dose of 1 mL saline, and the ALA and ALA+Vit-C groups were treated with an intragastric dose of 50 mg/kg ALA and ALA+Vit-C for 15 days, respectively. Levels of serum bone alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in gingival tissues were analyzed. To evaluate the osteoclast activation, expression of activated receptor activator nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) and bone density index (BDI) were determined stereologically in the bone sections obtained from the mandibles of the rats.

Results: The results showed statistically significant differences between the PED group and groups treated with antioxidant according to B-ALP, MPO, RANKL, and BDI values (P <0.05). ALA and ALA+Vit-C treatments showed beneficial effects on the mesial/distal periodontal bone support at the ligature-induced periodontitis tooth areas.

Conclusion: This study shows that ALA and Vit-C treatment provides therapeutic effects on inhibition of alveolar bone resorption and periodontal tissue destruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / diagnostic imaging
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / drug therapy*
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / etiology
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Male
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Periodontitis / complications*
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • RANK Ligand
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Peroxidase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Ascorbic Acid