Background: A limited amount of data exists regarding the effect of lipoic acid (LA), an oral antioxidant supplement, on cytokine profiles among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Objective: We aimed to assess the effect of daily consumption of LA on the cytokine profiles in MS patients.
Methods: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, 52 relapsing-remitting MS patients with an age range of 18-50 years were recruited into 2 groups: LA consumption (1,200 mg/day) or placebo. Patients followed their prescribed supplements for 12 weeks. Fasting blood samples for cytokine profile measurement were collected at baseline and after the intervention. Anthropometric parameters were measured based on the standard guidelines.
Results: INF-γ, ICAM-1, TGF-β and IL-4 were significantly reduced in the LA group compared to the placebo group [(INF-γ: 0.82 ± 0.2 vs. 0.2 ± 0.2 pg/ml, p < 0.0001), (ICAM-1: 20.2 ± 9.4 vs. 8 ± 10 ng/ml, p = 0.0001), (TGF-β: 103.1 ± 20.2 vs. 54.9 ± 26 ng/ml, p < 0.0001) and (IL-4: 0.1 ± 0.1 vs. 1.02 ± 1.7 ng/ml, p = 0.0112)]. No significant changes in TNF-α, IL-6, EDSS and MMP-9 were found between the LA and placebo groups (p = 0.6, p = 0.8, p = 0.09 and p = 0.8, respectively).
Conclusion: The results suggested that consumption of 1,200 mg LA per day beneficially affects several inflammatory cytokines including INF-γ, ICAM-1 TGF-β and IL-4. Further investigations are needed to verify the beneficial role of LA on other cytokine profiles among MS patients.