Alpha lipoic acid in obstetrics and gynecology

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018 Sep;34(9):729-733. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2018.1462320. Epub 2018 May 4.


Alpha-Lipoic acid (ALA) is a natural antioxidant synthetized by plants and animals, identified as a catalytic agent for oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate and α-ketoglutarate. In this review, we analyzed the action of ALA in gynecology and obstetrics focusing in particular on neuropathic pain and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. A comprehensive literature search was performed in PubMed and Cochrane Library for retrieving articles in English language on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of ALA in gynecological and obstetrical conditions. ALA reduces oxidative stress and insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The association of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and bromelain (Br) is used for prevention and treatment of endometriosis. In association with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) with amitriptyline is used for treatment of vestibulodynia/painful bladder syndrome (VBD/PBS). A promising area of research is ALA supplementation in patients with threatened miscarriage to improve the subchorionic hematoma resorption. Furthermore, ALA could be used in prevention of diabetic embryopathy and premature rupture of fetal membranes induced by inflamation. In conclusion, ALA can be safely used for treatment of neuropatic pain and as a dietary support during pregnancy.

Keywords: Alpha-lipoic acid; antioxidant; neuropatic pain; polycystic ovary syndrome; threatened miscarriage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Threatened / prevention & control
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Thioctic Acid