Effect of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation on lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials

Nutrition. 2019 Mar:59:121-130. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2018.08.004. Epub 2018 Aug 23.


Several studies have shown the effect of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) on lipid profile. However, findings remain controversial. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to systematically summarize the available clinical trials that examined the effects ALA supplementation on the lipid profile of adults. A systematic search through PubMed and Scopus was done for studies published in English up to April 2017. Effect sizes were combined with fixed- or random-effects analysis, where appropriate. Between-study heterogeneity was evaluated by Cochran's Q test and I2. Eleven clinical trials with 452 adults (51.5% women, 48.5% men) were included in this meta-analysis. Combining effect sizes of 10 studies on serum triacylglycerol (TG) concentrations revealed a significant effect of ALA supplementation on serum TG compared with the placebo group (weighted mean difference [WMD], -29.185 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval [CI], -51.454 to -6.916; P = 0.010). We also found significant changes in serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (WMD, -10.683 mg/dL; 95% CI, -19.816 to -1.550; P = 0.022, WMD, -12.906 mg/dL; 95% CI, -22.133 to -3.679; P = 0.006, respectively). Significant changes were not observed in serum high-density lipoprotein (WMD, -0.092 mg/dL; 95% CI, -3.014 to 2.831; P = 0.025). Supplementation dosage and body mass index were potential sources of heterogeneity, in which those with body mass index >30 kg/m2 who received >600 mg/d ALA showed better improvements in lipid profile. Our findings showed that supplementation with ALA significantly decreased the serum concentrations of TG, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein but did not affect serum levels of high-density lipoprotein in adults.

Keywords: ALA; Alpha-lipoic acid; Lipid profile; Meta-analysis; Supplementation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Cholesterol