Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation significantly reduces the risk of obesity in an updated systematic review and dose response meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled clinical trials

Int J Clin Pract. 2020 Jun;74(6):e13493. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13493. Epub 2020 Mar 26.


Background: There are numerous trials reported the effect of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) on obesity measurements; while no summarised dose-response meta-analysis is available to address the effects of dose and duration of ALA supplementation on obesity measurements. We aimed to summarise the results of studies evaluating the effects of ALA supplementation on obesity measurements in a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.

Methods and materials: In a systematic search from Scopus, PubMed, Embase, Proquest electronic databases up to January 2020 relevant studies were retrieved. Randomised, placebo-controlled trials investigating the effect of ALA supplementation on obesity measurements including weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and fat mass (FM) were included. Two class and dose-response meta-analysis were performed to data analysis.

Results: Totally, 18, 21 and 8 studies were included for the meta-analysis of ALA-weight, ALA-BMI, ALA-WC, respectively. In the two-class meta-analysis, ALA treatment significantly reduced weight (WMD: -2.29 kg, 95% CI: -2.98, 1.60, P < .01) and BMI (WMD: -0.49 kg/m2 , 95% CI:-0.83,-0.15, P = .005) but no effect on WC (WMD: -2.57 cm, 95% CI: -8.91, 3.76; P = .426). While the dose-response meta-analysis revealed that the duration of ALA treatment is a significant factor affecting WC reduction (Pnon-linearity = .047). While no evidence of departure from linearity was observed for other variables; moreover, subgrouping also revealed that gender could be an important factor affecting the ALA impact on WC which was significant among women (WMD: -4.099; CI: -7.837, -0.361; P = .032).

Conclusion: According to our finding, ALA treatment significantly reduced BMI, weight in a two-class meta-analysis without evidence of departure from linearity in terms of dose or duration. While the association of ALA treatment on WC is dependent to the duration of the study. Although further trials evaluating the other obesity measurements specially central obesity will be helpful to infer a more reliable result.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Weight Loss


  • Antioxidants
  • Thioctic Acid