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LMU 171 – Unlocking the Potential of Alpha-Lipoic Acid: A Key to Weight Loss and Wellness


LMU 171 – Unlocking the Potential of Alpha-Lipoic Acid: A Key to Weight Loss and Wellness

Source: Journal of Nutrition (July 2020)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (August 28, 2020)


In July 2020, an eye-opening human clinical trial was published in the prestigious Journal of Nutrition, shedding light on the potential of alpha-lipoic acid as a promising supplement for weight management. This groundbreaking study, conducted over a span of 24 weeks, showcased how a daily supplement of 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid effectively reduced weight, body fat, and body mass index (BMI) among overweight or obese adults when compared to a placebo group. The significance of this research extends beyond these findings, as previous studies have also hinted at the benefits of alpha-lipoic acid in weight management, laying the groundwork for a broader understanding of its role in promoting overall health and well-being. This article explores the intriguing world of alpha-lipoic acid, delving into its origins, mechanisms of action, and the potential it holds as a supplement to enhance weight loss and improve overall health.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Nature’s Energy Converter and Guardian

Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as ALA, is a compound naturally synthesized by the human body throughout an individual’s lifetime. It plays a pivotal role in converting food into energy, making it an essential component for sustaining life. Beyond its role as an energy converter, ALA is a potent antioxidant, actively safeguarding cells against the pernicious effects of free radicals linked to aging and various degenerative diseases.

As individuals age, the body’s ability to synthesize alpha-lipoic acid experiences a substantial decline. This decline may contribute to less efficient calorie burning, potentially leading to weight gain, and a pervasive sense of decreased energy with advancing age. The study in question not only demonstrated that alpha-lipoic acid promotes weight loss and reduced body fat but also highlighted its ability to decrease markers of inflammation in blood and urine. Moreover, the supplement fostered an increased synthesis of heme oxygenase-1, a crucial cellular antioxidant known for its role in protecting cells against free radical damage, which is closely associated with aging and several degenerative diseases. These findings bear immense significance, particularly for overweight individuals who often contend with inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which play a role in the development and exacerbation of conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes, as well as musculoskeletal pain associated with inflammation.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid as a Metal Chelator and Antioxidant Regenerator

Beyond its role in weight management and antioxidant defence, alpha-lipoic acid has displayed remarkable abilities as a metal chelator and antioxidant regenerator. Research has shown that ALA can effectively remove toxic metals, including mercury, cadmium, and lead, from the body by binding to these harmful substances and facilitating their excretion. Additionally, ALA has the capacity to regenerate vital antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione, bolstering the body’s overall antioxidant defences. Furthermore, this versatile compound has exhibited its potential in repairing free radical damage within cells, further highlighting its therapeutic potential.

Given these attributes, it is not surprising that many individuals over the age of 40 choose to incorporate alpha-lipoic acid supplements into their daily routines as a strategy to mitigate the effects of aging and potentially shield the body from age-related diseases. Notably, in individuals with diabetes, alpha-lipoic acid supplementation has been found to enhance blood sugar control and reduce hemoglobin A1c levels by improving the function of insulin receptors on cell surfaces. This therapeutic application has also extended to alleviating symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy, offering hope to those grappling with this debilitating condition.

Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that alpha-lipoic acid may hold promise in other areas of health. For instance, some individuals with Multiple Sclerosis have experienced mild improvements when administered alpha-lipoic acid supplements at doses of 1200 mg per day, distributed throughout the day. This effect is likely attributable to ALA’s antioxidant properties and its ability to curtail the synthesis of inflammatory cytokines associated with Multiple Sclerosis. Furthermore, experimental research indicates that alpha-lipoic acid may hinder key steps in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, offering a glimmer of hope in the fight against this devastating neurodegenerative condition. Early-stage experiments also suggest that alpha-lipoic acid may have potential anti-cancer benefits, potentially encouraging emerging cancer cells to undergo apoptosis (cell suicide) and exerting other mechanisms to impede cancer progression, although these effects have not yet been explored in human subjects.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid as a Complementary Approach to Weight Management

Against the backdrop of this multifaceted research, the significance of alpha-lipoic acid in the realm of weight management becomes ever more apparent. When integrated into a broader strategy that includes dietary and lifestyle changes, a daily supplement of 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid emerges as a promising tool to enhance weight loss and improve overall health in overweight or obese adults. This aligns with the growing body of evidence suggesting that alpha-lipoic acid can be a valuable addition to the arsenal of those seeking effective and sustainable weight management solutions.


In conclusion, the captivating journey through the world of alpha-lipoic acid reveals its multifaceted role in promoting health and well-being. The 2020 clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition marks a significant milestone in the exploration of alpha-lipoic acid’s potential as a supplement for weight management. Not only does it offer hope to individuals struggling with excess weight, but it also underscores the compound’s broader implications for overall health, from its antioxidant prowess to its capacity to remove toxic metals and support cellular integrity.

As research continues to unravel the mysteries of alpha-lipoic acid, it is clear that this compound holds a special place in the pursuit of better health. While the journey to harness its full potential is ongoing, the prospects are promising. Whether it’s aiding in weight loss, countering the effects of aging, or offering therapeutic support for various health conditions, alpha-lipoic acid has truly earned its place in the spotlight of wellness and longevity.


  1. Bobe G et al. A randomized controlled trial of long-term (R) – alpha-lipoic acid supplementation promotes weight loss in overweight or obese adults without altering baseline elevated plasma triglyceride concentrations. *The Journal of Nutrition*. July 21, 2020.              [Read more](
  2. Salehi B et al. Insights on the use of alpha-lipoic acid for therapeutic purposes. *Biomolecules*. Aug 9 (8): 356. 2019.                                  [Read more](
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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