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Lipoic acid could reduce atherosclerosis, weight gain
Date:1/14/2008

rehensive human studies, Frei said. That will be the next step in our research, in double-blind, randomized, clinical studies during the next five years with Oregon Health and Science University.

Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally occurring nutrient found at low levels in green leafy vegetables, potatoes and meats, especially organ meats such as kidney, heart or liver. The amounts used in this research would not be obtainable by any normal diet, researchers said, and for human consumption might equate to supplements of about 2,000 milligrams per day. Even at low, normal, dietary levels, the compound can play a key role in energy metabolism.

Atherosclerosis, or what used to be called hardening of the arteries, is a long-term process that is now seen as a chronic inflammatory disease, which begins when certain types of white blood cells called monocytes bind to adhesion molecules on the walls of arteries. This in turn allows the monocytes to enter the arterial wall, there they become inflammatory macrophages that, in the presence of low density lipoprotein, or LDL, can transform into lipid-laden foam cells ultimately, an arterial fat deposit.

This chronic process often begins during adolescence, can continue for a lifetime, and has been linked to obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure, genetic predisposition and other causes. The fatty deposits in arteries can ultimately trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers now believe that high levels of alpha lipoic acid can be particularly useful in preventing this process, by inhibiting the formation of the adhesion molecules. It can also lower triglycerides, another important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It may also function as an antioxidant, and helps to normalize insulin signaling and glucose metabolism.

From what we understand, this supplement would be most valuable as a preventive mechanism before people have advanced cardiovascular
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Contact: Balz Frei
balz.frei@oregonstate.edu
541-737-5078
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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