Compilation of Scientific Articles Relating to Liver Disease

Alpha-lipoic acid research

Alpha-lipoic acid inhibits hepatic PAI-1 expression and fibrosis by inhibiting the TGF-beta signaling pathway

Min AK, Kim MK, Seo HY, Kim HS, Jang BK, Hwang JS, Choi HS, Lee KU, Park KG, Lee IK.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Mar 12;393(3):536-41. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Accumulating evidence suggests that plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 plays an important role in the development of hepatic fibrosis. We previously reported that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) prevents hepatic steatosis by inhibiting the expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c. We investigated whether ALA inhibited the development of hepatic fibrosis in mice following bile duct ligation (BDL), an established animal model of liver fibrosis. The results of the present study indicate that ALA inhibits hepatic PAI-1 expression through inhibition of TGF-beta-mediated molecular mediators, including Smad3, AP1, and Sp1, and prevents the development of BDL-induced hepatic fibrosis. These findings suggest that ALA may have a clinical application in preventing the development and progression of hepatic fibrosis.



Alpha Lipoic Acid and Liver Disease

Burton M. Berkson, MD, MS, PhD The Townsend Letter December 2007

The three people described in this study continued to stay on the triple antioxidant therapy, and I still see two of them as patients today (Fall 2007). The two continue to improve. In addition to ALA, I added silymarin and selenium to my triple antioxidant therapy, because these agents also protect the liver from free radical damage, regenerate the other fundamental antioxidants, and interfere with viral replication. Although my first acute hepatic necrosis patients were treated with ALA alone and did exceedingly well, all the patients presented in this paper followed the triple antioxidant program and recovered quickly from their illness.

Not too long ago, I was invited by the Internal Medicine Society of Saxony to present my triple antioxidant protocol to the group in Dresden, Germany. I was asked why viral loads did not always fall to very low levels with my treatment program. I answered that from a microbiologist’s point of view that I did not believe that one could ever completely eradicate a viral disease without killing the patient. I added that we could only hope to support and “teach” the immune system how to recognize and control a virus. Normally, viruses remain part of our biology for the rest of our lives. And this does not necessarily make a person sick. We are all filled with billions of dormant viruses. As long as we have a healthy lifestyle and avoid unnecessary emotional and physical stress, the viruses should remain dormant. I believe that one can live to 100 years old with hepatitis C and still be a healthy person.

A Conservative Triple Antioxidant Approach to the Treatment of Hepatitis C

Berkson, B.M. Med Klin 1999;94:Supplement III:84-9

The author describes a low cost and efficacious treatment program in 3 patients with cirrhosis, portal hypertension and esophageal varices secondary to chronic hepatitis C infection. The triple antioxidant combination of alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium was chosen for a conservative treatment of hepatitis C because these substances protect the liver from free radical damage, increase the levels of other fundamental antioxidants, and interfere with viral proliferation. The 3 patients presented in this paper followed the triple antioxidant program and recovered quickly and their laboratory values remarkably improved.

Effects of alpha-lipoic acid on body weight in obese subjects

Koh EH, Lee WJ, Lee SA, et al. . Am J Med. Jan 2011;124(1):85.

Obesity is defined as weight that exceeds 15 percent of normal weight for height and body type. “Morbid” obesity exceeds 20 percent of optimum weight. The long-term health implications are well known, in fact, obesity is considered an outright disease. Life expectancy may be decreased in overweight and obese individuals. An obese person is at high risk for a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, psychological stress, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

This study was designed to determine whether alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) could be effective in reducing body weight in obese people. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 360 obese individuals with hypertension, diabetes mellitus or hypercholesterolemia. These subjects were randomly given alpha-lipoic acid 1200 mg per day or 1800 mg per day or placebo for 20 weeks. The results showed that the group taking 1800 mg of ALA experienced significantly more weight loss than the placebo group. The most common side effects from the ALA were urticaria and an itching sensation but these were generally mild. In conclusion the authors stated that “Alpha-lipoic acid 1800 mg/d led to a modest weight loss in obese subjects. Alpha-lipoic acid may be considered as adjunctive therapy for obesity.”


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