TitleIs alpha-lipoic acid a scavenger of reactive oxygen species in vivo? Evidence for its initiation of stress signaling pathways that promote endogenous antioxidant capacity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsShay KPetersen, Moreau RF, Smith EJ, Hagen TM
JournalIUBMB Life
Date Published2008 Jun
KeywordsAnimals, Antioxidants, Free Radical Scavengers, Glutathione, Humans, Inflammation, Models, Chemical, NF-kappa B, Oxidative Stress, Reactive Nitrogen Species, Reactive Oxygen Species, Signal Transduction, Thioctic Acid, Transcription, Genetic

The chemical reduction and oxidation (redox) properties of alpha-lipoic acid (LA) suggest that it may have potent antioxidant potential. A significant number of studies now show that LA and its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), directly scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) species and protect cells against a host of insults where oxidative stress is part of the underlying etiology. However, owing to its limited and transient accumulation in tissues following oral intake, the efficacy of nonprotein-bound LA to function as a physiological antioxidant has been questioned. Herein, we review the evidence that the micronutrient functions of LA may be more as an effector of important cellular stress response pathways that ultimately influence endogenous cellular antioxidant levels and reduce proinflammatory mechanisms. This would promote a sustained improvement in cellular resistance to pathologies where oxidative stress is involved, which would not be forthcoming if LA solely acted as a transient ROS scavenger.

Alternate JournalIUBMB Life
PubMed ID18409172
Grant ListP01 AT002034-01 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
R01 ZAG17141 / / PHS HHS / United States