Lipoic acid (LA) is an important fat and water-soluble antioxidant, critical for protecting the mitochondria (energy power house) from free radical damage. Lipoic acid provides antioxidant activity in the liver by chelating heavy metals. It also plays a role in cellular energy production by acting as an important coenzyme in the Krebs cycle (a series of chemical reactions which can generate energy).
Recent research has discovered that lipoic acid fights disorderly conduct within the brain of those with multiple sclerosis (MS), by slowing the rate of atrophy.
A randomized, double-blind study followed 51 patients with secondary progressive MS who supplemented with 1,200 mg of lipoic acid or placebo for two years.
Measured via MRI, the LA group had a 68% reduction in the rate of annual atrophy when compared with those receiving placebo. This pilot study also highlighted improvements in timed walking exercises, with fewer falls among the LA group.