Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Alpha lipoic acid

I find this very interesting reading



  1. I haven't studied this therapy enough to have an informed opinion yet, but I plan to remedy that soon. There was a recent review of this therapy published in the journal "Seminars in Cancer Biology".

    There was also a case series of primary brain tumor and brain metastases patients treated with alpha-lipoic acid + hydroxycitrate + low dose naltrexone in addition to standard treatments.

    Notably, one of the mechanisms of alpha-lipoic acid (inhibition of PDK, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase) is a mechanism shared with dichloroacetate (DCA).

  2. This is an interesting line of research. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) for cancer is clearly not a crazy idea. The same author as in Stephen's first link wrote up some data from human use:

    Metabolic treatment of cancer: intermediate results of a prospective case series.

    My biochem is too rusty to explain why hydroxycitrate is combined with the ALA.
    Both agents are widely available as supplements. ALA was given IV to most of these patients.
    At one point, I was personally taking oral ALA (unrelated reasons) and can attest that it's irritating to the stomach. A quick google search reveals that oral ALA is about 30 percent bioavailable compared with IV. So the IV dose used there (600 mg daily) would be equivalent orally to 600 three times a day. For those with iron stomachs, this might be worth considering in a cocktail approach.

    1. Addendum. I see all of these papers have Schwartz as an author. Another Schwarz paper with human patients is quite encouraging:

      Metabolic cancer treatment: Intermediate results of
      a clinical study

    2. The hydroxycitrate (derived from the Garcinia cambogia fruit) is a competitive inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, which is one of the first steps in the cellular manufacture of lipids. The researchers proposed that inhibiting two different pathways (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase by lipoic acid and ATP citrate lyase by hydroxycitrate) might work synergistically, and this was found to be true in vitro and in rodents.

      Note that the salt form of alpha lipoic acid (sodium R-lipoic acid) dissolved in water before consumption appears to have much better bioavailability than the non-salt form.

  3. Interesting line of research indeed. I think I read about ALA some time ago but decided against it, since (if I remember correctly) it increases glutathione, which is not a thing you would want if you have glioma.