Comparison of the effect of α-lipoic acid and α-tocopherol supplementation on measures of oxidative stress

Karine Marangon, Sridevi Devaraj, Oren Tirosh, Lester Packer, Ishwarlal Jialal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


In vitro studies have shown that α-lipoic acid (LA) is an antioxidant. There is a paucity of studies on LA supplementation in humans. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of oral supplementation with LA alone and in combination with α-tocopherol (AT) on measures of oxidative stress. A total of 31 healthy adults were supplemented for 2 months either with LA (600 mg/d, n = 16), or with AT (400 IU/d, n = 15) alone, and then with the combination of both for 2 additional months. At baseline, after 2 and 4 months of supplementation, urine for F2-isoprostanes, plasma for protein carbonyl measurement and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidative susceptibility was collected. Plasma oxidizability was assessed after incubation with 100 mM 2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) hydrochloride (AAPH) for 4 h at 37°C. LDL was subjected to copper- and AAPH-catalyzed oxidation at 37°C over 5 h and the lag time was computed. LA significantly increased the lag time of LDL lipid peroxide formation for both copper-catalyzed and AAPH-induced LDL oxidation (p < .05), decreased urinary F2-isoprostanes levels (p < .05), and plasma carbonyl levels after AAPH oxidation (p < .001). AT prolonged LDL lag time of lipid peroxide formation (p < .01) and conjugated dienes (p < .01) after copper-catalyzed LDL oxidation, decreased urinary F2-isoprostanes (p < .001), but had no effect on plasma carbonyls. The addition of LA to AT did not produce an additional significant improvement in the measures of oxidative stress. In conclusion, LA supplementation functions as an antioxidant, because it decreases plasma- and LDL-oxidation and urinary isoprostanes. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1114-1121
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by a grant from Henkel Nutrition and Health Group and from the National Institutes of Health Grants M01-RR-00633 and DK 50430. The authors are thankful to Beverly Huet Adams for statistical expertise, Shaina Hirany and Alicia Summers for technical assistance, and Ron Tankersley for manuscript preparation.


  • Alpha-lipoate
  • Alpha-tocopherol
  • Antioxidant
  • Free radicals
  • LDL oxidation
  • Plasma oxidation


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