German researchers report that taking alpha-lipoic acid can dramatically slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Research points to alpha-lipolic acid as one of the most important anti-aging remedies.
In the study, 43 patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s who supplemented with alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg/day) had dramatically lower progression of the disease over a period of 48 months, compared to data from patients not receiving alpha-lipoic acid.
The researchers also point to a previous study in which 9 patients with Alzheimer’s receiving standard treatment with choline-esterase inhibitors were given the same dosage of alpha-lipoic acid for 12 months. The results of this previous study indicated stabilization of cognitive functions, as assessed by two neuropsychological tests.
The authors conclude, "Despite the fact that this study was not double-blinded, placebo-controlled and randomized, our data suggest that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid might be a successful ‘neuroprotective’ therapy option for Alzheimer’s."
In an earlier study, researchers from Oregon State University reported that alpha-lipoic acid can slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow and enhance immune function in animal studies. The natural compound "turns on the basic cellular defenses of the body, including some of those that naturally decline with age," said the researchers. "In particular, it tends to restore levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound, to those of a young animal. It also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, which is relevant to many degenerative diseases."
Sources: J Neural Transm Suppl, 2007; 72: 189-93; Oregon State University, May 17, 2007