Alpha-lipoic acid, EPA improve weight loss effects in women


Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity reported the outcome of a double-blind trial which found a benefit for alpha-lipoic acid and the omega 3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in overweight and obese women.

The trial included 77 overweight women between the ages of 20 and 50 years who were following a reduced calorie diet. Participants received capsules containing a placebo or 1300 milligrams (mg) EPA, 300 mg alpha-lipoic acid, or 1300 mg EPA plus 300 mg alpha-lipoic acid daily for ten weeks. All supplements were consumed in divided doses to help reduce the impact of plasma level decline after oral supplementation. Weight, body composition, leptin levels and other factors were evaluated before and after the treatment period.

While all groups lost weight by the end of the trial, women who received alpha-lipoic acid (with or without EPA) experienced a significantly greater reduction in body weight, hip circumference and fat mass in comparison with the other groups. EPA supplementation was associated with a moderate decrease in waist to hip ratio as well as a reduction in the decline in resting metabolic rate that normally occurs with weight loss which the authors suggest may be attributable to the concomitant reduction in leptin decline observed in the EPA group. They remark that EPA's effect on leptin suggests that supplementation with the fatty acid could become useful for weight loss maintenance.

"Our data suggest that alpha-lipoic acid supplementation at a dose of 300 mg/day combined with an energy-restricted diet might help to promote weight loss and fat mass reduction in healthy obese women," authors Ana E. Huerta and colleagues conclude. "Although EPA supplementation did not have any additional effect on the reduction of body and fat mass, it prevents the fall of leptin during weight loss. It is essential that these observations be further explored and the underlying mechanisms better elucidated."

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The July-September 2013 issue of the Annals of Medical & Health Sciences Research reported the outcome of a study conducted by researchers in India which found a benefit for alpha-lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E in men and women with diabetes.

In a randomized, double-blinded trial, Dr Pradeep S. Nahar and his associates divided 104 diabetics between the ages of 21 and 65 years of age to receive a daily placebo or one of the following regimens for ninety days: 300 milligrams alpha-lipoic acid, 180 milligrams eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 120 milligrams docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or 400 milligrams vitamin E. Fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, a marker of long term glucose control) were measured at the beginning of the study and at its conclusion.

In comparison with the placebo group, participants who receive alpha-lipoic acid, EPA/DHA or vitamin E experienced a reduction in HbA1c. Subjects in the three treatment groups also had a nonsignificant decline in fasting glucose.

"The results of this study demonstrate that antioxidants alpha lipoic acid, omega 3 fatty acid and vitamin E showed encouraging decrease in blood glucose and HbA1c with no adverse effect and these antioxidants may be used in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus," the authors write. "However further study with larger sample size and longer duration of treatment is required to definitely establish the role of anti-oxidants in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Depending upon the cost benefit analysis we found vitamin E to be the most cost effective even though the maximum improvement in blood glucose and HbA1c was with omega-3 fatty acid."

"Most importantly, since the antioxidants differed in their effects on parameters of insulin sensitivity, combining these drugs might prove as an attractive option in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus," they conclude.

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Life Extension Magazine® August 2015 E-Issue now Available

Life Extension Magazine® August 2015 E-Issue now Available

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Health Concern

Obesity and weight loss

Scientific investigations have shed light on the biology of weight loss in recent times. It turns out the battle against the bulge is much more complex than the overly simplistic "eat less food to lose weight" message often promoted by government health agencies.

In 2009, Life Extension described the Nine Pillars of Successful Weight Loss. Each of the nine pillars represents a fundamental insight into sustainable weight. If any weight loss strategy is to be successful, it must evolve beyond the conventional cliché that weight loss only requires a reduction in food consumption. Instead, successful weight management requires a paradigm that acknowledges the multifactorial nature of obesity.

The Nine Pillars of Successful Weight Loss that should not be overlooked if healthy weight management is to be achieved are:

  • Restore insulin sensitivity
  • Restore youthful hormone balance
  • Control rate of carbohydrate absorption
  • Increase physical activity
  • Restore brain serotonin/suppress hunger signals
  • Restore resting energy expenditure rate
  • Restore healthy adipocyte (fat cell) signaling
  • Inhibit the lipase enzyme
  • Eat to live a long and healthy life
Read More
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