Alpha-lipoic Acid Aids in Weight Loss

Korean scientists have discovered that alpha-lipoic acid can cause substantial weight loss in obese mice, according to a study published in the July issue of Nature Medicine.

Until now, Alpha-lipoic acid had only been used in small dosages. Consequently, its weight-dropping function remained undiscovered.

Researchers treated obese mice with an increased dosage of ALAŚmore than what has in the past been used to support the health of diabetics. Almost 100 percent of mice lost weight until they reached their normal weight level.

The researchers also investigated the mechanism by which ALA triggers weight loss. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) functions as a fuel sensor in the cell and is activated when cellular energy is depleted. Consequently, it triggers an increase in appetite to bring cellular energy back up to a sufficient level. ALA decreases hypothalamic AMPK activity, reducing food intake and enhancing energy expenditure. When the researchers activated hypothalamic AMPK, on the other hand, the beneficial effects of ALA on food intake and energy expenditure were reversed, indicating that ALA increases weight loss through its effects on AMPK activity.

The researchers concluded that hypothalamic AMPK is important in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure and that alpha-lipoic acid exerts anti-obesity effects by suppressing hypothalamic AMPK activity.

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Kim MS, Park JY, Namkoong C, Jang PG, Ryu JW, Song HS, Yun JY, Namgoong IS, Ha J, Park IS, Lee IK, Viollet B, Youn JH, Lee HK, Lee KU. Anti-obesity effects of alpha-lipoic acid www.ed by suppression of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase. Nat Med. 2004 Jul;10(7):727-33. Epub 2004 Jun 13.


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