Alpha Lipoic Acid Treatment for Liver Disease
Although not yet as popular as milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid has been shown in certain studies to have a beneficial effect on liver disease. It has been proposed to treat alcohol-related liver disorders, but so far no conclusive evidence has yet come out. However, it has been used to detoxify and treat the liver in certain cases, specifically those who have eaten a poisonous mushroom called Amanita, which causes liver damage.
Naturally produced in the body, alpha lipoic acid works by converting glucose into energy. Its importance can be simply explained as: without alpha lipoic acid, we could not obtain energy from the food we eat and we could not stay alive.
In the 1970s, scientists and researchers at the National Institutes of Health first performed large-scale human clinical studies using alpha lipoic acid. The researchers gave alpha lipoic acid supplements to 79 people with liver damage, and 75 of whom were found to have recovered fully their liver’s functions.
Recently, in 1999, Frederick Berkson published three case reports using triple-antioxidant supplement regimen in patients with liver disease, including those with chronic hepatitis C. After several months of treatment with a combination of alpha lipoic acid, selenium and silymarin, all three patients recovered most or all of their liver function, avoided liver transplantation and went on to live healthy, productive lives free of the symptoms of liver disease.
From 2006 to 2008, studies in humans and animals have shown that alpha lipoic acid can provide important improvements in the following: recovery following liver surgery; protection from chemotherapy side effects and chemical poisoning; liver regeneration; and protection against liver and kidney damage from acetaminophen-containing drugs (e.g., Tylenol, Anacin-3 and Percocet). As acetaminophen poisoning sends over 56,000 people to emergency rooms each year in the U.S., these study results are all the more impressive.
These aforementioned results indicate how effective alpha lipoic acid is in the treatment of liver disease.