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New approach discovered to lowering triglycerides

March 30, 2009

Studies done with laboratory rats suggest that supplementation of their diet with lipoic acid had a significant effect in lowering triglycerides, which along with cholesterol levels and blood pressure are one of the key risk factors in cardiovascular disease.

In the lab animals, supplements of lipoic acid lowered triglyceride levels up to 60 percent. If the effect were the same in humans – which is not yet clear – that would be a greater impact than found with other dietary supplements, and similar to the effects of some prescription drugs.

The results were just published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, a professional journal.

“The extent of triglyceride reduction was really dramatic, we didnt expect it to be this profound,” said Regis Moreau, an assistant professor with the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. “The potential is good that this could become another way to lower blood triglycerides and help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Its pretty exciting.”

Lipoic acid is a natural compound found at low levels in some foods, including red meat and green leafy vegetables. A powerful antioxidant, its been of considerable research interest in recent years for its apparent ability to reduce mitochondrial decay in cells and perhaps slow the process of aging. And its been used in Europe for decades as a treatment for the neuropathic complications of diabetes.

doi:10.1016/j.abb.2009.01.024

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