An octanoic acid bridged with two sulfurs so that it is sometimes also called a pentanoic acid in some naming schemes. It is biosynthesized by cleavage of LINOLEIC ACID and is a coenzyme of oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (KETOGLUTARATE DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX). It is used in DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS.


Lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that acts as a free-radical scavenger. Alpha-lipoic acid is also known as thioctic acid. It is a naturally occurring compound that is synthesized by both plants and animals. Lipoic acid contains two thiol groups which may be either oxidized or reduced. The reduced form is known as dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA). Lipoic acid (Delta E= -0.288) is therefore capable of thiol-disulfide exchange, giving it antioxidant activity. Lipoate is a critical cofactor for aerobic metabolism, participating in the transfer of acyl or methylamine groups via the 2-Oxoacid dehydrogenase (2-OADH) or alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate to succinyl CoA. This activity results in the catabolism of the branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). Lipoic acid also participates in the glycine cleavage system(GCV). The glycine cleavage system is a multi-enzyme complex that catalyzes the oxidation of glycine to form 5,10 methylene tetrahydrofolate, an important cofactor in nucleic acid synthesis. Since Lipoic acid is an essential cofactor for many enzyme complexes, it is essential for aerobic life as we know it. This system is used by many organisms and plays a crucial role in the photosynthetic carbon cycle. Lipoic acid was first postulated to be an effective antioxidant when it was found it prevented vitamin C and vitamin E deficiency. It is able to scavenge reactive oxygen species and reduce other metabolites, such as glutathione or vitamins, maintaining a healthy cellular redox state. Lipoic acid has been shown in cell culture experiments to increase cellular uptake of glucose by recruiting the glucose transporter GLUT4 to the cell membrane, suggesting its use in diabetes. Studies of rat aging have suggested that the use of L-carnitine and lipoic acid results in improved memory performance and delayed structural mitochondrial decay. As a result, it may be helpful for people with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.

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Lipoic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid) Interacts with Diseases

Lipoic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid) Interacts with Genes