[Note: Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome, pre-diabetes syndrome, and syndrome X, is a set of symptoms that increases one’s risk for diabetes 2 and cardiovascular disease.]
Journal: Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs. 2007 Mar;16(3):291-302
Author and affiliation: Pershadsingh, HA. Bethesda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bakersfield, California. [E-mail: Harrihar A. Pershadsingh, MD, PhD, University of California, Irvine; hpershad@UCI.edu ]
In animal experiments, the potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to cause weight loss, ameliorate insulin resistance and atherogenic dyslipidemia [low levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol], as well as to lower blood pressure, all of these being components of the metabolic syndrome.
Recent investigations on its mechanisms of action indicate that alpha-lipoic acid can affect central and peripheral modulation of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase, activate PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma, modulate PPAR-regulated genes, and upregulate the expression of PPAR-gamma mRNA and protein in cardiac tissue and aorta smooth muscle.
To a large extent, these findings can explain the observed beneficial metabolic effects of alpha-lipoic acid, supporting its potential application as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.