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Minerva Med. 2011 Dec;102(6):475-82.

Single dose bioavailability and pharmacokinetic study of a innovative formulation of α-lipoic acid (ALA600) in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy and Health Products, University of Camerino, Camerino, Macerata, Italy.



α-Lipoic acid is an important micronutrient with several pharmacological as well as antioxidant properties. The present study was aimed to examine the human bioavailability, pharmacokinetics (PK) and tolerability of an innovative oral formulation (ALA600) containing racemic α-lipoic acid 600 mg.


After a single 600-mg oral administration in healthy volunteers, blood samples were collected up to 8 hours post dosing, and plasma α-lipoic acid concentrations were determined by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) detection.


The PK data revealed a short time to reach plasma peak oncentrations (50.8± 4.2 min) with a C(max) of 6.86±1.29 µg/mL. The C(max) implying that the new pharmaceutical form positively influences absorption and absorption time. The AUC value of 5.65±0.79 µg/mL*h is the more reliable measure of new formulation bioavailability. The half-life and MRT values further show that new formulation is absorbed consistently and rapidly and is eliminated efficiently. These PK data appear to promote further refinement of present formulation. Should the authors compare the obtained data with the recent published data, the new formulation of α-lipoic acid tends to show an improvement of C(max) value (2.5-5.4 times) and AUC (1.8 times).


ALA600 formulation is characterized by rapid absorption, high bioavailability, brief half-life and low toxicity. These PK parameters could significantly increase clinical use of lipoic acid with improvement of the therapeutic effects at the cellular level and might also prove to be the most suitable formulation for chronic administration such as peripheral neuropathies.

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