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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Dec;46(3):193-201. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Long-term safety of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) consumption: A 2-year study.

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Degussa Food Ingredients GmbH, Lise Meitnerstr. 34 D -85354 Freising, Germany.


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) (CAS RN 1077-28-7), also referred to as thioctic acid, has been demonstrated to exhibit strong anti-oxidant properties. In order to test the long-term toxicity of ALA, groups of 40-50 male and female, 5-6-week-old, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to oral administration of 20, 60, or 180 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day ALA for 24 months. There was no significant difference between control animals and treated animals at 20 or 60 mg/kg bw/day with respect to body weight gain, food consumption, behavioural effects, haematological and clinical chemistry parameters, and gross and histopathological findings. In all treatment groups, mortality was slightly lower as compared to the control. The absolute weights of the heart (high-dose males), thymus (high-dose males), and left adrenal (mid-dose males), liver (high-dose females), and lungs (high-dose females) were decreased in comparison to controls. These changes were of no toxicological significance. The only notable finding in rats of both sexes dosed at 180 mg/kg bw/day was a reduction in food intake relative to the controls and a concomitant decrease in body weight. This decrease in body weight led to significant differences between the control and high-dose rats with respect to the absolute weights of certain organs. However, no gross or histopathological changes were associated with these findings. The no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) is considered to be 60 mg/kg bw/day.

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