Total Lipoic Acid

Total Lipoic Acid in Plasma

Clinical Information

A vitamin-like compound that is conditionally essential to humans1.

Lipoic acid functions as an antioxidant by scavenging free radicals. It also chelates metals, and restores intracellular gluthathione levels 2. It is an important cofactor for complexes that catalyzes oxidative decarboxylation of alpha keto-acids3.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency or Toxicity

There is no evidence for lipoic acid deficiency. This indicates that the amount synthesized in the body is sufficient to meet the requirements 4.

Some evidence is available that moderate doses have few adverse effects. These include allergic reactions affecting the skin, rashes, hives, and itching. Other symptoms reported that are dose-dependent are: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and vertigo4

Biomarker and Methods of Analysis


Total lipoic acid is determined thru the free and protein-bound lipoic acid present in human plasma5.

Supplementation Guide

No supplementation guidelines for the general public. Usually comes at 100 – 300 mg pill format, taken one to 3 x / day.

No established upper limit.

Lipoic acid could increase risk to hypoglycemia. In addition, its high concentrations of lipoic acid may compete with biotin for transport across cell membranes4.

Food Sources

The main sources are organ meats such liver, kidney, heart. Spinach, brocolli, and yeast extract are also good sources6.

(1) Combs GF, McClung JP. Vitamin-Like Factors. Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health 2017; 453-498.
(2) Shay KP, Moreau RF, Smith EJ, Smith AR, Hagen TM. Alpha-lipoic acid as a dietary supplement: Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential. Biochem Biophys Acta 2009; 1790(10):1149-1160.
(3) Reddi AS, Baskin S, Wassel E, DeAngelis B, Baker H. Plasma α-lipoic acid and total glutathione levels in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Nephron 1999; 82:357.
(4) Higdon J, Drake VJ. (January 2012). Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Lipoic Acid. Retrieved from
(5) Chwatko G, Kraqczyk M, Iciek M, Kaminska A, Bilska-Wilkosz A, Marcykiewicz B, Flowacki R. Determination of lipoic acid in human plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. Arabian Journal of Chemistry 2016. doi:
(6) Shasizadeh A, Roohbakhsh A, Ayoobi F, Moghaddamahmadi A. The role of natural products in the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Nutrition and Lifstyle in Neurological Autoimmune Diseases 2017; 249-260.