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li·po·ic ac·id(li-pō'ik as'id),
A bacterial growth factor present in yeast and liver extracts; may be useful in the treatment of mushroom poisoning. Functions as the amide (lipoamide) cofactor in the disulfide (-S-S-) form in the transfer of "active aldehyde" (acetyl), the two-carbon fragment resulting from decarboxylation of pyruvate from α-hydroxyethylthiamin pyrophosphate to acetyl-CoA, itself being reduced to the dithiol form (that is, dihydrolipoic acid) in the process. Lipoic acid is also an essential component of other α-keto acid dehydrogenase complexes.
alpha-lipoic acidA naturally occurring compound synthesised in small amounts by humans, which is regarded by some authors as a conditionally essential nutrient. It is an antioxidant and may have several roles in the body, such as the chelation of metals (cadmium, copper, iron, lead, mercury and others) and extraction of energy from food. Alpha-lipoic acid is said be effective in treating cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus (by preventing glycation), strokes, gangrene, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and retinal degeneration.
The body of peer-reviewed data is limited, but suggests that intravenous lipoic acid may improve peripheral neuropathy in diabetics.