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The Dietary Antioxidants Alpha-Tocopherol and Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Their Synergy in Brain Disorders

  • Oscar Gonzalez-Perez
Chapter

Abstract

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and vitamin E (VE) are normally present in human diet and their side-effects derived from oral supplementation are very rare. Interestingly, a combination of these antioxidants has shown synergistic effects, as determined in experimental and clinical studies. This chapter summarizes (1) The role of oxygen free radicals in brain injuries; (2) The antioxidant effects of ALA and VE in the brain; (3) The mechanism of action of the synergy between ALA and VE; and (4) The increasing evidence showing that the combination of ALA and VE is more effective than any antioxidant monotherapy for reducing oxidative damage. Specifically, ALA and VE efficiently counteract oxidant radicals in a number of neurological diseases, such as brain ischemia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, ALA and VE are also effective in non-neurological diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chemotherapy, high performance exercise, cataracts, heart failure, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging process. In summary, although antioxidants by themselves cannot prevent the incidence of neurological diseases, they can delay its occurrence and/or reduce the magnitude of neural damage. Therefore, diets or commercial supplements enriched with these two antioxidants may be ideal for people in risk of suffering from neurological conditions generated by unbalance production of oxygen free radicals.

Keywords

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diabetic Neuropathy Oxygen Free Radical Lipoic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

HNE

4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal

5-HT

5-Hydroxytryptamine

ATPase

Adenosine triphosphatase

ALA

Alpha-lipoic acid

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

GABA

Gamma-amino butyric acid

GPX

Glutathione peroxidase

GAP43

Growth-associated protein 43

NAD+

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide oxidized

NADP+

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidized

NADHP

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate reduced

NADH

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

RNA

Ribonucleic acid

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

VE

Vitamin E

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACyT; Ciencia Basica-2008-101476).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuroscience, School of PsychologyUniversity of ColimaColimaMéxico
  2. 2.Neuroscience Department, Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la SaludUniversity of GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMéxico

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