What is Thioctic Acid?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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Thioctic acid is a powerful antioxidant that is being studied and researched for use in curing or preventing a variety of health conditions. It has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and to help remove toxins from the body caused by chemical sources, radiation, and alcohol. The effects seem to be especially noted in the liver, and it is being investigated as a potential treatment for liver damage. Thioctic acid is also called alpha-lipoic acid or vitamin N.

Some studies have shown that thioctic acid reduces and sometimes reverses liver damage caused by certain medications, toxins found in food and water, and alcohol. Hepatitis patients may also benefit. Its use is also being studied as a potential preventative measure against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since some of its properties have been shown to potentially reduce liver damage caused by HIV and to prevent the illness from becoming acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Diabetics may also benefit form taking thioctic acid because it helps prevent cell and organ damage. Some clinical studies have shown that almost all participants who received antioxidants in set doses suffered less oxidation of the cells than those who were given a placebo. That said, it did not appear than thioctic acid was more effective at preventing this damage than the other antioxidants that were used.


Thioctic acid does not appear to have any side effects or drug interactions in the amounts used during studies. This does not mean that higher amounts could not cause adverse reactions. Studies are still being done to determine the correct dosage for the effective prevention and treatment of illness. Until then, patients should follow the manufacturer’s directions or speak with a doctor or naturalist practitioner to determine the safest dosage for their situation.

Although it has not been used in the United States and many other nations for every long, thioctic acid has been widely used in Europe for many years. Adverse reactions are typically not found. Patients living elsewhere may have to order this substance online, since local health food stores or pharmacies are less likely to carry it. It is most often sold in tablets or capsules.


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