Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Cancer Care
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that can be found naturally in foods like Yeast, Liver, Kidney, Spinach, and Potatoes. Alpha Lipoic Acid is actually crucial in our bodies for aerobic cellular respiration (one of two pathways that cells use to break down carbohydrates to produce energy).
Beyond its crucial role in cellular metabolism, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) has also been cited to play a role in the reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidant recycling, and chelating oxidant free ions (Rochette et al., 2013). It is first important to understand that reactive oxygen species (ROS), sometimes also called free radicals are molecules that accumulate in the body and are highly reactive. As a result, these reactive oxygen species can interact with and damage the machinery of our healthy cells, which include, DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids.
In Vitro Studies
Additionally, some studies in vitro (outside of body) indicate a synergistic interaction between certain anticancer drugs like cisplatin and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), in which an increased amount of MCF-7 breast cancer cells were shown to die, than with cisplatin alone (Nur et al., 2017). Another in vitro study on thyroid cancer cells indicated that ALA was able to decrease these cancerous cells from multiplying and migrating (Jeon et al., 2016). Furthermore, another in vitro study indicated that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) also decreased cell proliferation (cell multiplication) in certain lung cancer cells (Yang et al., 2017).
Rochette, L., Ghibu, S., Richard, C., Zeller, M., Cottin, Y., & Vergely, C. (2013). Direct and indirect antioxidant properties of α‐lipoic acid and therapeutic potential. Molecular nutrition & food research, 57(1), 114-125.
Nur, G., Nazıroğlu, M., & Deveci, H. A. (2017). Synergic prooxidant, apoptotic and TRPV1 channel activator effects of alpha-lipoic acid and cisplatin in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction, 37(6), 569-577.
Jeon, M. J., Kim, W. G., Lim, S., Choi, H. J., Sim, S., Kim, T. Y., ...
& Kim, W. B. (2016). Alpha lipoic acid inhibits proliferation and
epithelial mesenchymal transition of thyroid cancer cells. Molecular and
cellular endocrinology, 419, 113-123.
Yang, L., Wen, Y., Lv, G., Lin, Y., Tang, J., Lu, J., ... & Sun, X. (2017). α-Lipoic acid inhibits human lung cancer cell proliferation through Grb2-mediated EGFR downregulation. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 494(1-2), 325-331.