Lipoic Acid: Something We're Missing?


I just read about a recent study on lipoic acid. Here is the most important bit:

Researchers fed laboratory animals higher levels of lipoic acid than might be
attained in a normal diet, while monitoring proteins known to be affected by
disruption of the circadian clock in older animals.

They found that lipoic acid helped remediate some of the liver dysfunction
that’s often common in old age, and significantly improved the function of
their circadian rhythms.

In previous research, scientists found that the amount of lipoic acid that
could aid liver and normal lipid function was the equivalent of about 600
milligrams daily for a 150-pound human, more than could normally be obtained
through the diet.

Lipoic acid is not listed as an essential nutrient, but a regular diet will always contain some. This isn’t that magical secret ingredient to “natural food” that people wary of a Soylent diet are afraid of missing—we won’t suffer much without it—but for optimal health it seems like something we’re missing out on. As far as I can tell, those of us consuming mostly Soylent (or an equivalent) are getting little or none in our diet if we’re not explicitly adding it in. This article recommends supplementing to get more than the average amount.

I’ve never looked for this before, so I don’t know if a health food or supplement store is likely to carry it, but I’m going to try to find it locally.

Is anyone else already including this in their diet?


This definitely is interesting. Let’s see what they say about it.


Lipoic acid is cheap and easy to get.

It’s not an essential nutrient because the healthy human body seems to produce all it needs.

There are lots of trials on lipoic acid which find some benefit during particular disease states - the research you cite above seems to be considering the disease states common in old age, where people are perhaps not producing all the lipoic acid they need. The research on lipoic acid suggests that intravenous LA is more effective than oral LA, but that there is, in fact, an effect from oral LA.

There are people take it as a health supplement, but it’s probably going to remain an individual add-on, and not become part of the “base” Soylent. formula.