Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant and coenzyme required for numerous biochemical pathways. Studies with animal models of MS indicate that supplementation with
ALA retards progression of the disease and decreases demyelination and T-cell and macrophage infiltration into the CNS.27 Additional research with animal models indicates that ALA decreases T-cell migration and stabilizes the dysfunctional blood-brain barrier in MS, as well as inhibits damage to the barrier caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS).28 Human studies indicate that ALA is well tolerated in MS, and decreases the concentrations of such markers of inflammation as matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAMP-1).29 Additionally, ALA enhances immunomodulatory activity by increasing the concentration of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in human T-cells and natural killer cells.30
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