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α-Lipoic Acid and its role on female Reproduction


Fiorella Di Nicuolo*, Roberta Castellani, Carlo Ticconi, Giovanni Scambia, Alfredo Pontecorvi and Nicoletta Di Simone  


α-lipoic acid (ALA), also known as thioctic acid, is a biological thiol present in all types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. It has been shown that ALA or its reduced form, DHLA, have several positive effects on human health acting as biological antioxidant, metal chelator and as a detoxifying agent. It is able to reduce oxidation of several antioxidant agents like glutathione, vitamins C and E, and to modulate insulin and NF-kB signaling pathways. ALA’s pharmacological effects are not only related to its antioxidant properties but it shows an anti-inflammatory action. In particular, ALA is able to reduce inflammasome activity, the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18 and IL-17, interferon (INF)-γ as well as the production of Vascular and Intercellular cell adhesion protein (VCAM-1 and ICAM-1). In recent papers, ALA has been indicated as a possible therapeutic approach to several endocrine or inflammatory disorders affecting female reproduction. Aim of the current review was to assess whether ALA has an evidence-based beneficial role on gynecological and obstetrical diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and miscarriage.


α-lipoic acid (ALA), endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), miscarriage, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), inflammation


Istituto Scientifico Internazionale Paolo VI, ISI, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Diparimento Universitario Scienze della Vita e Sanità Pubblica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Tor Vergata, Rome, U.O.C. Ginecologia Oncologica, Dipartimento per la Salute della Donna e del Bambino e della Salute Pubblica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168, Rome, Istituto Scientifico Internazionale Paolo VI, ISI, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Via Rita Levi Montalcini 4, 20072 Pieve Emanuele, Milan

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