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Alpha-lipoic acid prevents atherosclerosis.

An article published in Cell Reports reveals a protective effect for supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid on telomere length and vascular health in mice given a high-fat diet. *

"The effects of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes on blood vessels can be traced back to telomere shortening," noted senior author R. Wayne Alexander, MD, PhD.

Previous research, reported in the journal Circulation, found an inhibitory effect for lipoic acid against high-fat diet-induced atherosclerosis in mouse models of the disease. In the current report, Dr. Alexander and colleagues confirmed that alpha-lipoic acid stimulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC1-alpha), which is known to control some aspects of how muscles respond to exercise. "What's new here is that we show that PGC1-alpha is regulating telomerase, and that has real beneficial effects on cellular stress in a mouse model of atherosclerosis," first author Shiqin Xiong stated.

Editor's Note: Telomeres are segments of genetic material that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. Aging-associated reduction in telomere length is considered a marker and cause of cellular aging. Telomere length is maintained by an enzyme known as telomerase. While telomerase is activated in proliferating cells, including those which are cancerous, Dr. Alexander's team has not observed an increased incidence of malignancies in animals that received alpha-lipoic acid.

* Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 1;12(9):1391-9.

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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