caret icon Back to all discussions

Has anyone tried Alpha (r) Lipoic Acid for Ulcerative Colitis?

I was diagnosed with UC on 14th Aug, and had my colonoscopy on the 7th Aug which showed severe pancolitis. I had been struggling with bad symptoms since early July.

A few days before the colonoscopy, I bought some r-lipoic acid (300mg) which I have taken 3x per day. Everything else had been ruled out which led to my IBD diagnosis, no infection, Calprotein reading of 2500 etc confirmed twice, once by GP and once by hospital.

Since I have been taking these, or since about the 10th/11th, I have been seemingly in remission, with the odd twang of pain occasionally.

What I'm basically getting at is, I cannot find anything online about r-lipoic acid being used specifically for IBD except for one ALA infusion study. Has anyone had any sort of positive effect with this supplement?

Many thanks in advance.

  1. I've never heard of Lipoic Acid. Fascinating! I did a quick Google search, and I see that it's been helpful for people with diabetes or who are overweight. According to the National Library of Medicine, testing shows there are some beneficial effects on inflammation and pain. It's an antioxidant that recycles vitamins C and E in the body. That's why it's sometimes referenced as a "universal antioxidant." Hmmm... Now you have me curious to see if anyone else has tried it. What caused you to purchase it? Did a doctor recommend it? Now, what I've read about the research states that "These results suggest the need for further clinical trials to guide health professionals regarding the safety of prescription of this supplement." So, I'm not sure I'm willing to run out and purchase it, but like you, I also would love to know if anyone else has tried it. Hopefully, someone chimes in with their personal experience. Thanks for piquing my interest. I may do a little more research on it. --Traci, UC-IBD Team Member

    Source =Moura, Fabiana Andréa et al. “Lipoic Acid: its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role and clinical applications.” Current topics in medicinal chemistry vol. 15,5 (2015): 458-83. doi:10.2174/1568026615666150114161358

    1. Thank you for your reply. I knew a bit about this supplement because I knew it recycled other vitamins and anti-oxidants.

      This is a theory of mine, but I can't help thinking that the recent surge in the last couple of decades of IBDs being diagnosed is related in some way to the increase in environmental microplastics and other toxins over time. Also when I started to read into R-Lipoic acid (ALA), I started to realise it can protect and aid repair in epithelial cells in the intestines according to research, as well as modulate inflammation by way of moderating IL-6, TNFa and levels of C-reactive proteins. Aside from this, I read more into Dr Jay Pravda's research which looks at excess hydrogen peroxide in the body/intestine being a possible cause for ulcerative colitis. And then there is Dr Berkson who gives Crohn's patients ALA infusions and some have apparently been getting better over time.

      Generally I just saw it as a good supplement, even though there is Carcumin and Boswellia etc (neither of which made alot of difference). These are some of the reasons I went for this supplement, plus I tend to think outside the box, and am willing to experiment on myself. I hope this is helpful, and I'm happy to look for other possible supplements too!

  2. Like you, I'm also willing to research and then experiment. Honestly, I believe that's how I ended up in remission for years. Since 2020, though, my UC flares have started up again. It's frustrating because I genuinely thought I had learned to diffuse and combat it in my body. Now, just a few weeks ago, I started a new medication. Although medication can/does help, I hate the potential side effects of any drug. I much prefer a more "natural" approach to my body. So, I don't mind trying something new. After reading your post and response, I think I'll research R-Lipoic Acid a little bit more. Maybe I'll try it, too.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your results. Keep in touch and let me know how you do on it. Warm Regards, Traci--(UC-IBD Team Member)

    1. Dang it! I was just at Walmart yesterday and meant to look for ALA. Grrrr!!! fifties fadeout hindered that idea. Ha Ha! I just totally forgot. I do need to pick up a prescription at the local pharmacy. I'll check it out and see if CVS carries it. I wish you had more testimonials on using it, though. The person you referenced on Entyvio, I wonder if they juggled both the medication and ALA? Since I'm on Lialda at the moment, I wonder if I should even try it? Oh, these burning questions when it comes to IBD! I definitely don't want to make my flare worse. But...since I write in this community forum, maybe taking ALA and its results will be my next article. (Thank you for the writing idea!)

      On a side note, traveling to Scotland is on my bucket list. I have a picture of Scotland on my vision board that inspires me. Travel prices are going to have to come down before this school teacher can afford to travel that distance. I'm down to single digits until retirement, though. Maybe then I can make it to your beautiful country. 😀 Enjoy your weekend!--Traci (UC-IBD Team Member)

    2. I have actually received another response on my Reddit post, and this person was saying her husband has also been failing Entyvio, but has been getting markedly better within a week of taking 300mg R-ALA twice per day (am and pm). A testimonial with someone not on medication already would be amazing though, and in the near future, I would really like to see ALA/R-ALA studied on a bigger scale for IBDs, and this research published in well-known journals.

      From what I've seen, there are no drug interactions ALA/R-ALA has with any other IBD medication, so it may be worth taking it, even if for other benefits it has too as an antioxidant. About the writing idea, you're very welcome by the way, always happy to inspire as much as I can. I would be interested to see your progress with it and see your testimonial too.

      It would be nice for you to visit Scotland, many parts are stunning! I'm from a town just 12ish miles aware from Glasgow, and all the best parts are just hours drives. My favourite places are the Highlands and Hebridean islands. If you look up Mull and Iona, as well as Skye, Lewis/Harris, Glencoe, it's like another world. I would also like to come to the states at some point, there are many lovely places there, and such a variety too! I'm sure my wife and son would love that as well 😀. Although I know what you mean, the travel prices at the moment are almost unreal lol.

      Thank you, I hope you're having a good weekend too! 😊

Please read our rules before posting.