Effect of Combined Treatment With α-Lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Vascular Function and Blood Pressure in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

Authors

  • Craig J. McMackin MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Michael E. Widlansky MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Naomi M. Hamburg MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Alex L. Huang MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Susan Weller BS,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Monika Holbrook MS,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Noyan Gokce MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Tory M. Hagen PhD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 2 John F. Keaney Jr MD,

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author
  • and 1 Joseph A. Vita MD 1

    1. From the Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;1 and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR2
    Search for more papers by this author

Joseph A. Vita, MD, Section of Cardiology, Boston Medical Center, 88 East Newton Street, Boston, MA 02118
E-mail: jvita@bu.edu

Abstract

Mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species that may contribute to vascular dysfunction. α-Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine reduce oxidative stress and improve mitochondrial function. In a double-blind crossover study, the authors examined the effects of combined α-lipoic acid/acetyl-L-carnitine treatment and placebo (8 weeks per treatment) on vasodilator function and blood pressure in 36 subjects with coronary artery disease. Active treatment increased brachial artery diameter by 2.3% (P=.008), consistent with reduced arterial tone. Active treatment tended to decrease systolic blood pressure for the whole group (P=.07) and had a significant effect in the subgroup with blood pressure above the median (151±20 to 142±18 mm Hg; P=.03) and in the subgroup with the metabolic syndrome (139±21 to 130±18 mm Hg; P=.03). Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to the regulation of blood pressure and vascular tone. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and determine the clinical utility of α-lipoic acid/acetyl-L-carnitine as antihypertensive therapy.

Ancillary