Lipoic Acid – Super Nutrient for Kidney Disease… And Whatever Ails You

Lipoic acid, a sulphur based compound, would have to be one of the most intriguing and unique vitamins known to man. Since its discovery in 1951, lipoic acid (also known as thioctic acid) has been shown to treat diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, heavy metal toxicity, inflammation, insulin resistance, kidney damage, nerve damage, liver damage, heart disease, arthritis, poor memory, stroke, vision problems, renal failure, Parkinson’s disease, and more!

The secret to its staggering ability to treat pretty much “whatever ails ya”, is the ability of this vitamin to be both water soluble and fat soluble, plus, have the ability to ‘renew and recycle’ other antioxidants. You see first of all, vitamins are either water soluble (e.g. Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and C) or fat soluble (e.g. Vitamin A, D, E, and K), which limits the vitamins effectiveness in certain areas of the body – depending whether it is a water or fat environment. Lipoic acid therefore has the ability to cross over wherever the body needs it, including the blood/brain barrier! Secondly, lipoic acid has the capability turn ‘used’ antioxidants (e.g. Vitamin E and C) into ‘available’ antioxidants for the body to use again – in other words, giving them a second life.

Here are just a few of its facts:

  • Only known antioxidant that that is both water and fat soluble
  • Clinical studies have shown lipoic acid to be kidney protective
  • Significantly reduces symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
  • Improves insulin sensitivity – improves blood sugar control
  • Increases immune function – by increasing T lymphocyte production
  • Improves energy production – via the ATP pathways
  • Supports the elimination of heavy metals – increased chelation (=binding) of heavy metals in the liver
  • Supports mitochondrial function – the energy power houses found mainly within the muscles
  • Food sources: broccoli, brewer’s yeast, brussels sprouts, rice bran, egg yolk, spinach, potatoes, and animal liver, heart, and kidneys (though requires supplementation for therapeutic effects)

Now before you race off to purchase some, there is just one matter to make sure you have right before you do, and that is making sure you buy the correct type. You see there are three different forms of lipoic acid, and the differences are quite dramatic.

  • Choice 1 – R-Lipoic Acid: this is the best form, because it is the naturally occurring form of lipoic acid
  • Choice 2 – Alpha Lipoic Acid: this is the second best form, because it contains a 50:50 blend of the naturally occurring form (R-Lipoic Acid) and the synthetic form (S-Lipoic Acid)
  • Choice 3 – S-Lipoic Acid: This is the least effective form, containing only the synthetic variety

So Which One to Buy?

Well it is always best to get the most natural and most active form – studies have shown that the naturally occurring form is 50% more active – though for treatment purposes I have found the blend still very effective. With quality, of course, comes an increased of price, though you need to weigh that up yourself with the benefit of it having more therapeutic value. Again I myself use both (choice 1 & choice 2). I would avoid straight S-Lipoic Acid however, even though it still has some therapeutic value. Please check the labels before purchasing, and also note, that the majority of all clinical trials done on lipoic acid have used 50:50 blend (choice 2).


It is always wise when taking any supplementation to consult your health professional beforehand. For example, diabetics on insulin need to be monitored, as lipoic acid can reduce blood sugar levels quickly. Even though this is great, it still needs to be monitored with regular blood glucose checks.

Therapeutic Dosage Range

  1. R-form: 200-600mg a day
  2. Blend: 400-600mg a day
  3. S-form: 400-800mg a day

So in closing, you could say this is the perfect nutrient for those with kidney disease/failure caused by diabetes, cardiovascular problems, immune dysfunction, and heavy metals… which statistically accounts for the majority kidney disease sufferers. However, even if your kidney disease is caused by another factor, make sure you lipoic acid becomes your new best friend, as the benefits are amazing!

Filed Under: Kidney NutrientsKidney Treatment


About the Author: Hello, my name is Duncan Capicchiano, I am the owner and creator of My professional background is Naturopathy, and I am also an International Author and Researcher that specialises in the treatment and management of kidney disease. My most famous work in kidney disease is The Kidney Disease Solution Program. Lastly - but most importantly - I am the loving "father" of my two dogs Ruby and Pebbles, my horse Cossie, and husband to my beautiful wife, Fiona.

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  1. tazwaar says:

    I’m taz-waar, My mother is a very serious patient, she has Diabetic, High pressure, and kidney creatinine level is very high, so we are very much frosted for this problem, even sometimes she face severe anemia. How can she decrease her creatinine level and other problems, as soon as possible? Blood pressure is very high, then she vomits.

    Please, let me know how she can get relief from this problem.

  2. Debra Losch says:

    Hi I enjoyed your article on improving your kidneys. My husband was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma early stage. He had no organ problems only myeloma. His oncologist prescripted this new drug called Rivlemid and 5 days later he was experiencing high fevers, doctor no good told him to contiune the Revlimd and go to the ER if it got worse well it did. He was in the hospital for a week with creatine levels as high as 5.0. Biopsy did not tell much only that he had some myeloma in his kidney. Do you think I should put him on Lipoic Acid? Any other suggestions? His levels after 3 days out of the hospital decreased to 3.6. Thanks Debra.

  3. Pam says:

    My 8 yr old son has one kidney, which is now damaged from urine reflux. They are stating he will need a transplant in a couple years – creatinine level is 1.6. Will lipoic acid help, and if so, where can I purchase it, and do you think the kidney specialists will reject this idea?

    Thanks, Pam

  4. Joann Hoffman says:

    Hypertension has decided to visit me and I am now in the process of taking Diltiazem ER 180 MG. I was taking this capsule at 360MG but it was making me too dizzy with headaches. Went to the ER because of the dizziness and did a follow up with my doctor the next day.

    While at the ER they did blood work (it was called Chemistry)on me and gave me a copy. My creatinine level was 1.4 and BUN was 23. My doctor had nothing to say about this when I did my follow up visit with him the next day.

    I am a black female 68 years young and very active. My BP was very high went I first went to the doctor in 2011 and has leveled to around 145-150 over 72-77. Still need to be lower. I am now eating mostly veggies, some fruit, fish, chicken and exercise though not a lot and drink a lot of water.

    I also had a stent put in the adrenal glands over my kidneys to open them up for more blood flow since they were 60% closed. The stent didn’t help though. I want to improve my kidney function and found your site through Google.

    Do you think the Alpha Lipoic Acid would work for me. Of course I would inform my primary physician.



    where do I get R-lipoic acid in the natural form? I live in New Delhi India. kindly email to me. Thanks

  6. Vinay says:

    Hi Duncan, my father is suffering from CKD and his creatinine level shot up from 3.3 to 5.2 in 10 days. We are very worried and would like to understand what options we have to help him reduce his creatinine levels (and improve kidney function) without having to undergo dialysis. Any suggestions?

  7. Tammy says:

    My dad fell and broke his hip. He had replacement surgery and while there had a kidney infection. They treated it but did not get rid of it. He went home with it and was back in hospital 5 weeks later in kidney failure. He is also ao diabetic and in dialysis. His creatinine level was 9 and has dropped to 6, but has halted. We need to know how to get it down, because they will not take him off of dialysis until it comes down. They said they want it to be a 2. Please help us!!!

  8. Utsav Marwaha says:

    Hi Duncan ,

    My father has been experiencing high Creatinine levels. The creatinine level at its peak was 11.4 , though it has reduced to 8.9 after taking to strict diet and some medication. He is 46 years of age and does not undertake any major physical activity.
    All other indicators , Blood pressure(120,80), haemoglobin(12.2), sodium , potassium etc are normal.

    Though my father has only one kidney.

    What can you suggest. Please reply.

  9. Hi there..My mom has CKD and hypertention and I would like to know where do i get alpha Lipoic acid from..what are the best they sell this in tablet form..Please help

  10. hi,
    i would really like to know where to get Alpha Lipoic acid from. Does it come in tablet form..Please help as my mon’s creatine level is very high and I would like to help her right away.

  11. Satheesh says:

    Hi duncun,
    My father have serium creatinine 4mg/dl,urea 101mg/dl,sodium 136mmol/L,Potassium 4.2mmol/L,heamoglobin is 11.5g/dl,Estimated protein excretion per day is 2634mgs/day and urine P/C ratio is 2.51 ..he is having diabets and blood pressure for past 15 years and taking insulin and tablets for that.. so please help us to avoid dialysis stage and how to improve the kidney function and to lower the creatinine level.

  12. Fiona says:

    Hi Duncan,

    Is a supplement which says each capsule: R,S alpha lipoic acid 400mg a good one to take

    Many thanks for your reply

  13. Vimal Lakhera says:

    Hi Duncan,

    My father is 60 yrs old. He is a diabetic for last 18-20 Yrs.for last 6-8 months his creatinine levels are higher than normal level mostly in the range of 2 to 2.5.

    What measures we can take to reduce that to normal levels.

    We stopped his meat intake also using double tonned milk.
    Please suggest

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