Alpha Lipoic Acid

Background

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), also known as ALA, thioctic acid, 1, 2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid, ala, Tiolepta, is a mitochondrial compound highly involved in energy metabolism. Alpha-Lipoic Acid helps the function of enzymes present in the mitochondria – the structures that generate much of a cell’s energy. Additionally, it is known as a powerful, ubiquitous antioxidant as it is both fat-soluble and water-soluble. As a nootropic, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is used to promote brain health and boost cellular energy, and very effective for improving neurological condition associated with aging.[1]

Vegetables found to be naturally higher than other foods in alpha lipoic acid.

Benefits

Antioxidants are important chemical compounds that have many health benefits. Alpha lipoic acid is one kind of antioxidant that helps scavenge free radicals, fight inflammation and slow the aging process. In supplement form Alpha lipoic acid has already demonstrated numerous benefits for different forms of oxidation and inflammation. The supplement has beneficial effects to help in conditions such as diabetes and HIV, and enhancing weight loss.[2] But maybe its most famous use is in helping with diabetes naturally. However, the common health benefits of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) include:

  • Improves cognitive function [3]
  • Helps people who have diabetes and diabetic complications [5]
  • Preserves eye health [6]
  • Improves memory [7]
  • Helps increase the ability of glutathione to regulate the body’s immune response [8]
  • Protects skin health [9]
  • Enhances weight loss [10]
  • Helps with liver diseases [11]
  • Improves heart health [12]
  • Helps people who have Alzheimer’s disease [4]

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) plays an important role in decreasing oxidative stress caused by free radical damage, defending brain cells from degradation, and helps in protecting the ability of brain cells to function and communicate properly.

How it works

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) neutralizes damaging free radicals and can improve cognition. Its protective effects on brain and nerve tissue may help slow cognitive decline that is associated with aging and related to neurodegenerative conditions.
Alpha-lipoic acid helps with certain kinds of cell damage in the body, and also restores vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C. Evidence shows that alpha-lipoic acid can improve the function and conduction of neurons in diabetic patients. Alpha-lipoic acid is also used in the body to break down carbohydrates and to make energy for the other organs in the body.
Alpha-lipoic acid acts as an antioxidant, meaning that it might provide protection to the brain under conditions of damage or injury. Its antioxidant effects might also be helpful in certain liver diseases.[13]

Considerations

Alpha-lipoic acid is possibly safe for most adults. However, there may be some side effects that people may experience while taking alpha-lipoic acid such as they might get a rash. Again, people at risk for thiamine deficiency should take a thiamine supplement.
It is not known about the use of Alpha-lipoic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding. So, stay on the safe side and avoid using during such conditions.

Recommendations

Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA supplements have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of any condition or ailment. So there is not standardized dosing guideline available. However, some users choose to take this supplement to increase their daily intake for added health benefits.
The usual daily dosage range for this product as an oral dietary supplement can be between 300-1800 mg, split into 1-3 dosages per day. Keep in mind that you should consume this supplement on an empty stomach to maximize absorption from the gut.

Sources