Benefits Of Alpha Lipoic Acid – Top 5 Things It Does For Your Health

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By Leslie Waterson

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Benefits Of Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid has gained some popularity over recent years. This organic compound is naturally produced by our body, but you can also get it through diet and supplementation.

Like other vitamins, minerals, and compounds, alpha lipoic acid is known to have some health benefits such as weight loss, reduction of inflammation, etc. But perhaps, one of the main reasons why this compound gained popularity is because of its capacity to aid in treatment or prevent major diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

So, let’s figure out what alpha lipoic acid can do to help improve our overall health. Without further ado, let’s get started with this guide to the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid!

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What Is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that can be taken to help ward off nerve-related problems, as well as diabetes-related problems. This antioxidant can be found in foods like animal liver, kidney, spinach, yeast, broccoli, and potatoes. If supplementing with Alpha Lipoic Acid, it’s primarily taken by mouth but can also be injected through an IV.  

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an organic compound that is naturally produced by our body. ALA contains powerful antioxidant properties, hence contributing to your body’s overall defense against free radicals and other harmful particles.

Even though our body produces alpha lipoic acid – and as long as you’re healthy, your body can produce the amount of ALA it needs – there’s still some demand for ALA from supplementation and diet.

How Does Alpha Lipoic Acid Work?

As an antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid can protect your cells against damage on a certain level. Alpha lipoic acid also plays a vital role for our cells, such as for energy production. One way it does it is by breaking down the carbohydrates we consume.

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Benefits Of Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA is known to have some promising health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits and see what ALA can do to our body.

1) Helps Prevent Or Control Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition caused by too much blood in your sugar either because your body cannot properly receive the work of insulin (insulin resistance) or because your body produces little to no insulin at all, leading to an unhealthy rise in blood sugar levels.

If left untreated or unmanaged, diabetes will wreck your entire body. So, it is as important to prevent diabetes as possible or if you have it, take the necessary steps to control the disease.

Alpha lipoic acid is shown to lower blood sugar levels, so this can really help you prevent or control diabetes. Since the unhealthy rise of blood sugar is the main cause of the damage brought by diabetes, it’s good to know that ALA can aid in lowering its levels.

Aside from lowering blood sugar levels, alpha lipoic acid can also help in insulin resistance. According to some research, ALA promotes certain processes that remove fat that has accumulated in our muscle cells. These fats cause our insulin to be less effective, so removing them can help lower our body’s insulin resistance, thus allowing our insulin to control and lower our blood sugar.

However, before taking an ALA supplement, if you have diabetes, consult your doctor first to find out whether taking an ALA supplement would be good for your condition or not. There are other factors to consider such as possible interference by ALA supplements on your medication. Also, don’t self-medicate your diabetes as it can cause more harm than good – and ALA supplements aren’t considered a treatment for diabetes yet.

But if you are concerned about diabetes and you still don’t have the condition, taking ALA supplements can be a good measure of preventing or reducing your risk from it.

2) Assists In Weight-Loss

Weight loss is very important for your health. Obesity is one of the main factors of many major diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Hence, if you have excess weight, losing weight should be one of your goals to keep yourself healthy and in shape.

Alpha lipoic acid is shown to aid in weight loss. However, it may only help you lose weight in small ways. For instance, in an analysis of 12 studies, those who took ALA lost 1.52lbs on average more than compared to those who took a placebo. This study occurred for a duration of 14 weeks.

However, although ALA seemed to have little effect when it comes to weight loss, it is still good that it contributes to weight loss. To begin with, weight loss happens via regular exercise and proper diet; ALA is just your little aid in achieving that goal.

3) Supports Healthy Nerve Function

Nerve function is very important for many of our bodily processes, especially for our muscles and brain. If our nerves are damaged or become weak, it can cause gradual numbing and tingling. If left untreated, it can cause a variety of health problems such as muscle weakness and pain when performing activities that normally won’t cause pain like lifting light objects.

Research and studies had found out that alpha lipoic acid promotes healthy nerve function. Specifically, the compound can help slow down the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where you feel numbness or tingling in your hand because of a pinched nerve.

Aside from helping you slow down the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome, it also eases the nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) as some studies show.

4) May Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the common reasons for death in the US and in some parts of the world. Keeping your heart healthy is important because if your heart stops, so is your life.

Alpha lipoic acid can reduce your risk of heart disease by providing you the following properties:

  • As an antioxidant, ALA fights off free radicals. In turn, this reduces oxidative stress, which is a major factor for many major diseases including heart diseases.
  • According to some studies, ALA can help deal with endothelial dysfunction, a condition where your blood vessels don’t dilate properly. This causes potential heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • A review of studies shows that taking ALA supplements may lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

5) Can Slow Down Memory Loss

Memory loss is a problem we may face as we age. One factor that can contribute to memory loss is the damage caused by oxidative stress.

As an antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid can help deal with oxidative stress by fighting off radicals. To ensure this theory, studies were made and indeed, some studies show that alpha lipoic acid can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Is Alpha Lipoic Acid Safe?

Alpha lipoic acid is generally considered safe to use for most people. For the average person, taking ALA supplements has little chance of experiencing side effects.

If one does experience side effects, it mostly would be rashes, itching, or nausea. Other than that, there are not many side effects to expect.

Nevertheless, do not take too much ALA – although research shows that adults could tolerate as high as 2,400mg of ALA without experiencing any side effects. Nevertheless, do not go beyond the recommended dosage.

If you are pregnant or are currently taking medication, consult your doctor first before taking supplements as it may interfere with your pregnancy or medication.

Again, if you have diabetes, consult your doctor first regarding if ALA supplements would work well for your condition or not. More importantly, never self-medicate as it can only worsen your condition – diabetes is already dangerous, but mismanaged diabetes is even more dangerous as it will cause serious complications in your body.

Recommended Alpha Lipoic Acid Brands

If you want to buy an ALA supplement but you don’t know which brand to buy, consider trying out these brands:

Best Naturals Alpha Lipoic Acid

Best Naturals Alpha Liopic Acid

This supplement is affordable and well-made. It provides consumers with a universal antioxidant that helps maintain a healthy blood glucose level, as well as vision and nerve function.


Doctor’s Best Alpha-Lipoic Acid  

Doctor's Best Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Doctor’s Best is a great and affordable company to purchase supplements from. Alpha-Lipoic is a powerful antioxidant that helps other antioxidants in the body such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione. 


NOW Alpha Lipoic Acid (Extra Strength) 

NOW Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Extra Strength) 

Now is one of the most affordable supplement brands in the game, and also one of the most affordable. This supplement is great for anyone who has restrictions as it is Kosher, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Made without Gluten, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan/Vegetarian.


Dr’s Advantage Alpha Lipoic Acid

Dr's Advantage - Alpha Lipoic Acid 16oz

This supplement is a great option for those that do not like taking vitamins in pill form. This liquid supplement also works fast, allowing your body to absorb it quickly and efficiently. 


Should You Supplement With Alpha Lipoic Acid? 

If you are battling diabetes or nerve-related problems, then asking your doctor about Alpha Lipoic Acid is a great idea. It’s a great option for those who also have inflammation problems in general. 

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Leslie Waterson

Leslie has been passionately involved in the health and fitness industries for over a decade. She is constantly reviewing the latest scientific research and studies in order to take a research-backed approach to lifestyle optimization. Her main areas of interest include nutrition and supplementation. Leslie shares her findings on Fitness Clone to help other health enthusiasts choose the products and routines that will help them achieve their goals.