A potent antioxidant that can increase insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal in human and animal models. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is also frequently added to creatine transport formulas as research has shown it improves creatine uptake.
ALA may have therapeutic applications. For example, animal experiments have shown a combination of ALA and acetyl-l-carnitine can mitigate age-related mitochondrial decay. It may also be useful for treating the complications of diabetes; as well as other CNS-related diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis).
Synthetic alpha-lipoic acid is a racemic mixture consisting of two enantiomeric, “R” and “S” forms. Only the R form is biologically significant. Thus, better quality supplements provide this form exclusively (R-alpha-lipoic acid or K-R-alpha-lipoic acid – the potassium salt).
Alpha-lipoic acid is also known as thioctic acid or 6,8-thioctic acid.
See Paul’s article, “Alpha Lipoic Acid Reviewed: Potent Antioxidant And Blood Sugar Regulator” – as well as the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Center for more information.