Alpha-Lipoic Acid - Glossary

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

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.

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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