Alpha Lipoic Acid – What Is It?

alpha lipoic acid aids vitamin a and vitamin eAlpha Lipoic Acid is one of many ingredients in the Tikva product. In the late 1980s, scientists realized that alpha lipoic acid possessed potent Antioxidant properties that could prevent healthy cells from getting damaged by unstable oxygen molecules called Free radicals.

In fact, this vitamin-like compound has proved to be many times more potent than antioxidants as vitamins C and E. As a perk, it even recycles vitamin C and vitamin E (as well as other antioxidants), enhancing their effectiveness.

Because it dissolves in both water and Fat, this so-called “universal antioxidant” is able to scavenge more wayward free-radical cells than most antioxidants, the majority of which tend to dissolve in either fat or water but not both. Alpha-lipoic acid can reach tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, as well as those made mainly of water, such as the heart.

In addition to functioning as an antioxidant, this hard-working nutrient assists the B vitamins in producing energy from the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats consumed through foods.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Health Benefits

Help regulate blood sugar levels in type II diabetes.

weight gainResearchers are finding out that people suffering from type II diabetes may show reduced insulin sensitivity due to a malfunction in the messaging pathways of muscular glucose metabolism. New research has shown that alpha lipoic acid may help to dispose of fatty acids in the body and kick start the glucose metabolism in muscles. In fact, if you combine alpha lipoic acid supplementation with participation in a regular exercise program the benefits are two fold. If you are struggling with diabetic weight gain and blood sugar regulations you may want to ask your doctor about the benefits of alpha lipoic acid.

Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Overwhelming evidence now suggests that alpha lipoic acid may be critical for not only maintaining optimal blood sugar levels by helping the body to use glucose, but also for supporting insulin sensitivity and key aspects of cardiovascular health, such as endothelial function.

diabetesAccording to a just-released review of experimental studies, alpha lipoic acid can help relieve several components of metabolic syndrome—a constellation of risk factors that often precedes full-blown types 2 diabetes. This review revealed that alpha lipoic acid reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance, improves the lipid profile, and reduces weight. Scientists are encouraged by alpha lipoic acid’s potential as a therapeutic agent for individuals with metabolic syndrome.

Furthermore, another recent study of 36 patients with coronary artery disease found that a combination of alpha lipoic acid with acetyl-L-carnitine reduced blood pressure and improved endothelial function of the brachial artery. This nutrient pair may therefore be an effective strategy for supporting healthy blood pressure levels, particularly in the context of metabolic syndrome.

-Life Extension Foundation

Treat symptoms of nerve damage in people with diabetes.

neuropathyAlpha-lipoic acid has been used for decades in Europe to counter nerve damage in people with diabetes (types 1 and 2). Known as Diabetic neuropathy, this often very painful condition tends to develop in people who have had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time. The neuropathy may be caused in part by free-radical damage to nerves resulting from poorly regulated blood sugar (glucose). As an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid helps to block such damage. In addition, because of its effect on glucose metabolism, alpha lipoic acid may improve the glucose-lowering action of insulin (the Hormone that regulates blood sugar). Alpha-lipoic acid may also aid the large percentage (approximately 25%) of people with diabetes who risk sudden death from nerve-related heart damage.

The Role of Lipoic Acid in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis

Alpha-lipoic acid is a naturally occurring compound that appears to be useful in treating pathologies associated with oxidative stress. For example, alpha-lipoic acid has been safely used for more than 30 years in Europe to prevent and treat complications associated with diabetes, such as protein glycation, abnormal glucose utilization, polyneuropathy, and cataracts. Alpha-lipoic acid can also bind to, or chelate, metals like iron and copper. Exogenously supplied lipoic acid is readily absorbed by cells and tissues and then rapidly reduced to its potent antioxidant form, dihydrolipoate.


Protect the liver in cases of hepatitis and other types of liver disease.

liver diseaseAs an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid shields the liver from potentially harmful cell changes and assists it in flushing toxins from the body. This makes it useful in treating such liver disorders as chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Alpha-lipoic acid supplements have also proved effective in minimizing liver toxicity following exposure to poisons such as heavy metals (including lead) and toxic industrial chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride.

Combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Because it plays a part in cellular energy production, some nutritionally oriented physicians recommend alpha-lipoic acid for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. While evidence of its effectiveness for this condition is anecdotal, alpha-lipoic acid is a broad-spectrum antioxidant and immune system booster. This means it may be able to play a valuable role in increasing energy and maintaining overall health in chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers.

Based on evidence from animal and human studies, alpha lipoic acid offers the following essential health benefits:

  • Reduces oxidative stress in the body via powerful antioxidant activity
  • Improves several components of the metabolic syndrome—a combination of risk factors that increases one’s risk for diabetes
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Improves the lipid profile
  • Reduces weight
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Improves diabetic neuropathy
  • Protects against cataract formation
  • Improves visual function in glaucoma
  • Helps prevents retinal cell death when combined with vitamin E in retinitis pigmentosa
  • Reduces brain damage after a stroke
  • Prevents bone loss, possibly through an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Removes toxic metals from the body
  • Reduces frequency and intensity of migraines
  • Improves skin texture

-Life Extension Foundation

Share this article with someone you care about
by clicking one of the sharing buttons below.