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Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) (Thioctic Acid)

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R-alpha lipoic acid (also known as R-ALA or thioctic acid) is a sulfur-containing organic acid powerful antioxidant, and an essential component of aerobic metabolism.

Alpha lipoic acid exists in two stereoisomers, the biologically active R-ALA, in addition to S-ALA, which is not produced in the human body. R-alpha lipoic acid is produced synthetically, and chemical manufacturing processes yield both the R- and S- isomers. The pure R- form is more costly to refine, as a result.

Supplementation of R-alpha lipoic acid may help support a healthy metabolism.

Alpha lipoic acid has an unpleasant chemical burning taste. Capsules are generally preferred.

*NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Supplement Facts
Refrigerate upon arrival!
Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplement Facts

Disclaimer: This scientific independent research is provided by Aisle7 and is for informational use only. PureBulk provides this information as a service but does not endorse it. Likewise, Aisle7 does not recommend or endorse any specific PureBulk products.


Alpha Lipoic Acid

Also indexed as:ALA, Lipoic Acid, Thioctic Acid (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
Alpha Lipoic Acid: Main Image

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like antioxidant, sometimes referred to as the “universal antioxidant” because it is soluble in both fat and water.1 ALA is manufactured in the body and is found in some foods, particularly liver and yeast.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
600 to 1,200 mg a day 3 stars[3 stars]
Taking alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and help protect against diabetic complications such as nerve damage.
Type 1 Diabetes
600 to 1,200 mg a day3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with alpha lipoic acid may protect against diabetic complications, such as nerve and kidney damage.
Type 2 Diabetes
600 to 1,200 mg a day3 stars[3 stars]
Taking alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and help protect against diabetic complications such as nerve damage.
Migraine Headache
600 mg per day 2 stars[2 stars]
In a small double-blind trial, supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid significantly reduced the frequency of migraine attacks.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, supplementing with a combination of antioxidants including alpha-lipoic acid increased the effectiveness of ultraviolet light therapy.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Alpha lipoic acid may improve visual function in people with some types of glaucoma.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial, a combination of alpha lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium led to significant improvements in liver function and overall health in people with hepatitis C.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved.

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

Additional Information

What is the difference between: Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (RS-ALA)?
R = Rectus (Latin for Right)
S = Sinister (Latin for Left)
R and S are the stereoisomers for this molecule, alpha lipoic acid.

When you see both RS before a given molecule name it means that it is a racemic mixture of both the Rectus and Sinister stereo isomers and in this case both are also enantiomers.

A racemic mixture is typically 50% of each of two stereo isomers below

The biggest difference between the R and the RS enantiomers of Alpha Lipoic acid is the cost. The R is about 10 times more expensive than the RS. Another consideration you might relate to is the fact that there is about 100 times more RS than R manufactured and consumed nutritionally.

Why would only 1% of alpha Lipoic Acid manufactured be the R? Because its cheaper than the RS.

Is there a difference between the R and the RS such that one would be better nutritionally than the other? Yes. The R is about twice as effective than the RS because the S is basically useless.

Is there a problem with the S such that having it with the R would justify paying 10 times more for the R versus the RS? Maybe. It depends upon what research you read and what you think of the research. Given that almost all the research supporting one camp or the other is theoretical there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of facts supporting either opinion.

My belief is that deciding which to take would depend upon your choice in the matter, and how much money you have to spend. The more money you have to spend on Alpha Lipoic acid the more you would probably want to purchase the R versus the RS. The less money you have to burn on Alpha Lipoic acid the more likely you would choose the RS. Unquestionably, the greatest bang for your buck is with the RS as 99% of Alpha Lipoic acid consuming public would likely concur.

Customer Reviews
Review by Clarence on 9/9/2014
I ordered l-carnitine by mistake believing it to be something else but learned a synergetic partner than has great use for cognitive increase if taken for a few weeks. This may be only limited to my personal experience but Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) works great in conjunction with L-Carnitine. Though usually I shy from indorsing I got tremendous results on scores blowing them away consistently. I believe this may help others. I haven't take for more of this combination or any other supplements beyond 5 months, usually shorter and don't know long term side effects.
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Size Conversion
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  • 0.88 oz
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  • 3.5oz
  • 8.8oz
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  • 1.65lb
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  • 11lb