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.
It is recommended that ALA supplements be taken on an empty stomach. Since red meat is one of the richest sources of naturally-occurring alpha lipoic acid, dietary supplementation should be considered by vegetarians and those cutting down on red meat consumption.
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.
- Review by Nancy on 1/12/2015
The first few days of taking this I just combined it in with a drink. Did okay even though I 'sensed' the chemical hotness of it.
BUT! now I am putting it into capsules because one day a large-ish particle (it does stick together) must have gotten into a laryngeal fold and my eyes teared and teared and throat burned for a long time, LOL... My fault... we are fore-warned about this.
Nevertheless, I am still quite pleased with the quality and results that I am getting. We are taking it with ALCAR too.
- 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 lumosity.com 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.