Alpha Lipoic Acid, also called thioctic acid, is a sulfur-containing fatty acid. It is critical for converting the chemical energy found in food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is essential to energize most cellular processes. ALA is a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant that exists as the enantiomers R-ALA and S-ALA. They appear as mirror images of each other, but they are not identical. Chemical manufacturing processes yield both the R- and S- forms of ALA. RS- ALA is a racemic mixture of the two, and it is less expensive to refine.
Potential Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits
Antioxidant Properties of ALA
ALA is a powerful antioxidant in its own right, and it boosts levels of other antioxidants as well. ALA supplements support existing antioxidants by interacting with the pathways that regulate cellular stress. It also increases the production of the antioxidant glutathione, which helps reduce inflammation and protects cells from oxidative stress and damage.
Alpha Lipoic Acid for Skin Health
The antioxidant activity of ALA supplements supports skin health too. Many skincare products include ALA as it helps improve the appearance of wrinkles. It also protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals and UV rays.
Alpha Lipoic Acid and L-Carnitine
ALA synergizes with L-Carnitine to improve mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress. Pairing carnitine with ALA also supports heart health and vascular tone. An ALA and L-Carnitine combo also promotes adipocyte (fat storing cells) metabolism.
Alpha Lipoic Acid for Weight Management
ALA supplements may help individuals manage their weight, as ALA reduces AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) activity. Suppressing AMPK activity can reduce hunger, decrease food intake, and increase the number of calories burned while at rest.
Potential Alpha Lipoic Side Effects
Most individuals can take ALA supplements without experiencing significant side effects. Some might experience nausea or itching, but these side effects are usually mild. Alpha lipoic acid may interact with blood sugar medications. Individuals should consult with a physician before taking a new supplement to avoid side effects from medication interactions. ALA powder has an unpleasant chemical burning taste. PureBulk offers ALA capsules to avoid this.
Certain foods can affect ALA absorption. Take ALA supplements on an empty stomach for maximum efficacy.
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