A Powerful Antioxidant That Could Revolutionize Your Health

Maintaining optimal health and strengthening the immune system is made possible by antioxidants. Most people can produce adequate amounts of antioxidants naturally. Supplementation and a balanced diet can help increase their levels. However, stress, illness, poor sleep, and colds can deplete antioxidants. It is where alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), the “ultimate antioxidant,” plays a crucial role.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Danijela Maksimovic

ALA is present in every cell and can regenerate and replenish other antioxidants, even though the exact mechanism is unknown. There are several ways to obtain it, including dietary sources and supplements. Consuming it from food is ideal, but supplements can help compensate for nutritional deficiencies.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: What Is It?

According to Registered Dietitian Monica Kelly, ALA is a naturally occurring antioxidant that aids in the breakdown of nutrient enzymes, helping the body convert nutrients into energy. Its antioxidant properties also help neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS), commonly known as free radicals, which can contribute to inflammation and chronic diseases such as diabetes by damaging cells. ALA has multiple health benefits, including boosting energy production from glucose, alleviating diabetic neuropathy, lowering blood sugar levels, and possibly reducing the likelihood of heart disease.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits And Uses

ALA has been linked to several health benefits, including weight management and controlling type II diabetes symptoms. While further research is needed, current evidence suggests its potential as a health-promoting supplement.

  • It may help you lose weight.
  • Helps with diabetic neuropathy
  • Helps with glucose sensitivity
  • Enhances cognitive function
  • Provides anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Geo-grafika

How Safe Are ALA Supplements?

ALA supplements are generally considered safe, but it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regimen. The FDA does not regulate the safety and efficacy of supplements, so it is recommended to select brands that have been third-party certified to guarantee label accuracy.

Can ALA Supplements Cause Side Effects?

The most common side effects of ALA are skin rash and gastrointestinal distress. Consult your physician if you have diabetes and take medications or insulin to control blood sugar levels since ALA may lower blood sugar levels and interact with those medications.