The 8 Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid


By Dr. Eric Berg

Have you ever heard of something called alpha lipoic acid? This naturally occurring compound plays many key roles in the body, and it can support a wide variety of health concerns. Read on if you want to find out more about the benefits of alpha lipoic acid and how to take advantage of them.

alpha lipoic acid

What is alpha lipoic acid?

Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally-occurring compound that your body makes and that you can also consume via your diet or supplements. It plays many key roles in the body, and is involved in things like energy production, protection from oxidative damage, and more.

The most important role alpha lipoic acid plays in the body is being an antioxidant. This compound is a very powerful antioxidant that also helps to support other antioxidants as well.

Antioxidant health benefit concept

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant in your body, you have a strong network of antioxidants working to protect your body.

Antioxidants are scavengers for free radicals – compounds that can cause a lot of damage to the body if left unchecked. The purpose of antioxidants is to act as a sponge to soak up free radicals before they cause too much harm.

Alpha lipoic acid is one of the many different types of antioxidants. And beyond being an antioxidant itself, alpha lipoic acid has added power because it also helps other antioxidants to recharge and rejuvenate.

You see, when one antioxidant does its job, it donates an electron to the free radical to stabilize it. This makes it inert and unable to do any damage. But then, the antioxidant needs to borrow an electron from another antioxidant in order to recharge.

That is where alpha lipoic acid comes in handy – it is able to give other antioxidants (like glutathione and vitamin E) the electrons they need to rejuvenate and continue to work.

Additionally, alpha lipoic acid is a lipid antioxidant. This makes it especially good for areas of your body that are lined with fat layers, because it can make it into those areas. Your nerves, for example, are surrounded by a lipid layer. So alpha lipoic acid benefits MS and other disorders of the nervous system

The benefits of alpha lipoic acid in the body

As you’ve learned above, one of the major benefits of alpha lipoic acid relates to its antioxidant activities. But this is just one of many other reasons that alpha lipoic acid is so helpful for protecting the tissues in your body.

Alpha lipoic acid does a lot of different things in the body. Here is a list of alpha lipoic acid benefits to be aware of:

It is an antioxidant and it rejuvenates other important antioxidants like glutathione and vitamin E.
It is a heavy metal chelator (which can help you detoxify mercury, for example).
It crosses the blood-brain barrier, and so it is good for the nervous system.
It helps to protect the myelin sheath, the protective fat layer surrounding your nerves.
It helps mitochondria make more energy.
It can support healthy blood sugars and decrease A1C levels.

These qualities allow alpha lipoic acid benefits to extend to a wide range of health issues and conditions. The health benefits of alpha lipoic acid include supporting conditions such as:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Nerve damage
  • Different forms of neuropathy
  • Heavy metal toxicity
    And much more.

If you have any sort of nervous system condition, heavy metal toxicity, or any health concern that could benefit from counteracting free radical damage, alpha lipoic acid may be worth your while.

How can you get more alpha lipoic acid?

Your body can make alpha lipoic acid. But you can also get more of this healthy antioxidant from your diet and from supplements.

Dietary foods sources of alpha lipoic acid include red meat and certain vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts.

Supplements are another option. If you take an alpha lipoic acid supplement, you can get 1000x more of it than your body can make.

If you opt for a supplement, I recommend taking 600 mg three times per day. Take it on an empty stomach, as it does compete with food. It will be more effective if you don’t take it at the same time as when you eat.

As far as what brand to choose, you’ll have to go and do your own research to find a quality brand that you can trust.

Key takeaways

Alpha lipoic acid is a natural compound that is designed to help protect our bodies. It helps us to protect against oxidative damage from free radicals, whether that is from outside sources (such as chemicals) or from oxidation being produced by our own bodies.

The benefits of alpha lipoic acid in the body are widespread. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to support our antioxidant network in staying recharged and ready to go. It is also a heavy metal chelator, supports healthy blood sugars, helps our mitochondria make energy, and so much more.

If you have conditions like diabetes, nerve damage, mercury poisoning, or even multiple sclerosis, it may be worth trying out to see if it can support your health and healing.

To take advantage of the health benefits of alpha lipoic acid, consider foods rich in this compound like red meat, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. Or, consider the health benefits of taking alpha lipoic acid as a supplement (600 mg three times per day on an empty stomach).

Have you ever experienced the health benefits of alpha lipoic acid supplements? What did you notice? Share your comments = email us

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

READ a great combinations Acetyl L-Carnatine & Alpha Lipoic Acid

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