Alpha Lipoic Acid acid has gained a lot of attention in recent years. It’s an organic compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Your body produces Alpha Lipoic Acid acid naturally, but it’s also found in a variety of foods and as a dietary supplement. Research suggests that it may play a role in weight loss, diabetes, and other health conditions.What is alpha-lipoic acid?Alpha Lipoic Acid acid is an organic compound found in all human cells.It’s made inside the mitochondrion — also known as the powerhouse of cells — where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. ( Trusted Source )What’s more, it has powerful antioxidant properties.Alpha Lipoic Acid acid is both water- and fat-soluble, which allows it to work in every cell or tissue in the body. Meanwhile, most other antioxidants are either water- or fat-soluble (2Trusted Source).For instance, vitamin C is only water-soluble, while vitamin E is only fat-soluble.The antioxidant properties of alpha-lipoic acid have been linked to several benefits, including lower blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed skin aging, and improved nerve function.Humans only produce alpha-lipoic acid in small amounts. That’s why many turn to certain foods or supplements to optimize their intake.Animal products like red meat and organ meats are great sources of alpha-lipoic acid, but plant foods like broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and Brussels sprouts also contain it.That said, supplements can pack up to 1,000 times more alpha-lipoic acid than food sourcesAlpha-lipoic acid and weight lossResearch has shown that alpha-lipoic acid may affect weight loss in several ways.Animal studies indicate that it can reduce the activity of the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is located in your brain’s hypothalamus (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).When AMPK is more active, it may increase feelings of hunger.On the other hand, suppressing AMPK activity may increase the number of calories your body burns at rest. Thus, animals who took alpha-lipoic acid burned more calories (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).However, human studies show that alpha-lipoic acid only slightly impacts weight loss.An analysis of 12 studies discovered that people who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lost an average of 1.52 pounds (0.69 kg) more than those taking a placebo over an average of 14 weeks (8Trusted Source).In the same analysis, alpha-lipoic acid did not significantly affect waist circumference.Another analysis of 12 studies found that people who took alpha-lipoic acid lost an average of 2.8 pounds (1.27 kg) more than those taking a placebo over an average of 23 weeks (9Trusted Source).In short, it seems that alpha-lipoic acid has just a slight effect on weight loss in humans.Other health benefitsAlpha-lipoic acid has been linked to a variety of other health benefits.May Reduce Skin AgingResearch has shown that alpha-lipoic acid may help fight signs of skin aging.In one human study, scientists found that applying a cream containing alpha-lipoic acid to the skin reduced fine lines, wrinkles, and skin roughness with no side effects (18Trusted Source).When Alpha Lipoic Acid acid is applied to the skin, it incorporates itself into the skin’s inner layers and offers antioxidant protection against the sun’s harmful UV radiation (19, 20Trusted Source).Moreover, Alpha Lipoic Acid acid raises the levels of other antioxidants, such as glutathione, which help protect against skin damage and may reduce signs of aging (21, 22Trusted Source).May slow memory lossMemory loss is a common concern among older adults.It’s believed that damage from oxidative stress plays a critical role in memory loss (23Trusted Source).Because Alpha Lipoic Acid acid is a powerful antioxidant, studies have examined its ability to slow the progression of disorders characterized by memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease.Both human and lab studies suggest that Alpha Lipoic Acid acid slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by neutralizing free radicals and suppressing inflammation (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).However, only a handful of studies have investigated Alpha Lipoic Acid and memory loss-related disorders. More research is needed before Alpha Lipoic Acid can be recommended for treatment.Promotes healthy nerve functionResearch has shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid acid promotes healthy nerve function.In fact, it’s been found to slow the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome in its early stages. This condition is characterized by numbness or tingling in the hand caused by a pinched nerve (27Trusted Source).Moreover, taking Alpha Lipoic Acid  before and after surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome has been shown to improve recovery outcomes (28Trusted Source).Studies have also discovered that Alpha Lipoic Acid acid may ease symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve pain caused by uncontrolled diabetes (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).Reduces inflammationChronic inflammation is linked to several diseases, including cancer and diabetes.Alpha Lipoic Acid has been shown to lower several markers of inflammation.In an analysis of 11 studies, Alpha Lipoic Acid significantly lowered levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) in adults with high levels of CRP (29).In test-tube studies, alpha-lipoic acid has reduced markers of inflammation, including NF-kB, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, and IL-6 (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).May lower heart disease risk factorsHeart disease is responsible for one in four deaths in America (34Trusted Source).Research from a combination of lab, animal, and human studies has shown that the antioxidant properties of Alpha Lipoic Acid may lower several heart disease risk factors.First, antioxidant properties allow alpha-lipoic acid to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, which is linked to damage that can increase heart disease risk (35Trusted Source).Second, it’s been shown to improve endothelial dysfunction — a condition in which blood vessels cannot dilate properly, which also raises the risks of heart attack and stroke (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).What’s more, a review of studies found that taking an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lowered triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in adults with metabolic diseaseSupports Glutathione Production*Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is naturally produced in the human body in very small amounts, but is also available through food sources. ALA is unique because it supports the body's free radical scavenging systems and can function in both water and fat environments.* ALA can also recycle the antioxidant vitamins C and E, thereby extending their activities.*




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