Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits

Your body has the ability to make alpha-lipoic acid or ALA. This compound plays an important role in energy production. While many people are now trying different ALA supplements, your body can produce all the ALA when your general health is good. Experts are of the view that increasing your intake of ALA will help treat conditions such as HIV, diabetes, and weight loss. Let's find out more about its benefits.

Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

You will enjoy a number of alpha lipoic acid benefits by taking an ALA supplement. You can also include certain foods in your diet to promote ALA production. Here are some of the reasons why ALA is beneficial.

1. It Provides You with Antioxidant

You need to eat food that would trigger antioxidative activity in your body to protect you from cellular damage. You can get ALA from food sources such as yeast, broccoli, spinach, and organ meats, such as heart and liver.

2. It Helps Prevent and Manage Diabetes

There is evidence that ALA may prove beneficial in the management of type-2 diabetes. It improves your body's ability to use its own insulin to keep blood sugar levels in control. It may also help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy that causes nerve damage in people with diabetes.

3. It Improves Visual Health

One of many alpha lipoic acid benefits is that it supports optimal visual health. Studies show that taking ALA supplements may help prevent cataracts by reducing oxidative stress. It may also prove beneficial in preventing visual loss due to glaucoma. You may also be able to prevent retinal cell death by combining vitamin E with lipoic acid.

4. It Prevents Damage to Neurological System

As it can help eliminate free radical and neutralize the effects of oxidative stress, it also helps improve your neurological system. It passes into the brain and reach all parts of the nerve cell, which is the reason why it may help reduce brain damage following a stroke. It also plays a role in the regeneration of the antioxidant glutathione which promotes healthy nerve function. Some studies show that ALA may also help you protect from conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

5. It Helps Preserve Bone Density

You may benefit from ALA if you have been suffering osteoporosis or another type of degenerative bone condition. It helps prevent the loss of bone density by reducing oxidative stress. It also proves beneficial because it inhibits prostaglandin E2 which causes inflammation in the body.

6. It Protects You from Metal Contaminants

Lipoic acid offers protection against toxic metal contaminants found in the food supply. It has the ability to inactivate dangerous agents such as cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and lead. This way, body can eliminate them with ease. Some studies have also found that ALA may help protect your nervous system against mercury poisoning.

7. It Offers Relief from Migraine

Some studies have found that lipoic acid may help migraine sufferers find some relief. You may notice your migraine pain become less severe after taking a supplement of 600 mg of lipoic acid a day. It may also help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

8. It Improves Your Skin

Among many other alpha lipoic acid benefits, one impressive benefit is regarding your skin. It brings a special glow on your skin and improves overall skin health. Using a cream containing 5% lipoic acid may decrease appearance of wrinkles and other aging effects.

9. It Helps Treat Other Health Conditions

Along with helping you manage diabetes better, it also helps repair the damage caused by health conditions such as liver disease and HIV. It may also help lose weight more efficiently, but more research is needed.

How Much ALA Should I Take?

After considering the benefits of ALA, you may be interested in taking a supplement to improve your health condition. The most common question for people first starting to take ALA supplement is about its dosage. It is important to understand that alpha lipoic acid is not a proven treatment, so it is not clear exactly how much will work.

However, many studies have confirmed that you may see benefits for taking anywhere between 600 mg and 1,200 mg of ALA a day for neuropathy and diabetes. Some studies also found that taking 600 mg of ALA a day for three weeks might prove effective against diabetic neuropathy.

While supplements help increase your intake of ALA quickly, you can also include certain foods in your diet for help. Many foods contain ALA, but they do not have much of it to make a difference. Some of the best options are broccoli, spinach, yeast, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and rice bran. Organ meat is also a great source of alpha-lipoic acid.


While there are many alpha lipoic acid benefits, there are some considerations as well. For instance:

  • Do not take ALA supplements without your doctor's advice, especially if you are taking insulin or any other medications for diabetes. ALA can interact with these drugs and may lead to hypoglycemia.
  • You usually do not need to worry about side effects, but they may affect some people. Side effects are usually mild, such as skin rash. Long-term side effects of taking ALA supplements are unknown.
  • There is no study confirming the side effects of ALA during pregnancy, but you will be better off avoiding it when you are pregnant. Also, it is important to avoid giving ALA supplements to children. 
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