Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. It is also made in the laboratory for use as medicine.
Alpha-lipoic acid may be effective for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. It may take 3 to 5 weeks of treatment for symptoms to improve.
Some people use alpha-lipoic acid for memory loss, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), HIV/AIDS, cancer, liver disease, diseases of the heart and blood vessels (including a disorder called cardiac autonomic neuropathy) and Lyme disease. Alpha-lipoic acid is also used to treat eye-related disorders, such as damage to the retina, cataracts, glaucoma, and an eye condition called Wilson’s disease. Research continues and more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid for these uses.
How Does it Work?
Alpha-lipoic acid seems to help prevent certain kinds of cell damage in the body, and also restores vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C.There is also evidence that alpha-lipoic acid can improve the function and conduction of neurons in diabetes. Alpha-lipoic acid is used in the body to break down carbohydrates and to make energy for the other organs in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid seems to work as an antioxidant, which means that it might provide protection to the brain under conditions of damage or injury.
Alpha-lipoic acid is possibly safe for most adults when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. People taking alpha-lipoic acid by mouth might get a rash. People at risk for thiamine deficiency should take a thiamine supplement. People with diabetes should be careful to check their blood sugar levels because alpha-lipoic acid might lower blood sugar. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Alcohol can lower the amount of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the body. Taking alpha-lipoic acid when there is a shortage of thiamine might cause serious health problems. If you drink a lot of alcohol and take alpha-lipoic acid, too, you should take a thiamine supplement. Taking alpha-lipoic acid might interfere with treatments for under-active or over-active thyroid. Medications for cancer and diabetes interact with Alpha-Lipoic Acid.
If you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement. Keep out of reach of children. Store product in a cool, dry place. Do not use product if outer bottle seal is missing, torn or damaged in any way.