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A “cellular superhero”: alpha-lipoic acid has been called a “universal antioxidant” because it can work in every cell and tissue in the body!
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It's needed by the body to produce the energy for our body's normal functions. Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Other names for it include lipoic acid and thioctic acid. Alpha lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, a substance that neutralizes potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals.
Lipoic acid, also known as α-lipoic acid, alpha-lipoic acid and thioctic acid, is an organosulfur compound derived from caprylic acid. ALA is made in animals normally, and is essential for aerobic metabolism.
Lipoic acid and alpha-lipoic acid differ from each other only in their isomerism. Because of this, the terms can be used interchangeably. However, the key difference between lipoic acid and alpha-lipoic acid is that the lipoic acid, in its natural form, is the R isomer whereas alpha lipoic acid is a mixture of R isomer and S isomer.
When alpha-lipoic acid is taken with a meal, its bioavailability is reduced. As a result, I recommend taking ALA on an empty stomach (45 minutes before eating). In a 50/50 ratio, R-LA and S-LA are present in most Alpha-Lipoic Acid products.