top of page

The Amazing Alpha-Lipoic Acid

When oxygen is metabolised in the human body, it creates 'free radicals' which can cause damage to cell, DNA and other structures. The lifestyle associated with processed food, exposure to a wide range of chemicals and lack of exercise increase oxidative stress in the body. On top of these lifestyle causes, many biological processes in our bodies produce free radicals too. These includes breathing, energy production, and digesting food.

The body has a natural antioxidant system to counteract these free radicals. However, there are times when the system can be overwhelmed and these free radicals can trigger a negative chain reaction that can damage cell membrane, block enzymes and prevent cellular processes from functioning properly, and in turn causes chronic disorder.

The nature's antioxidants are found in certain foods with nutrient antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and E; and minerals antioxidants like selenium, zinc and copper. Phytochemicals in plants are nature's supplies of antioxidants too. Different ones work for different parts of the body. For example, xanthophylls such lutein and zeaxanthin are currently known to be the most potent antioxidants for the prevention of eye-related diseases. They can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale; and egg yolks. A good way to ensure that the body gets a good range of antioxidant is by eating a balance diet that include different groups of vegetables and meat.

Apart for exogenous antioxidants, the body also produces powerful endogenous antioxidant such as the commonly known Superoxide Dismutase, Catalase, Glutathione, Melatonin and Alpha-Lipoic Acid.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid or ALA is a mitochondrial compound and is synthesized in every cell. It protects cell membranes and use in the energy production cycle. Something that makes ALA unique is that it's both water-soluble and fat-soluble means that it can be used in almost all parts of the body. It also recycles other antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, and Glutathione. ALA is produced in the body in small amount and can be obtained from food mainly in meat and organ meat; and some plant foods like brocolli, tomatoes, spinach and brussels sprouts. As there are only tiny amount of ALA in these foods, many people also turn to supplements to optimise their intake.

Though there are not many research done with ALA, it has been shown to support healthy metabolism and reduced BMI and body weight. ALA can pass the blood-brain barrier and may help protect the brain nerve and tissue though evidence for a clinical benefit for ALA in dementia is yet limited. There are few published studies showing patients with moderate dementia have insignificant improvement with ALA but the disease progressed was extremely slow. There are more research into the beneficial effect of ALA against diabetes and diabetic complications. They include improve insulin sensitivity, diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), and other complications such as cardiovascular problems, eye-related disorders, pain and swelling.

Alpha-lipoic acid is generally considered safe with little to no side effects. In some cases, people may experience mild symptoms like nausea, rashes, or itching.

We really appreciate if you could share with us your experience in using Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplements in the comment below.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page