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 often called the "universal antioxidant" for its ability to help neutralize cell-damaging free radicals in both the water-soluble and fat-soluble compartments in the cell.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) serves a variety of important functions in the body, one of which is the ability to help metabolize sugar, especially in muscles, where it promotes energy.
Alpha-lipoic acid is used for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. High doses of alpha-lipoic acid are approved in Germany for the treatment of these symptoms.
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 disease called Wilson’s disease.
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. The antioxidant effects might also be helpful in certain liver diseases.
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