|Product name||(R)-alpha-Lipoic Acid (R-ALA)|
|Other names||(R)-(+)-α-Lipoic acid, (R)-(+)-A-Lipoic acid, R-ALA, R+ALA,
R[+]-Alpha Lipoic Acid, RALA, Sodium R-Lipoic Acid,
thioctic acid, 1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid
|Appearance||Slightly yellow crystalline powder|
What is R-Alpha lipoic acid?
Alpha-lipoic acid consists of two different forms (isomers) that have vastly different properties. The “R” form is the biologically active component (native to the body) that is responsible for lipoic acid’s phenomenal antioxidant effect. The “S” form is produced from chemical manufacture and is not very biologically active. Typical alpha-lipoic acid supplements consist of the “R” and “S” form in a 50/50 ratio. That means a 100 mg alpha-lipoic acid supplement is providing 50 mg of the biologically active “R” form.
Alpha lipoic acid is made by the body and can be found in very small amounts in food sources such as spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer’s yeast, brussel sprouts, rice bran, and organ meats.
Alpha lipoic acid supplements are available in capsule form at health food stores, some drugstores, and online. For maximum absorption, the supplements should be taken on an empty stomach.
Mechanism of action of R-Alpha lipoic acid:
How does R-Alpha lipoic acid work? Alpha-lipoic acid and its reduced metabolite, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), form a redox couple and may scavenge a wide range of reactive oxygen species. Both alpha-lipoic acid and DHLA can scavenge hydroxyl radicals, the nitric oxide radical, peroxynitrite, hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite. Alpha-lipoic acid, but not DHLA, may scavenge singlet oxygen, and DHLA, but not alpha-lipoic acid, may scavenge superoxide and peroxyl reactive oxygen species. Alpha-lipoic acid has been found to decrease urinary isoprostanes, O-LDL and plasma protein carbonyls, markers of oxidative stress. Further, alpha-lipoic acid and its redox couple DHLA have been found to have antioxidant activity in aqueous, as well as in lipophilic regions, and in extracellular and intracellular environments. Finally, with regard to alpha-lipoic acid’s antioxidant activity, alpha-lipoic acid appears to participate in the recycling of other important biologic antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, ubiquinone and glutathione. Exogenous alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to increase ATP production and aortic blood flow during reoxygenation after hypoxia in a working heart model. It is thought that this is due to its role in the oxidation of pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate in the mitochondria, ultimately enhancing energy production. This activity, and possibly its antioxidant activity, may account for its possible benefit in diabetic polyneuropathy.
Health Benefits of R-Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from oxidative damage related to aging and environmental stress. Many of the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid is from its’ anti-oxidant properties and the associated ability to fight free radicals and regenerate other anti-oxidants. ALA supplementation can support your energy metabolism and help rejuvenate your cells. ALA can also encourage glucose uptake by the body’s cells. The key benefits are summarized as below:
Research in the last decade has strongly implicated oxidative damage within the cells, caused by free radicals, as the cause of many of the degenerative disorders of aging. Included in this group is Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other conditions. Studies have shown that oxidative damage is seen throughout various portions of the brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients.
Anti-oxidants have been shown in numerous studies to halt or reduce oxidative damage in cells and, in many cases, stabilize and even reverse the cell damage. There have been multiple studies in the medical literature indicating that anti-oxidants can have beneficial effects in slowing down and perhaps even reducing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, etc.
Energy Production : Alpha-lipoic acid supports cellular energy production. It is an essential cofactor for several enzymes in the Krebs metabolic cycle that extracts a maximal amount of energy from glucose. It supports glucose uptake and may improve its utilization. Because Alpha-lipoic acid is soluble in water and fat, its benefits are enhanced because it can move into all parts of cells to deactivate free radicals. R-Alpha-lipoic acid is also important for generating energy in the body, and deficiencies may result in the slowing of the metabolic rate.
Helps Recharge Other Antioxidants
ALA is an important nutrient. First, because it is a powerful antioxidant, it works to scavenge free radicals. Second, ALA helps regenerate vitamins C and E, which are also antioxidants. To neutralize free radicals, vitamins C and E must give up part of their atomic structure. ALA makes them useful again by replenishing this part.
Metabolism : Alpha -lipoic acid is involved in the breakdown of the branched-chain amino acids, leucine, isolecuine, and valine. It also plays an important role breaking down alpha-keto acids.
Important for Brain Health
Especially important for brain health, ALA is one of the few antioxidants that can pass the blood brain-barrier, which enables it to protect brain tissue and prevent free-radical damage.
Help for Glucose Management
ALA is also well known for its use in diabetes support. It is a key factor in the metabolism of glucose, making it useful energy for the cell. ALA has been used successfully in Germany to treat diabetes since the 1960s. Numerous human clinical studies have verified the efficacy of ALA in supporting blood sugar levels.
Dosage of (R)-alpha-Lipoic Acid(R-ALA)
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
For treating type 2 diabetes and improving symptoms such as burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms: 600 or 1200 mg daily.
Standard dosages of Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) tend to be in the range of 300-600mg; with little differentiation as to whether the racemic mixture of ALA (S- and R- isomers) or Na-R-ALA results in higher blood levels.
Alpha-lipoic acid appears to be absorbed via transporter-related means, and despite being inherently fat-soluble it does not require dietary fatty acids to be absorbed from the gut. ALA supplementation can be taken in a fasted state.