Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that resides in the mitochondria of virtually every cell of the body and helps the body convert glucose into usable energy. ALA can be produced in the body or obtained through the diet via meats and some fruits and vegetables, albeit in limited quantities.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is an essential cofactor required for energy metabolism in all living organisms. “Cofactors” are compounds required by another substance, such as an enzyme, to perform a certain reaction or produce a desired outcome.
ALA’s most significant role in the body is that of an antioxidant. Alpha Lipoic Acid can help slow down cellular damage caused by oxidation. ALA fights the effects of free radicals, which help combat certain diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which are in part caused by the proliferation of free radicals.
Lastly, ALA has has been researched for its effects on insulin and blood sugar regulation. ALA has been shown to improve glycogen storage and reduce blood sugar via GLUT-4, a crucial glucose transporter in the body.
No “ideal” dose has been conclusively proven through research;however, general recommendations appear to be in the range of 300-600mg per day.