Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 9, 2019.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
Lipoic acid is a fat-soluble, sulfur-containing, vitamin-like antioxidant. It is not a true vitamin because it can be synthesized in the body and is not necessary in the diet of animals. Lipoic acid functions in the same manner as many B-complex vitamins. Good sources of lipoic acid are yeast and liver. Other sources include spinach, broccoli, potatoes, kidney, heart, and skeletal muscle.
1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid; 1,2-dithiolane-3-valeric acid; 6,8-thioctic acid; alpha-lipoic acid; 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl) valeric acid
Lipoic acid, thioctic acid, acetate replacing factor, biletan, lipoicin, thioctacid, thioctan
What is it used for?
In the 1930s, it was found that a certain potato growth factor was necessary for growth of certain bacteria. In 1951, a fat-soluble coenzyme factor was discovered from lactic acid bacteria. This naturally occurring d-form was isolated and found to be an important growth factor for many bacteria and protozoa. This compound was isolated and identified as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), the most active form of lipoic acid.
ALA has been used as an antioxidant for the treatment of diabetes and HIV. It also has been used for cancer, liver ailments, and various other conditions.
What is the recommended dosage?
Oral dosage of ALA given in numerous clinical studies ranges from 300 to 1,800 mg daily. It also is given intravenously at similar daily dosages.
Contraindications have not yet been determined.
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.
None well documented.
No adverse reactions have been reported.
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