Alpha Lipoic Acid: What is it? What is it for? Function, Uses, Recommendations and Side Effects

Lipoic acid is a chemical substance similar to vitamins; it enters the group of antioxidants.

Foods such as yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. It is also produced in the laboratory for use as a medicine.

Alpha-lipoic acid is highly recommended in cases of diabetes and its related symptoms, including burning, pain, and numbness in the extremities, arms, and legs. In Germany, high doses of alpha-lipoic acid are administered to treat these symptoms.

Some people use alpha-lipoic acid to recover memory function, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), HIV / AIDS, cancer, liver diseases, heart and blood vessel diseases, and Lyme disease, each time more latent.

It is also used to treat eye-related disorders, such as damage to the retina, cataracts, and glaucoma.

How does it work?

Alpha-lipoic acid seems to help prevent cell damage in the body and also helps restore vitamin levels such as vitamin C and E in the body. There is also evidence that alpha-lipoic acid markedly improves the function and conduction of brain neurons in cases of diabetes.

Alpha-lipoic acid is widely used for a more significant breakdown of carbohydrates and to give energy to the body’s organs.


This medicine has antioxidant functions; it could protect the brain in conditions of injury. All its antioxidant effects could also be helpful in certain liver diseases.

What are its uses?

Multiple applications of this medication have been proven in physical conditions, such as:

Coronary revascularization surgery. Research suggests that taking a product containing alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium up to 2 months before and one month after surgery appears to decrease complications after coronary bypass surgery.

Diabetes. Taking alpha-lipoic acid orally or intravenously improves blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. However, some contradictory evidence shows that it does not affect blood sugar.

Prediabetes. Some research suggests that intravenously doses of alpha-lipoic acid once a day for two weeks lowers blood sugar after eating.

Symptoms of diabetes . Taking alpha-lipoic acid orally seems to improve symptoms such as burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms of people with diabetes. It can take 3 to 5 weeks of treatment for the symptoms to improve.

Vitiligo . Taking a product that contains alpha-lipoic acid, vitamins C and E, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with daily light therapy for eight months, seems to improve the discoloration of the skin in people with skin spots to vitiligo.

Weight loss. Research suggests that taking 1,800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily for 20 weeks reduces body weight in overweight people.

Wound healing Some research suggests that taking 300 mg of a specific alpha-lipoic product before and after oxygen therapy for 14-30 days reduces the wound area in people with ulcers.

Its possible side effects

Pregnancy and lactation: Not enough is known about using alpha-lipoic acid during pregnancy and lactation. It is preferable not to take this medication; stay on the safe side, and avoid using it.

Diabetes: Alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels. Doses of medications that fight diabetes may need to be adjusted by your doctor.

Excessive use of deficiency/thiamine alcohol: Alcohol decreases the amount of vitamin B1 in the body. Taking alpha-lipoic acid when there is a lack of thiamine in the body can cause serious health problems. If you drink much alcohol and take alpha-lipoic acid, you should take a thiamine supplement.

Thyroid disease: Taking alpha-lipoic acid may interfere with thyroid insufficiency or overactive treatments.

Alpha-lipoic acid is safe for adults when taken orally, intravenously, or used on the skin. People who take alpha-lipoic acid by mouth may have rashes. People at risk of thiamine deficiency should take a vitamin B1 supplement.

People with diabetes should be vigilant and check blood glucose levels since alpha-lipoic acid may lower blood sugar.