Alpha Lipoic Acid Review: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects (2019) 5/5 (3)

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a compound involved in energy metabolism. ALA is most known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that, it has various other benefits. It promotes weight loss, it protects against heart and liver diseases, it also lowers blood sugar levels and works as an anti-aging compound. Many great benefits, but what do the studies have to say about them? Let’s find out. 

Provides at least 6 amazing benefits

It’s a great antioxidant

It’s beneficial for heart and liver diseases and diabetes

Mild side effects can be experienced

Alpha Lipoic Acid Review

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is synthesized in the body and can also be consumed through eating red meat, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and brussels sprouts. The common misunderstanding is that it is only present in meat. Besides, it is also present in some fruits and vegetables.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA is both, water and fat soluble, and can also cross the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, it can reach every cell in the body, which differentiates it from other well-known antioxidants and makes it special.

Because Alpha lipoic acid is made in mitochondria, this means it helps to turn nutrients into energy. Besides its role in energy metabolism, it is also important for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.

What kind of other benefits can we expect from supplementing alpha lipoic acid? Let’s check out below.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits

Alpha lipoic acid also boosts acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter, known for its connection to memory and overall cognitive functioning. As we grow older, acetylcholine levels decline, there is oxidative damage in our neural cells and the accumulation of heavy metal in our cells increases.

This changes in our body present real risk factors for some serious neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Not only ALA can help with slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but it can also help in other processes tied to aging.

Overall, research shows that ALA is helpful when it comes to improving memory and learning because it increases the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It works as an antioxidant and also reduces inflammation which helps to improve our cognitive functions.

Let’s see for what else it is beneficial. 

1. Weight loss

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) has been demonstrated to inhibit AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the hypothalamus and can suppress appetite.

Why is the inhibition of AMPK important?

When AMPK is more active, it makes us feel more hungry. However, in humans, there should be no drastic change in our weight when taking alpha lipoic acid. Research shows that there is an only slight improvement (people on average lost 0,69 – 1,27 kg when supplementing ALA).

Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits

Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits

2. Lowers blood sugar levels – potential aid for diabetes

Researchers believe that ALA helps in reducing blood sugar levels by promoting the processes that can remove fat accumulated in muscle cells. It is also effective with diabetes patients because it lowers the risk of complications with diabetes.

All of this is believed to do, due to its antioxidant properties. However, supplementing ALA does not provide treatment for your diabetes. Also, you have to talk to your doctor before taking it, because it can interfere with your other medications.

3. Anti-aging effects

A somewhat different but still very popular is the anti-aging effect that some nootropics may have. Research has shown that alpha lipoic acid is helpful in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and skin roughness. It also provides protection against the sun’s UV radiation (this does not mean you have to stop using your sun cream when taking ALA).

Alpha lipoic acid also raises the levels of other antioxidants, resulting in reduced signs of aging.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Review

Alpha Lipoic Acid Review

4. Beneficial for cognitive functions

Because of ALA’s antioxidant properties, research has shown it can slow down the progression of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

With neutralizing free radicals, alpha lipoic acid is also very beneficial for our overall cognitive performance (memory, focus, recall of information).

5. Helps to reduce inflammation

Serious and harmful conditions, such as cancer or diabetes is tied to chronic inflammation. Alpha lipoic acid is shown to have promising anti-inflammatory effects. It lowers several markers of inflammation.

6. Lowers heart disease risk factors

Cardiovascular diseases are the reason behind 1 in 4 death in America. Their prevalence is high not only in the USA but also worldwide.

Because of that, research that would show some effects on lowering the prevalence of heart disease should really be a priority.

As mentioned before, ALA, because of its antioxidant effects, helps to neutralize free radicals which are linked to a lower probability of heart disease. Moreover, supplementing alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to lower triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels in adults with metabolic diseases.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects

Alpha lipoic acid is overall a very safe nootropic. However, some rare side effects could include nausea, insomnia or diarrhea.

There are just a few precautions to using ALA as a supplement: if you have diabetes you should definitely consult your doctor prior to starting taking it. This is important because of its effect on lower blood sugar levels.

Alpha lipoic acid can also lower levels of Vitamin B1 in your body. This is why it is really recommended to take Vitamin B1 if you consider taking ALA.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Dosage 

Overall, there are many sources of alpha lipoic acid found in food like:

  • Red meat
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Organ meats

However, ALA is also available as a supplement. It is best to take the alpha lipoic supplement on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before eating).

Why? Well, if taken with a meal, this decreases the bioavailability of ALA.

There was some research on what the optimal dosage is, most evidence suggests 300-600 mg/day is enough and it is also safe.

The dosages may vary based on the purpose of taking ALA:

  • for antioxidant benefits 50 – 100 mg/day
  • for cognitive benefits up to 600 mg/day
  • for diabetic neuropathy 800 mg/day divided into two doses

Where To Buy Alpha Lipoic Acid?

If you want to order alpha lipoic acid as an individual compound, you can do it here >>

However, I recommend getting it as a part of a more effective and advanced nootropic stack.

One of the stacks I’ve already reviewed, Performance Lab Energy, contains 150 mg of the bio-enhanced version of R-Lipoic acid.

Besides, it contains several other effective nootropics that will bring the best out of you!

I’d definitely recommend it to you.

Performance Lab Energy

Your Inception Final Recommendation

Your Inception recommends supplementing Alpha Lipoic Acid. 

As I already mentioned, your body produces some of the alpha lipoic acid on its own.

You can also get it from food (meat and some vegetables etc.). However, there is also clear evidence that ALA, for its antioxidant effects, is a great supplement.

While it also helps to produce acetylcholine, it is good for your overall cognitive functioning (starting with memory, focus, and concentration).

It is also effective for patients suffering from diabetes. 

Overall, science is clear on the benefits of ALA and I recommend supplementing it.

Preferably, start with the dose of up to 400 mg daily and you can go up to 600 mg per day, splitting the dose in two during the day. However, no matter the purpose of taking ALA as a supplement it is always best to consult your doctor before starting with supplementation.

And one kind reminder – don’t forget to stack it with Vitamin B.


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By |2019-07-01T10:24:58+00:00May 2nd, 2019|Categories: Nootropics|Tags: |0 Comments

About the Author:

Greg Gostincar is the founder of Your Inception. He has been researching, testing and experimenting with nootropics since 2015. Greg is one of the most recognized researchers in the field of nootropics.

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