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What should you know about alpha lipoic acid (ALA)?

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Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is a naturally occurring compound that's made in the body. It serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production. As long as you're healthy, the body can produce all the ALA it needs for these purposes. Despite that fact, there has been a lot of recent interest in using ALA supplements. Advocates of ALA make claims that range from beneficial effects for treating conditions such as diabetes and HIV to enhancing weight loss.

There's not a lot of research on the effects of ALA supplementation. But the research that exists does suggest some possible benefits.

From: Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Linus Pauling Institute: "Lipoic Acid."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Alpha-lipoic acid."

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter: "Alpha Lipoic Acid."

Drugs.com: "Alpha-Lipoic Acid."

How Stuff Works: "Alpha Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Diabetes and CAM: A Focus on Dietary Supplements."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 17, 2019

SOURCES:

Linus Pauling Institute: "Lipoic Acid."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Alpha-lipoic acid."

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter: "Alpha Lipoic Acid."

Drugs.com: "Alpha-Lipoic Acid."

How Stuff Works: "Alpha Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Diabetes and CAM: A Focus on Dietary Supplements."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 17, 2019

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What is alpha lipoic acid (ALA)?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.