Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

Alpha-lipoic acid review
Basics: 'non-vitamin" nutrient that is essential to life, a cofactor in vital energy-producing reactions in the body.
Benefits: helps to neutralize the effects of free radicals on the body, effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, useful in the treatment of chronic hepatitis.
Dosage: a lower dosage of 20 to 50 mg daily is commonly recommended for use as a general antioxidant.
Sources: spinach, broccoli, beef, Brewer's yeast, and certain organ meats.
Overdose: very safe at commonly recommended dosages.
Editor's choice: Alpha Lipoic Acid
Neutralizes free radicals. Helps regenerate Vitamins C and E increasing their effectiveness in scavenging free radicals. Used since the 1960's in Europe for its positive effects on blood sugar levels. Key to proper metabolism of glucose in the cell. Helps limit aging effects of free radical damage. Positively affects the metabolism, leading to increased energy. Easily absorbed and beneficial to brain health. Click here for more information.

Sources of alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid can be synthesized by plants and animals. The biosynthetic pathway for alpha-lipoic acid is not known, but it appears to be synthesized in the mitochondria from an 8-carbon fatty acid and elemental sulfur. Most alpha-lipoic acid in food is derived from lipoamide-containing enzymes and is bound to the amino acid, lysine (lipoyllysine). Animal tissues that are rich in lipoyllysine include kidney, heart, and liver, while plant sources that are rich in lipoyllysine include spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. Somewhat lower amounts of lipoyllysine have been measured in peas, brussel sprouts, and rice bran. Lipoic acid can be found in many common foods such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yeasts, beets, yams, and red meat. Dietary sources of ALA include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts and walnut oil. The best food sources of lipoic acid are believed to be those foods rich in mitochondria - red meat (skeletal muscle, heart, liver, kidney). Other sources are yeast, spinach, and broccoli.