Alpha-lipoic acid is also known as an antioxidant, also known as ALA, bile, lipoic acid, thioctic acid.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a natural fatty acid found in a variety of foods, such as yeast, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and offal, such as the liver or kidneys.
Alpha-lipoic acid is used in alternative medicine to aid in weight loss, treatment of diabetic nerve pain, wound healing, lowering blood sugar, improving the discoloration caused by vitiligo, and reducing coronary artery bypass complications graft (CABG) surgery. Alpha-lipoic acid can be combined with other plants or extracts in a specific preparation to treat these conditions.
Alpha-lipoic acid is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol problems in the liver, altitude sickness, heart nerve problems, HIV-related brain problems, or eye problems caused by diabetes. However, research has shown that alpha-lipoic acid may not effectively treat these conditions.
Alpha lipoic acid use
Other uses that have not been proven by research include treating glaucoma, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, heart failure, dementia, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg pain caused by sciatic nerve damage, or peripheral artery disease (PAD), slowing of skin aging, and other conditions.
It is not certain whether alpha-lipoic acid effectively treats any health condition. This product’s medical use is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Alpha-lipoic acid should not be used instead of the medication prescribed by your doctor.
Alpha-lipoic acid is often sold as a herbal supplement. There are no regulated production standards for many herbal mixtures, and some mixtures available on the market are said to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. You should procure herbal supplements from a reliable source to reduce contamination risk.
Alpha-lipoic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all guidelines on packaging and product labels. Tell your doctor about all your health conditions, allergies, and medications you use.
Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or another healthcare professional if it is safe to use this product if you have:
- liver disease,
- diabetes (alpha-lipoic acid can cause low blood sugar),
- thyroid disorder,
- thiamine deficiency (thiamine is a form of vitamin B),
- or if you consume large amounts of alcohol.
It is not known whether alpha-lipoic acid will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
It is unknown whether alpha-lipoic acid passes into breast milk or whether it could harm a breastfed baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give herbal / health supplements to a child without a doctor’s advice.
Side effects of alpha-lipoic acid
Seek emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although not all side effects are known, alpha-lipoic acid is considered safe when taken according to the instructions.
Stop taking alpha-lipoic acid and call your doctor right away if you have:
- low blood sugar – headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heartbeat or feeling restless; or
- you feel dizzy, as if you will faint at any moment.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea or
- skin rash
This is not a complete list of side effects, so that other side effects may occur.
Alpha-lipoic acid interactions
Avoid using alpha-lipoic acid and other herbal supplements that can reduce blood sugar. These include devil’s claw, Greek seed, garlic, guar gum, wild chestnut, Asian ginseng, psyllium, and Siberian ginseng.
Do not take alpha-lipoic acid without medical advice if you use any of the following medications:
- insulin or taking oral blood sugar-lowering pills,
- drugs to treat the inactive thyroid glands, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid) and others; or
- cancer drugs (chemotherapy).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with alpha-lipoic acid, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.
Dosing of alpha lipoic acid
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek medical advice. You can also consider consulting an expert who is an expert in using herbal supplements.
If you decide to use alpha-lipoic acid, use it as stated on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. Do not use a higher dose of this product than recommended on the label.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with alpha-lipoic acid does not improve or if it gets worse using this product.
Do not use different forms (tablets and capsules) of alpha-lipoic acid at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of overdose.
Store at room temperature, protected from moisture and heat.
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use additional alpha-lipoic acid to make up for the missed dose.