Alpha lipoic acid is a natural fatty acid found in the cells of the human body, and is used for normal body functions, such as producing energy through aerobic metabolism. It is considered as an enzyme cofactor. Other names it is known as are the acronym ALA, thioctic acid, or a simple shortened form as lipoic acid.
Additionally, alpha lipoic acid neutralizes free radicals, which are chemicals that have potential harm to the body. Therefore, ALA is an antioxidant. However, unlike many other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid still functions while in fat and water substances. It also increases the production of glutathione, which is another antioxidant.
ALA and peripheral neuropathy
Aside from the information mentioned above, alpha lipoic acid is also used by a variety of people for different medical purporses. One of the major reasons it is used is for peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which the peripheral nervous system's nerves are damaged. Some conditions in which peripheral neuropathy appears may include:
Excessive alcohol intake
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:
More about peripheral neuropathy.
Other medical uses and health benefits
Alpha lipoic acid is also used by individuals in other medical conditions and for other purposes. Some of these may include:
Alzheimer's disease and other age-related medical conditions
Brain function (ALA crosses the blood-brain barrier)
Glossodynia (burning mouth syndrome or BMS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Continue reading on claims of benefits and treatment uses.
Alpha lipoic acid may have side effects in certain situations. Several of these may include:
Insulin autoimmune syndrome
Rash on skin
This is not a complete list of potential side effects. ALA may also have interactions with some other items such as medications, herbs, or supplements. Contact a doctor or medical professional for more information on possible side effects or interactions alpha lipoic acid may cause.
Additional side effects information.