Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring essential fatty acid and powerful free radical scavenger. As a powerful free radical scavenger it regenerates other antioxidants through the donation of a molecule. This makes ALA an extremely efficient antioxidant. Also, it is essential in the production of cellular energy due to its role as a co-factor in the Kreb’s cycle.
Unlike Vitamin C, which is only water soluble, and Vitamin E which is only fat soluble, ALA is both a fat and water soluble antioxidant. Due to this property, this unique compound is able to enter all parts of the cell. It can cross the blood brain barrier and is even able to penetrate nerve cells.
ALA is synthesized by the body and can be found in certain fruits and vegetables but only in small amounts.
ALA can be taken orally, but must be in the pure R-isomer form for greatest concentration. The intravenous route achieves much higher concentrations. These higher levels are linked to its cytotoxic and fibromyalgia effects.