Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is found in every cell in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant and plays a major role in cellular energy production, helping to turn glucose into usable energy (ATP).
What really sets Alpha Lipoic Acid apart from other antioxidants is the fact that it is both fat and water soluble. While most antioxidants are either water or fat soluble, it limits their potential reach in the body. This allows ALA to reach every cell in the body, promoting energy production while eliminating free radical accumulation. 
The Smart Choice for Brain Health
The brain requires an enormous amount of energy, meaning cells are working overtime to convert food energy into usable cellular energy. This creates a surplus of harmful byproducts known as free radicals, damaging nearby cells and inhibiting optimal cellular function.
In order to clear away free radicals and repair the damage they cause, the body needs an ample amount of antioxidants. The difficulty with detoxifying the brain is getting enough antioxidant activity to where it is needed most.
The semi-permeable barrier that protects the brain (blood brain barrier) repels many harmful toxins, however it also makes it difficult for many antioxidants to reach the brain. This is where Alpha Lipoic Acid comes in as a powerful brain detoxifier and heavy metal chelator.
ALA is both water and fat soluble, it can easily pass through the blood brain barrier and neutralize the stubborn free radicals found in the brain and nervous system. Helping to repair the damage they cause, improving brain health and cognitive function. 
Heavy Metal Chelator
Heavy metals are another major health concern for the brain and nervous system. These toxic metals accumulate over the span of decades and they are quite difficult for the body to deal with. We are exposed to these heavy metals on a daily basis, through air pollution, beauty products and tap water to name a few. Because only certain antioxidants are capable of easily passing through the blood brain barrier, typically heavy metal toxicity is highest in the brain.
Chelation of heavy metals is paramount to brain health and the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Alpha Lipoic Acid is one antioxidant that is capable of reaching the heavy metals found in the brain and effectively chelating them. Another antioxidant capable of this, glutathione. Because ALA boosts glutathione levels, it combats heavy metal accumulation on multiple levels, something that other antioxidants simply cannot do.
ALA is capable of enhancing the function of other powerful antioxidants, helping to recycle and regenerate oxidized forms back into their active forms. None more important than glutathione.
Glutathione levels decline naturally as we age, hindering immune function and the body’s ability to effectively detox itself. Alpha Lipoic acid has been shown to restore intracellular glutathione levels, fortifying levels of the body’s master antioxidant. 
Nrf2 is critical for the Phase II detoxification process, ALA helps to promote Nrf2 activity by acting as a pro-oxidant. Causing mild cellular insult to help prompt a localized Nrf2 response. 
Alpha Lipoic Acid and Fitness
Some fitness benefits of ALA are obvious, such as the role it plays with cellular energy production and metabolism. It also fights free radicals which flood the body during bouts of intense exercise. These benefits are both critical and hugely beneficial for athletes, gym-goers and everyone else trying to live a healthy life, but ALA doesn’t stop there.
Reduce Body Fat
An essential antioxidant that improves mitochondrial function and antioxidant activity also helps you melt away unwanted fat.
One study examined the effects of Alpha Lipoic Acid on 360 obese individuals over a 20 week period. The results were quite conclusive, the group that supplemented with ALA lost significantly more weight than the placebo group. 
There is no magic weight loss pill that will provide you with the body of your dreams effortlessly. But there are certainly supplements that will help with weight loss efforts, ALA is one of these supplements. Pair it with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine and the results will speak for themselves.
Muscle and Bone
Alpha Lipoic Acid plays an important role in cell signalling pathways, helping to regulate the inflammatory response and repair process throughout the body.
Studies show that ALA can improve skeletal muscle regeneration following intense physical activity, as well as helping to prevent bone loss by reducing homocysteine levels. [4,5]
The cellular metabolic process is integral to the body’s repair process. By promoting the ability for cells to turn glucose into ATP while removing harmful toxins, ALA helps promote the body’s natural repair process.
1. University of Maryland Medical Center, (2014). Alpha-lipoic acid. [online] Available at: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalipoic-acid.
2. Shay, K., Moreau, R., Smith, E., Smith, A. and Hagen, T. (2009). Alpha-lipoic acid as a dietary supplement: Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – General Subjects, 1790(10), pp.1149-1160.
3. Koh EH, e. (2014). Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21187189.
4. Zembron-Lacny A, e. (2014). Physical activity and alpha-lipoic acid modulate inflammatory respo… – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23180154.
5. Lee SH, e. (2014). Homocysteine-lowering therapy or antioxidant therapy for bone loss … – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19938151.