Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that has gained popularity for its potential benefits related to longevity, slowing aging, and overall health. Although more research is needed to confirm these benefits, several studies have highlighted the potential of ALA in various aspects of health.
- Potent antioxidant: ALA is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to aging and diseases (Packer et al., 1995). ALA’s unique ability to function in both water and fat environments allows it to protect a wider range of cell components from oxidative damage (Biewenga et al., 1997).
- Recycling other antioxidants: ALA can help regenerate other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione, enhancing their protective effects on cells (Packer et al., 1995).
- Mitochondrial function: Mitochondria are the cell’s energy factories and are particularly susceptible to damage from free radicals. ALA has been shown to improve mitochondrial function, which could potentially lead to increased energy production and overall cellular health (Hagen et al., 1998).
- Insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism: Some research has shown that ALA can improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood sugar levels, which may be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome (Evans et al., 2002; Jacob et al., 1999).
- Neuroprotective effects: ALA has been found to have neuroprotective properties, potentially slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (Sancheti et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2001).
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Some studies suggest that ALA has anti-inflammatory effects, which could contribute to overall health and longevity by reducing chronic inflammation, a common factor in many age-related diseases (Rocha et al., 2009).
- Cardiovascular health: ALA has been found to improve endothelial function and reduce oxidative stress in the vascular system, which may lead to better cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of heart disease (Midaoui et al., 2003; Morcos et al., 2001).
- Protection against age-related cognitive decline: In animal studies, ALA has been shown to improve memory and learning, suggesting that it may help protect against age-related cognitive decline (Siedlak et al., 2009).
- Skin health: Topical application of ALA has been shown to reduce the signs of skin aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, by improving skin elasticity and reducing inflammation (Podda et al., 2003).