Alpha-lipoic acid, which is commonly known as ALA, is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring compound produced in the human body. It mimics the natural properties of lipoic acid, and many people take ALA supplements to fill in the gaps in their diets.
What Does Alpha-Lipoic Acid Do?
Many people use alpha-lipoic acid to treat a number of conditions, such as:
- Blood vessel diseases
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Eye-related disorders, including cataracts, glaucoma and Wilson’s disease
- Memory loss
- Nerve-related symptoms of diabetes
- Heart disease
- HIV and AIDS
- Liver disease
- Lyme disease
ALA has also been proven to have antioxidant properties. It may work to prevent some types of cell damage within the body, and it may provide protection to the brain when it’s been damaged or injured.
Why Do People Take ALA Supplements?
Many people take ALA supplements to make up for what they’re not getting through a regular diet. Because it’s most prevalent in yeast, liver, spinach, broccoli and potatoes, many Americans are ALA-deficient and need to take alpha-lipoic acid supplements.