When it comes to supplements, you’ve probably heard of what vitamin C or biotin can do for you, but have you ever considered alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)?
This lesser-known compound plays a crucial rule of energizing our cells and therefore our bodies every day, but it can also reduce inflammation, help you slim down, and prevent diseases like diabetes. Talk about working overtime!
What’s alpha-lipoic acid and how does it work?
Alpha-lipoic acid is naturally-occurring antioxidant in the body and helps with cell function and energy production, specifically with turning glucose into energy that we can use.
While we produce enough ALA through the body’s own processes, ALA supplements have become increasingly popular due to the organic compound’s potential to help with weight loss, sun damage, diabetes management, inflammation, and more.
What are the benefits of ALA?
Research into ALA is relatively new and has largely focused on intravenous doses, but there are promising signs that it can aid in so many aspects of your health and well-being. Above all, ALA can potentially reduce inflammation that’s linked to cancer, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious illnesses and conditions. In fact, one study suggested that alpha-lipoic acid could be a preventative measure and treatment option for type 2 diabetes because it was shown to regulate insulin resistance, blood sugar levels, and more.
Additional research shows that ALA could come in handy with neuropathy or nerve pain, which is a side effect of numerous conditions, including thyroid disease, shingles, kidney failure, and Lyme disease, to name a few.
On top of all of that, ALA might also be a key part in weight loss and weight management due to its ability to suppress enzymes that signal hunger and increase the number of calories you burn when you’re resting. And because it’s a powerful antioxidant, ALA also has the potential to protect and heal sun-damaged, aging skin.
How should I take ALA?
The general alpha-lipoic dosage recommendation is a capsule of 300 to 600 milligrams per day, like Sundown Super Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Buy on Amazon, $12.18). Most studies have shown that there are few to no side effects of taking ALA for several months at a time, but more research is looking into long-term side effects if you were to take it continuously for years or decades.
You should always talk to your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen, but people on thyroid or diabetes medications in particular should definitely check in with a healthcare professional before taking ALA. Better safe than sorry!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.