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What Are the Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Helen Akers
Helen Akers

The benefits of alpha lipoic acid originate from its ability to reverse and prevent cell damage. When taken as a supplement, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, repair skin damage, lower cholesterol, and reduce fatigue. As an antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid can enhance the benefits of other anti-inflammatory vitamins since it interacts with their residual properties. Topical creams and lotions that contain the supplement may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and facial scars.

Its ability to create antioxidant activity within the body's cells is one of the main benefits of alpha lipoic acid. When cells come into contact with free radicals, repeated exposure can lead to cell damage. Alpha lipoic acid helps prevent and reverse some of this potential damage by protecting the cell's structure from oxidization. It may also reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies in individuals with chronic diseases, such as HIV.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Side benefits of alpha lipoic acid that result from its antioxidant activity include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. When used properly, alpha lipoic acid's ability to reduce low density cholesterol may be beneficial to individuals diagnosed with the beginning stages of heart disease. Those diagnosed with pre-diabetes can also benefit from the natural supplement since it tends to regulate insulin levels and metabolic activity.

Increasing the effectiveness of other supplements, such as vitamin C, is one of the benefits of alpha lipoic acid. When other antioxidant vitamins interact with alpha lipoic acid, their anti-inflammatory properties are temporarily rejuvenated. The body's cells receive multiple rounds of antioxidant activity with a smaller intake of vitamins. High levels of antioxidant activity within the body's cells are thought to prevent premature aging and diseases caused by inflammation.

Topical forms of alpha lipoic acid are sometimes used to reverse the signs of aging within the skin. Besides reducing fine lines and wrinkles, one of the additional benefits of alpha lipoic acid is its ability to repair damaged tissue. Some forms of scarring can be reduced, eliminated, or prevented with regular topical alpha lipoic acid use. For example, hyper-pigmentation due to moderate acne has shown some improvement with consistent application of topical alpha lipoic acid.

Since alpha lipoic acid influences metabolic activity, its use can increase an individual's energy levels. Those with chronic fatigue have demonstrated some improvement in their symptoms when taking the supplement regularly. Other symptoms associated with chronic fatigue disorder and diabetes, such as tingling and numbness, can be reduced by alpha lipoic acid supplementation as well.

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