Is all ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) the same?
Actually, no. There are two forms of alpha lipoic acid.
R-ALA is the form found naturally occurring within the body and is the biologically active form of alpha lipoic acid.
S-ALA is the unnatural, synthetic byproduct created during the production of alpha lipoic acid.
Nobody sells S-ALA by itself as it isnít very effective, but you will get S-ALA anytime you purchase ALA. The ALA you buy from nutrition stores is in reality a 50/50 mixture of S-ALA & R-ALA. (though they wonít tell you thatÖ) Most companies donít go through the complicated and expensive process required to purify and remove the synthetic S-ALA from their products. Be aware that unless the bottle specifically states 100% R-ALA, you are only getting a 50/50 blend.
It is important for you to know that R-ALA has been shown time and time again to be up to 12 times as effective as S-ALA. There have been many studies, doctors and researchers who have stated how much more effective R-ALA is.
The benefits of R-Lipoic acid
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that your body synthesizes and can safely metabolize. (7)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that is proven to significantly reduce inflammation, an underlying cause of aging. (5)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that is proven to significantly increase your cellular and mitochondrial antioxidant activity for preventing mitochondrial decay. This effectively attenuates the reported increase in oxidative stress with aging. (8)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that is proven to improve memory, reduce brain damage, reverse cognitive dysfunction, and protect the brain from neurodegeneration associated with aging. (8,9,22)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that is been proven to significantly increase insulin sensitivity, enhance glucose transport, increase metabolic rate and reduce the gain in body fat from aging. (10,11)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that is proven to protect body fats against oxidative damage, chelate harmful metals and reverse stress damage in your heart. (12,13)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of Lipoic that is proven to significantly increase or maintain levels of other antioxidants including Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione. (14,15)
∑ R-Lipoic acid is the only form of Lipoic acid that is proven to expand total life span. (17)
The problems of S-Lipoic acid
∑ S-Lipoic acid produces different biological actions than R-Lipoic acid that may be undesirable. (16-18)
∑ S-Lipoic acid produces limited beneficial effects since it cannot bind with key enzymes. (19)
∑ S-Lipoic acid is less effective than R-Lipoic acid as an antioxidant. (20)
∑ At high concentrations, S-Lipoic acid inhibits mitochondria metabolism and the antioxidant activity of R-Lipoic acid (21)
∑ S-Lipoic acid is metabolized in the outer cell membrane. This may interfere with R-Lipoic acidís ability to penetrate the inner mitochondrial membrane and energy production. (22)
∑ R-Lipoic acid costs slightly more per unit than alpha-Lipoic acid. But it may be 10 times stronger than regular alpha-Lipoic acid at reducing inflammation, a primary cause of aging. And it is free of the problems from the S-form.
Are You Looking for the Best Price on ALA?
Since the ALA you get in stores is actually a 50/50 mixture of R-ALA and S-ALA, you would naturally assume that you would be getting twice the benefits from Pure R-ALA as you would from standard ALA. This is not correct. It has been shown in many studies that R-ALA is up to 12 times as effective as ALA. It has also been proven that the S-ALA portion can actually reduce the positive benefits of the R-ALA. This is why the pure naturally occurring R-ALA is considered by researchers and doctors to be many times as effective.
You will find companies selling large doses of the less expensive ALA. It is much more cost effective to take a smaller dose of pure R-ALA. You will not only spend less for your supplement but you will be gaining all the added benefits of the biologically active form of alpha lipoic acid without being forced to take any of the synthetic byproduct contained in the cheaper form.
Compare for yourself. You will find any of the trusted brand standard ALA products priced less than our quality pure R-ALA. Donít let the lower price fool you, if it doesnít say 100% R-ALA, it isnít.
This is a simple explaination of why R-ALA is much more effective than ALA. If you would like to read a 20 page e-book with more details, click here.
1. Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant. Free Rad Biol Med 1995;19:227-250
2. Ou P, Tritschler HJ, Wolff SP. Thioctic (lipoic) acid: a therapeutic metal-chelating antioxidant? Biochem Pharmacol 1995; 50:123-126.
3. Hagen et al, "(R)-alpha-Lipoic acid-supplemented Old Rats Have Improved Mitochondrial Function, Decreased Oxidative Damage, and Increased Metabolic Rate," FASEB J 1999 13:411-418
4. Freisleben HJ, Neeb A, Lehr F, Ackermann H. Influence of selegiline and lipoic acid on the life expectancy of immunosuppressed mice. Arzneimittelforschung 1997 Jun; 47(6): 776-80
5. Ulrich H, Weischer CH, et al. Pharmaceutical composition containing R-.alpha.-lipoic acid or S-.alpha.-lipoic acid as active ingredient. US Patent 5,728,735, 1998.
6. Hagen et al, op. cit.
7. Suh JH, et al, Oxidative stress in the aging rat heart is reversed by dietary supplementation with (R)-(alpha)-lipoic acid. FASEB J 2001 Mar; 15(3): 700-6
8. Liu J, Head E, Gharib AM, et al, Memory loss in old rats is associated with brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation: partial reversal by feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha -lipoic acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Feb 19; 99(4): 2356-61
9. Hager K, Marahrens A, Kenklies M, et al, Alpha-lipoic acid as a new treatment option for Azheimer type dementia. Arch Gerontology Geriatric 2001 Jun; 32(3): 275-282
10. Jacob S, Rues P, Hermann R. Oral administration of RAC-alpha-lipoic acid modulates insulin sensitivity in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled pilot trial. Free Rad Biol Med 1999 Aug;27(3-4):309-14
11. Moines H, Trios O, Park YC, Chow KJ, Packer L R-alpha-Lipoic Acid Action on Cell Redox Status, the Insulin Receptor, and Glucose Uptake in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes. . Arch Biochem Biophys 2002 Jan 15; 397(2): 384-91.
12. Suh JH, Shigeno ET, Morrow JD, Cox B, Rocha AE, Frei B, Hagen TM. Oxidative stress in the aging rat heart is reversed by dietary supplementation with (R)-(alpha)-lipoic acid. FASEB J 2001 Mar; 15(3): 700-6
13. Androne L, Gavan NA, Veresiu IA, Orasan R, In vivo effect of lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In Vivo 2000 Mar-Apr; 14(2): 327-30
14. Suh JH, Shigeno ET, et al, Oxidative stress in the aging rat heart is reversed by dietary supplementation with (R)-(alpha)-lipoic acid. FASEB J 2001 Mar; 15(3): 700-615. Lykkesfeldt J, et al, Ames BN. Age-associated decline in ascorbic acid concentration, recycling, and biosynthesis in rat hepatocytes--reversal with (R)-alpha-lipoic acid supplementation. FASEB J 1998 Sep; 12(12): 1183-9
16. Streeper RS, Henriksen EJ, et al, Tritschler HJ. Differential effects of lipoic acid stereoisomers on glucose metabolism in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1997 Jul; 273(1 Pt 1): E185-91
17. Freisleben HJ, Neeb A, Lehr F, Ackermann H. Influence of selegiline and lipoic acid on the life expectancy of immunosuppressed mice Arzneimittelforschung 1997 Jun; 47(6): 776-80
18. Haramaki N, Han D, Handelman GJ, Tritschler HJ, Packer L. Cytosolic and mitochondrial systems for NADH- and NADPH-dependent reduction of alpha-lipoic acid Free Radic Biol Med 1997; 22(3): 535-42
19. Maitra I, Serbinova E, et al. Stereospecific effects of R-Lipoic acid on buthionine sulfoximine-induced cataract formation in newborn rats. Biochem Biophys Res commun 1996; 221:422-429.
20. Streeper RS, Henriksen EJ, et al, Differential effects of lipoic acid stereoisomers on glucose metabolism in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1997 Jul; 273(1 Pt 1): E185-91
21. M.S. Patel, et al, Stereospecific effects of lipoic acids on mammalian pyruvate dehydrogenase complex
22. Packer, L; Tritschler, H; Wessel K, Neuroprotection by the metabolic Antioxidant alpha Lipoic Acid. 1997 Free Rad Biol Med 22, Nos 1/2, 359-378
These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. FDA. This material is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
For information on prices and how to qualify to purchase these products wholesale, please click here.