Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects

by Brent Laungret Updated January 03, 2011

Alpha lipoic acid therapy

Hailed as a new wonder therapy, alpha lipoic acid may have benefits for many medical conditions, but alpha lipoic acid side effects needs evaluation before this nutrient is taken in large doses. It has been hailed as a therapy for conditions ranging from diabetes to multiple sclerosis, but caution must be exercised.

alpha lipoic acid side effects

Available over the counter in tablet form as 30mg to 100mg doses, alpha lipoic acid is a substance found in every cell of the human body and in many foods, especially yeast, offal and green leafy vegetables. It is an antioxidant and vital to metabolic function, and beneficial alpha lipoic acid side effects include combating heart disease, organ dysfunction, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. It has also been claimed to combat metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, as well as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. It has been used to treat diabetic neuropathy, the complication that can cause extremities to lose sensation and die off, causing gangrene and necessitating amputation of feet or toes. A further example of beneficial alpha lipoic acid side effects is metal chelation, the elimination and excretion of toxic metals from the body.

Unlike other vitamins, ALA is soluble in both water and fats, and its easy penetration of the brain means alpha lipoic acid side effects may include the protection of brain and nerve tissue from disease.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Weight Loss Claims

One of the alpha lipoic acid side effects that has recently aroused interest is its apparent ability to aid weight loss. Scientists found overweight laboratory rats lost weight when fed ALA as a supplement, while rats who did not receive the supplement continued to gain weight.

With no established recommended daily dose of alpha lipoic acid weight loss achieved this way could be hazardous if not carried out under medical supervision. However, the research done so far does hold out hope that with the use of alpha lipoic acid weight loss could be achieved and perhaps maintained.

Other researches have led to the hope that ALA could be an effective therapy for glaucoma, and that it may even reduce the first signs of aging in the skin.

Other Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects

The side effects of alpha lipoic acid for pregnant women have not yet been ascertained, and the substance does have a potential for interfering with the workings of other medications. Alpha lipoic acid side effects can occur with chemotherapy, thyroid, and diabetes medication, so taking the supplement without proper medical advice would be very unwise. Research has also indicated that people who are deficient in vitamin B1- thiamine - such as heavy drinkers, should not take ALA. Skin rashes and inflammations may occur as a common side effect. ALA should not be given to children, as no studies have yet been carried out into its effects on the very young.

The benefits of this supplement must be weighed, as with all drug and supplement therapies, against potential alpha lipoic acid side effects.

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoic_acid - Lipoic acid