All Alpha Lipoic Acid is not the same.
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 isn’t 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 won’t tell you that) Most companies don’t 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 an 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 acid’s 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.