Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA, is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body. Antioxidants are protective agents that fight against free radicals in the body, which are thought to cause the ravages of aging. Alpha lipoic acid is also found in foods such as liver, broccoli, yams and red meat.
Benefits. ALA, helps to counter the effects of free radicals in the body by boosting the activity of other antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and the protein glutathione. Free radicals are caused when the we digest food, breathe air, drink water, and ingest medicine. An overabundance of free radicals over time creates a cumulative effect upon the body that affects it at the cellular level. Alpha-lipoic acid may aid in preventing certain types of cellular damage in the body, and might even be instrumental in restoring nutrient levels such as those of the vitamins E and C. A few studies also indicate that ALA, in conjunction with other aids or medications may improve learning and memory. However, no clinical studies suggest that ALA can prevent dementia or improve IQ.