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An image of a cartoon pill bottle with a smiling face on the left and the text "Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)" on the right, highlighting its benefits. In the bottom right corner, there's an icon showing "10 almonds." The background features a subtle light gradient.

What’s So Special About Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

10almonds is reader-supported. We may, at no cost to you, receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The Access-All-Areas Antioxidant

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is one of the most bioavailable antioxidants in existence. A bold claim, but most antioxidants are only water-soluble or fat-soluble, whereas ALA is both. This has far-reaching implications—and we mean that literally, because its “go everywhere” status means that it can access (and operate in) all living cells of the human body.

We make it inside our body, and we can also get it in our diet, or take it as a supplement.

What foods contain it?

The richest food sources are:

  • For the meat-eaters: organ meats
  • For everyone: broccoli, tomatoes, & spinach

However, supplements are more efficient at delivering it, by several orders of magnitude:

Read more: Lipoic acid – biological activity and therapeutic potential

What are its benefits?

Most of its benefits are the usual benefits you would expect from any antioxidant, just, more of it. In particular, reduced inflammation and slowed skin aging are common reasons that people take ALA as a supplement.

Does it really reduce inflammation?

Yes, it does. This one’s not at all controversial, as this systematic review of studies shows:

Effects of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation on C-reactive protein level: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials

(C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation)

Does it really reduce skin aging?

Again yes—which again is not surprising for such a potent antioxidant; remember that oxidative stress is one of the main agonists of cellular aging:

The clinical efficacy of cosmeceutical application of liquid crystalline nanostructured dispersions of alpha lipoic acid as anti-wrinkle

As a special feature, ALA shows particular strength against sun-related skin aging, because of how it protects against UV radiation and increases levels of gluthianone, which also helps:

Where can I get some?

We don’t sell it, but here for your convenience is an example product on Amazon 😎


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