What is the difference between alpha-lipoic acid and R-lipoic acid? Let’s break down this subject with a quick overview of this important antioxidant.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell. It helps turn glucose into energy. Antioxidants attack free radicals, which may cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. Studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid may help regenerate antioxidants and make them active again.
Alpha-lipoic acid exists in three different forms: alpha R-lipoic acid, alpha S-lipoic acid, and alpha RS-lipoic acid. Alpha S-lipoic acid and alpha RS-lipoic acid are synthetics created by chemical synthesis, and commonly known and sold as alpha-lipoic acid supplements. Alpha lipoic acid is referred to as racemic molecule, which contains both the natural and the unnatural form (cis and trans respectively).
On the other hand, alpha R-lipoic acid is the natural form of lipoic acid and the only version that exists in nature, is produced in the body, and synthesized by both plants and animals. R-lipoic acid contains only the natural form (cis) form of ALA.
Considered an ideal antioxidant, Lipoic Acid is a super-antioxidant that does everything an antioxidants should do and a little more. Some antioxidants work only in water such as vitamin C or vitamin E, but alpha-lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble, as it can work throughout the body. Both versions of lipoic acid have a very short life in the human body and it’s highly recommended that you take a sustained release version of ALA .