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The Ultimate Guide to Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic acid is a neuroprotective supplement that "exhibits significant antioxidant activity protecting against oxidative damage." Bio-hackers often take antioxidant supplements to to defend brain-cells from degenerating.

Table of Contents:

  1. Quick Overview of Alpha Lipoic Acid
  2. Studies on Neuroprotection
  3. How to take Alpha Lipoic Acid
  4. Alternatives to consider

Quick Overview of Alpha-Lipoic Acid

  • Benefits: Replacing deficiencies of Vitamins C and E and providing antioxidants to prevent damage to brain-cells from oxidative stress.
  • Actions: Antioxidants defend the brain from "free radicals" that break down cells. Alpha Lipoic acid is also rich in vitamins C and E.
  • Dietary sources: Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are sources of alpha-lipoic acid.
  • Who is it good for? People not currently taking an antioxidant supplement and not otherwise getting it from fruits or other dietary sources.
  • Quality of studies: Over 4,776 publications (Pubmed - 1)
  • Recommended dose: 200mg - 400mg per day
  • Alternatives:Trans-Resveratrol, Pterostilbene

Studies on Neuroprotection

1. Lipoic acid is quickly absorbed by brain-cells, therefore offering both intracellular and extracellular protection from reactive oxygen-free radicals. This makes it "an ideal substance in the treatment of oxidative brain and neural disorders involving free radical processes." (University of California - 2)

2. After deliberately impairing the brain's antioxidant enzymes, Alpha Lipoic Acid was seen to significantly reduce the damage, resulting in very little damage done to neurons. (International Medical University - 3)

3. "Lipoic acid acts as a kind of "wild card" antioxidant. This means that it can substitute for other antioxidants, such as vitamins C or E. So if you're not getting enough of these substances in your diet, lipoic acid supplements can make up at least part of the deficit." (Life Enhancement - 4)

4. A review of studies concluded it "exhibits significant antioxidant activity protecting against oxidative damage" and "its use as a potential therapeutic agent is very promising." (University of Catania - 5)

How to take Alpha Lipoic Acid

1. Recommended dose: The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that "generally healthy people" take between 200mg - 400mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid per day.

2. Take it with food: Also, it's best taken without food: "Oral LA supplements are better absorbed on an empty stomach than with food" (The Linus Pauling Institute - 6)

Alternatives to consider

1. Trans-Resveratrol - An antioxidant derived from grapes. After investigations by MIT, Trans-Resveratrol made headlines in 2003 for its links to the longevity genes called "sirtuins".

2. Pterostilbene - Trans-Resveratrol's chemical cousin, though far less researched. Pterostilbene, like Trans-Resveratrol, is also a natural antibiotic that plants create for self-defence against fungal infections.


  1. Pubmed - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Alpha+Lipoic+acid
  2. University of California - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8958163
  3. International Medical University - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125202/
  4. Life Enhancement - http://www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/102-lipoic-acid-update-the-ideal-antioxidant-gets-even-better
  5. University of Catania - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28676917
  6. The Linus Pauling Institute - http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/lipoic-acid

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