Alpha Lipoic Acid is an enzyme naturally produced in the body and functions as a co-factor for energy production and is a potent antioxidant. ALA has many benefits for athletes and health enthusiasts. Unlike most antioxidants, which are either fat or water soluble and only have antioxidant properties in some tissues, ALA has antioxidant properties in all tissues. This is because ALA is water soluble and its metabolite dihydrolipoic acid is fat soluble, allowing it to reach all tissues. In addition to this, ALA recycles itself and vitamin C, and works synergistically with vitamin E, and increases glutathione levels (Vitamin C & E and Glutathione are all antioxidants). ALA has been shown to decrease oxidative stress caused by exercise to a greater extent that other antioxidants.
ALA is also believed to increase insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by increase translocation of the glucose transporter Glut-4. Increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake can lead to beneficial changes in body composition as well as improvement in ones general health.