Alpha lipoic acid is an ingredient that has been finding its way into many weight loss supplements over the last decade and even longer. This is an ingredient that is listed in product formulas under any of a large number of different names. These names include, among others, acide lipoique, a-lipoic acid, acetate replacing factor, acide 1,2-dithiolane 3-pentanoique, acide 1,2-diatholane 3-valerique, acide alpha-lipoique R.
Regardless of which name is used to identify it, alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that can be found in both natural and manufactured sources. In terms of natural sources of this ingredient, some foods that contain it include: spinach and broccoli, kidney, liver, yeast and potatoes.
In terms of medical uses, alpha lipoic acid has been used for a range of different puposes, including for diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), memory loss, liver disease, lyme disease, some cancers, and even HIV/AIDS. That said, not all of those types of treatment have been proven through medical and scientific study.
The idea behind the use of alpha lipoic acid as an ingredient in weight loss supplement has to do with the belief that it may work within the body to break down carbohydrates to use that energy to run the various organs of the body. That said, as much as this may be the case, it has yet to be proven that there is actually a link between this process and actual meaningful and measurable weight loss.
What research has shown is that if 1800 mg of this ingredient is taken on a daily basis for 20 straight weeks by people who are overweight, it can potentially help with body weight reduction. It is not yet known if this is the result of the breakdown of carbohydrates or not. Still, that is quite promising and the researchers in the studies have agreed that further study would help to show whether or not this substance has the potential to be used as a safe diet supplement.
This ingredient is potentially safe for the majority of healthy adults when it is taken orally, topically, or even intravenously. That said, one of the most common side effects of using alpha lipoic acid is a rash, which occurs most often when it is taken orally. It is important to speak to a doctor before using this ingredient as there are some other potential interactions, contradictions and side effects. People who have a deficiency in thiamine should also take a thiamine supplement when using products containing this ingredient.