Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as thioctic acid, was discovered in 1951 as a molecule that assists in acyl-group transfer and as a coenzyme in the Krebs Cycle. In the 1980s, the scientific community realized that alpha-lipoic acid is also a powerful antioxidant.* What sets ALA apart from other fatty acids is that it's an antioxidant in both fat- and water-soluble environments, and it's also an antioxidant in both its oxidized and reduced forms.* This is unlike vitamin C, for instance, which is a water-soluble antioxidant, as well as vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. ALA also increases intracellular glutathione and CoQ10 levels.* Its other mechanisms of action include promoting normal protein glycosylation and inhibiting the enzyme aldose reductase, which in turn inhibits conversion of glucose to sorbitol.*
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