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  • What is alpha-lipoic acid?

    Alpha-lipoic acid (or lipoic acid) assists in converting glucose into energy (see What It Is). A healthy body naturally produces enough alpha-lipoic acid but supplementation may help in certain situations.
  • What does alpha-lipoic acid do?

    Alpha-lipoic acid supplements may modestly improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, as well as reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also modestly increase weight and fat loss when combined with a low-calorie diet (see What It Does).
  • Which form of alpha-lipoic acid is best?

    Supplements contain synthetic versions of the naturally occurring form of alpha-lipoic acid (the R-isomer) or, more commonly, a mixture of the R- and S-isomers. The R-isomer only isomer shown to be active of the two isomers. However, only mixed forms have been studied for efficacy and side-effects in clinical trials and are generally much less expensive than R-isomer-only products (see What to Consider When Buying).
  • What's the right dose of alpha-lipoic acid?

    The typical dose used in treating diabetes, peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes, and cardiac autonomic neuropathy is 200 to 400 mg, taken 3 times daily (for a total daily dose ranging from 600 mg to 1,200 mg). For weight loss, 100 mg alpha-lipoic acid (taken three times per day with meals), along with a reduced-calorie diet, has shown some benefit. For use as a general antioxidant, a lower dose (20 to 50 mg daily) is commonly recommended (although there is no evidence this offers any health benefit). You may be able to halve the dose when using the R-isomer-only form (see What to Consider When Using).
  • Which is the best alpha-lipoic acid supplement?

    Many products passed our tests of quality (see What CL Found). Among Approved products, identified two as its Top Picks.
  • What are the side-effects of alpha-lipoic acid?

    Side effects of alpha-lipoic acid such as skin rash and nausea have been reported. Alpha-lipoic acid may also contribute to acid reflux, as it is an acid. It may also cause a strong urine odor. Because alpha-lipoic acid may help control blood sugar in diabetics, adjustments may be needed to anti-diabetic medication when using alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid may interfere with thyroid function, medication and diagnostic tests. Although rare, alpha-lipoic acid may cause insulin autoimmunity (see Concerns and Cautions).

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Alpha-lipoic acid supplements compared in this review

View Larger Image 8333_large_BulkSupplements-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

View Larger Image 8338_large_GNC-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

GNC Alpha-Lipoic Acid

View Larger Image 8334_large_JarrowFormulas-R-AlphaLipoicAcid-Biotin-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

Jarrow Formulas R-Alpha Lipoic Acid + Biotin

View Larger Image 8335_large_LifeExtension-SuperR-LipoicAcid-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

Life Extension Super R-Lipoic Acid 240 mg

View Larger Image 8336_large_Natrol-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

Natrol Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg

View Larger Image 8339_large_PuritansPride-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

Puritan's Pride Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg

View Larger Image 8337_large_Vitacost-AlphaLipoicAcid-2023.PNG

Vitacost Alpha Lipoic Acid

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's recommendations and quality ratings. You'll get results for six alpha-lipoic acid selected for testing by and one additional supplement that passed the same testing through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program.

In this comprehensive review, you'll discover: 
  • The best quality alpha-lipoic acid supplements and which passed or failed testing
  • ConsumerLab's Top Picks among alpha-lipoic acid supplements based on quality, dosage, and value
  • The clinical evidence for and against alpha-lipoic acid for improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, reducing nerve pain, weight loss, and other uses
  • The dose of alpha-lipoic acid for specific uses   
  • How the R-isomer form of alpha-lipoic acid differs from the mixed form (R- and S-isomers) and whether one form is better than the other
  • Cautions when using alpha-lipoic acid, including side-effects, drug interactions, and interference with thyroid function, treatment, and tests (such as T3 and TSH)  

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.