How Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits Your Liver | 1MD Nutrition™

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How Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits Your Liver

Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant with numerous benefits. Here’s how incorporating it into your diet can support your liver and overall health.

7 minute read

Last Updated April 25, 2022

How Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits Your Liver

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is produced naturally in the body and is found in all human cells. It is a powerful antioxidant that also plays a role in aerobic metabolism. ALA is made within the mitochondria, where it supports enzymes as they convert nutrients into energy. 

The antioxidant properties of ALA allow it to reduce occasional oxidative stress and unwanted immune responses. Animal products are great sources of ALA as are plant foods such as broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprout. 

Because humans only produce a small amount of ALA, supplements are also a great way to keep levels up, so you can receive the maximum health benefits it has to offer. One important benefit is the antioxidant protection ALA provides for your liver.

Alpha Lipoic Acid for Your Liver

Cellular oxidation is the natural process where oxygen breaks down a substance. This typical oxidative stress can affect cellular activity. Everything you consume gets filtered through the liver, which exposes the liver to more cellular oxidation than most other organs. 

Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can be used to promote liver health in a variety of ways.

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  • ALA helps to promote glutathione levels, an antioxidant produced by the liver  and is involved in many body processes in the body. Glutathione helps reduce typical oxidative stress, has been found to support liver enzyme function and detoxification. 
  • ALA recycles vitamins C and E, additional antioxidants which can become depleted. By maintaining healthy antioxidant capacity in the body, ALA helps support cellular health.
  • ALA can promote liver cell health from the inside and outside. Inside each cell's nucleus, ALA supports the genetic material. It helps the mitochondria produce energy and helps enzymes create energy from the nutrients you ingest.

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Additional Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

In addition to supporting liver health and function, alpha lipoic acid provides antioxidant support throughout the body.

♦ Blood glucose support: Alpha lipoic acid can support healthy blood sugar levels. It also promotes processes that remove accumulated fat from muscle cells to support proper absorption and utilization of glucose in the body.

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Cognitive health: ALA uses the same protective measures as it does with the liver to support brain cell function. By reducing typical oxidative stress, ALA can promote healthy brain cell activity, cognition, and mood health.

Heart health: ALA supports heart health by reducing occasional oxidative stress and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. By helping to keep blood lipid levels within healthy ranges, ALA supports arterial health, proper circulation, and overall heart health.

Taking Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is considered safe to take as a supplement, when taken according to manufacturer or physician recommendations. For optimal results, you should take ALA supplements without food, as some foods can lower its bioavailability.

It is recommended to follow all dosage instructions and to consult with your doctor before starting any ALA supplement.

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Side Effects and Warnings

There are little known side effects of alpha lipoic acid. Some people may experience rashes, dizziness, or nausea, but these are more commonly associated with larger doses. There have been no additional benefits found associated with higher doses. Anyone with an existing health condition or taking any medications should consult their doctor first before adding ALA supplements to their routine.

The Bottom Line

As the largest organ in your body, your liver deserves the extra love. It works hard, undergoing 30,000 enzymatic reactions per second. Everything we ingest is processed in the liver, so a healthy liver gets exerted. Incorporating ALA into your diet each day is an effective way to support healthy liver function, liver enzyme activity, normal energy and focus, and overall health.