R-Lipoic acid sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by

R-Lipoic acid is the form of alpha-lipoic acid being produced and utilized by the human body. Also known as thiotic acid, alpha-lipoic acid is an important and versatile compound whose many roles include serving as a cofactor of energy-producing enzymes and an antioxidant that can preserve the health of the eyes and liver. The beneficial effects of R-Lipoic acid are noticeably improved when combined with L-carnitine, a compound that acts as a mitochondrial antioxidant similar to R-lipoic acid.

Supplements are considered to be the better source of R-Lipoic acid due to being more concentrated and bioavailable, thus maximizing the protective and energizing capabilities of this compound. Some side effects have been noted, however, and these can range from skin rashes to diarrhea to vomiting. The dietary source of alpha-lipoic acid, and thus R-Lipoic acid, are comprised of broccoli, spinach, yeast extract, and organ meats such as kidney and liver.

Medicinal uses for R-Lipoic acid

The name “captain of antixoidants” is often used to describe R-Lipoic acid due to its ability to recharge and recycle its fellow antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. Moreover, R-Lipoic acid has been observed heightening the efficacy of anti-aging antioxidants like glutathione, as well as inhibiting iron- and copper-related oxidative damage or metal chelation. Its positive interactions with other antioxidants makes R-Lipoic acid one of the most potent and vital antioxidants.

There are numerous ways that R-Lipoic acid can prevent hypertension. First and foremost is that R-Lipoic acid decreases inflammatory cytokines in the blood and prevents pathological blood vessel cell changes that would lead to increased blood pressure. Secondly is that R-Lipoic acid can improve blood vessel function and structure, while also strengthening the heart.

By increasing blood flow and promoting vascular function, R-Lipoic acid has been shown to provide relief from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the umbrella term for progressive lung diseases characterized by the feeling of breathlessness.

Whether taken in conjunction with a calorie-restricted diet or with regular meals, R-Lipoic acid can boost weight loss efforts by improving fat and glucose metabolism. This results in less sugar and fats being stored in the body and more being used for energy.

R-Lipoic acid can protect the eyes by counteracting the oxidative stress placed on these organs. This makes R-Lipoic acid one of the best compounds to prevent the onset of vision-related illnesses such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.

The anti-inflammatory effects of R-Lipoic acid have been shown to be useful in suppressing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

R-Lipoic acid can aid in post-exercise muscle regeneration by elevating antioxidant activity and reducing the amount of oxidative stress endured by the muscles.

Body systems supported by R-Lipoic acid

R-Lipoic acid benefits the skin by decreasing photoaging and roughness while simultaneously boosting skin thickness. Furthermore, R-Lipoic acid has been shown to accelerate wound healing and improve the appearance of scars. Hence why numerous skincare products have alpha-lipoic acid added into them.

As a fat- and water-soluble antioxidant, R-Lipoic acid can defend the liver by binding with the free radicals that would damage this organ’s cellular structures. Moreover, R-Lipoic acid supports regular liver enzyme levels.

R-Lipoic acid is notable as a potent neuroprotective agent, meaning it protects the brain by encouraging neuronal regeneration, enhancing brain function through increased glutathione levels, and neutralizing free radicals that can damage the brain and nerve tissues.

Where to learn more


R-Lipoic acid is a compound produced within the body that’s been observed to have noteworthy antioxidant properties. More than just supporting the health of the liver, brain, skin, and eyes, R-Lipoic acid can impede the progression of diseases like hypertension, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. R-Lipoic acid can provide relief from the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and COPD as well.

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