Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring vitamin-like nutrient that has been intensely investigated as a beneficial agent for a variety of bodily functions involving the nervous, immune, and detoxification systems. It exists as two enantiomers or stereoisomers. It is produced in small amounts in the liver and other body tissues.
Alpha-lipoic acid is considered to be a multimodal supplement because, aside from its enzymatic role in energy production, it acts by multiple mechanisms and displays diverse health-enhancing and antioxidant properties. Recently discovered is Alpha-lipoic acid's ability to regulate several genes linked to cell survival and oxidative stress. Therefore, in addition to its enzymatic role, Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant and performs a number of other vital functions related to its ability to modify the expression of various genes. Supplementing with Alpha-lipoic acid is, therefore, not so much a direct benefit to cells, but rather an indirect aid that effectively "kick starts" declining function, helping cells recover functionality that came more easily and naturally in youth.