What is Doctor’s Best Alpha-Lipoic Acid? Alpha-lipoic acid is a sulfur-containing fatty acid that performs vitamin-like roles in the body. It functions as a co-enzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrates and is required for synthesis of acetyl CoA, a key metabolite in the cellular process that turns glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Because the body produces alpha-lipoic acid on its own, it is not classified as a true vitamin. But as with other non-essential nutrients, internal production may not always be optimal. How does it work? Alpha-lipoic acid is a key factor in the cellular process that metabolizes glucose for energy production. Aging is accompanied by a decreased ability of the liver to recycle ascorbic acid following oxidative stress. R-lipoic acid, after two weeks of supplementation to aged rats, reversed the age-related impairment of ascorbic acid recycling and concentration in liver cells. Aging is associated with oxidative stress in the brain. The brain’s high rate of metabolism make it particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. Since alpha-lipoic-acid interrupts cellular oxidative processes in both its oxidized and reduced forms, it plays a modulatory role in the brain and nervous system. Why should I take Doctor’s Best Alpha-Lipoic Acid? An ideal antioxidant would have the ability to quench a wide variety of free radicals, to support the functioning of other antioxidants, to bind or “chelate” metal ions that can generate free radicals, to function in aqueous and fatty environments in tissues, cells, and extracellular spaces. Alpha-lipoic acid has been termed the “universal antioxidant.” As we age, our ability to synthesize alpha-lipoic acid decreases and levels of oxidized proteins that interfere with mitochondrial efficiency increase. Supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid, a “mitochondrial nutrient”, addresses this situation.