Since the only difference between natural lipoic acid and alpha lipoic acid is its isomerism, people use these terms interchangeably.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Lipoic Acid
3. What is Alpha Lipoic Acid
4. Similarities Between Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid
5. Side by Side Comparison – Lipoic Acid vs Alpha Lipoic Acid in Tabular Form
What is Lipoic Acid?
Lipoic acid is a sulfur-containing fatty acid, regarded as an element of the vitamin B complex. However, in general, this refers to its R isomer. Thus, this is known as R-lipoic acid. Further, because this R isomer is the active form, it is the form that our body requires for different functions (rather than the S isomer).
Also, lipoic Acid is also an antioxidant. It is important in raising the blood level, and thus, it is useful in regulating the blood sugar level.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid is a 50/50 mixture of R isomer and S isomer of lipoic acid; that is, R-lipoic acid and S-lipoic acid. It is a vitamin-like compound. It can also act as an antioxidant because it can neutralize dangerous free radicals formed inside our body. Further, the human body naturally produces this compound.
Alpha lipoic acid is the most common commercially available form of lipoic acid. Also, we can get it from sources such as yeast, liver, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. This compound has the ability to prevent cell damages, improve the function of nerves, and to restore the low levels of Vitamin E. Because of these features, it is useful in reducing burning pain, numbness, and other nerve-related symptoms that occur due to diabetes. Further, it can also help in breaking down carbohydrates to produce energy in our body.
What are the Similarities Between Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid?
- Both are useful in regulating the blood sugar level and treating symptoms arising due to diabetes
What is the Difference Between Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid?
Lipoic Acid vs Alpha Lipoic Acid
|The term Lipoic acid generally refers to the R isomer of lipoic acid.||Alpha lipoic acid is a 50/50 mixture of R isomer and S isomer of lipoic acid.|
|Naturally in R isomer form||A mixture of R and S isomers forms|
|R isomer or the natural lipoic acid is the active form required for body functions||Less important since it contains both active R isomer and inactive S isomer.|
Summary – Lipoic Acid vs Alpha Lipoic Acid
Lipoic acid and alpha lipoic acid differ from each other only in their isomerism. Because of this, the terms can be used interchangeably. However, the key difference between lipoic acid and alpha lipoic acid is that the lipoic acid, in its natural form, is the R isomer whereas alpha lipoic acid is a mixture of R isomer and S isomer.
1. “Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, Available here.
2. “FAQ – GeroNova Research – R Lipoic Acid.” GeroNova Research, Available here.
3. “Understanding Different Forms of Lipoic Acid.” DrNibber.com, Available here.