Lipoic acid is a sulfur-containing vitamin substance.
Plays an important role as a necessary cofactor in two vital cellular energy production (ATP) reactions.
Lipoic acid is not considered a vitamin probably both because the body is able to produce acceptable levels and because it is taken in sufficient quantities with food.
Properties of lipoic acid
Is involved in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.
When sugar is metabolized for energy, is converted into pyruvic acid.
If there is a large amount of oxygen available to the cell, pyruvate is broken down by an enzyme complex containing lipoic acid, thiamine and niacin.
When the oxygen supply is low, the cell converts pyruvic acid into lactic acid.
During exercise, lactic acid tends to accumulate, especially if the activity is anaerboic (more intense) rather than aerobic (less intense).
The accumulation of lactic acid causes muscle fatigue.
Antioxidant properties are attributed to lipoic acid.
Since lipoic acid is both water-soluble and fat-soluble, can be useful against a wider range of free radicals than vitamin C and vitamin E. Recent studies conducted in mice, lipoic acid can mimic the antioxidant effects of these latter nutrients-
Side effects of lipoic acid
Lipoic acid supplements appear to be safe.
Can give side effects only if consumed in overdose and in abetting to particular debilitating physical conditions of the person.
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