Na-R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid (1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid) is an antioxidant and involved in energy metabolism as a mitochondrial enzyme cofactor (1).
Unlike other Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) supplements, we offer superior bioavailability in the form of R-ALA, the naturally occurring type of ALA which is found in food sources and is produced within the body itself (5). The R-ALA we offer has been stabilized with a sodium salt molecule (the “Na” means sodium in its name).
R Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits
- Supports scavenging of free-radicals (ref)*
- Promotes antioxidant activity (ref)*
- Supports healthy nerve cells (ref)*
- May support healthy triglyceride levels (ref)*
- May support a healthy blood pressure (ref)*
- Highly bioavailable form of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ref)*
R Alpha Lipoic Acid Mode of Action
R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid (one of two mirror-image forms of ALA’s chemical structure) is created in mitochondria, specifically in the mitochondria of the liver. It is synthesized from its precursor octanoic acid and acts a cofactor to mitochondrial enzymes alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and pyruvate dehydrogenase. ALA also facilitates the production of acetyl-CoA through the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate (1).
ALA is water and fat soluble and as thiol antioxidant, it scavenges free radicals, recycles antioxidants, and chelates metal ions (2). ALA can reduce the oxidized antioxidant glutathione, meaning that it can help activate glutathione back to a reduced form in which it will be available to neutralize more free radicals (3). Along with glutathione, ALA can also reduce Vitamin C and Vitamin E from an oxidized state and mitigate protein damage due to oxidative stress (2).
ALA can be found in dietary sources such as meat (mostly organ tissue) and fruits and vegetables. Spinach, organ meat kidney, liver, and heart tissue, broccoli, and tomatoes are good sources of ALA (1). Other sources of ALA in foods are potatoes, carrots, yams, beets, and yeast (4).
What does the Na-R mean in Na-R-ALA?
ALA exists in two enantiomers (chemical structures which are mirror images of one another) which are differentiated by the directions in which they are oriented (right and left, respectively). Unless specified, most commercial ALA supplements exist in a 50/50 mixture of both the right and left structures. This type of mixture is called a racemic mixture.
Based on the most current scientific research and studies, Pure Nootropics has chosen to provide the R enantiomer for ALA. R-ALA is bioidentical to the form of ALA ingested from food and produced endogenously within the body. R-ALA on its own provides better bioavailability than the other enantiomer, but it requires stabilization from the addition of a salt molecule (when R-ALA is referred to as Na-R-ALA). The addition of the salt molecule enhances ALA’s solubility which further increases its bioavailability (6)(7)(8).
In this stabilized form, R-ALA increases peak plasma concentrations of ALA 40-50% more than in a standard racemic mixture (5).
R Alpha Lipoic Acid Dosage
Pure Nootropics’ Na-R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid capsules provide 250 mg per 1 capsule of stabilized NA-R-ALA that is standardized to contain at least 80% R-ALA. Suggested use for adults is 1 capsule by mouth on an empty stomach, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
R Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects & Toxicity
R-ALA is generally well tolerated. R-ALA side effects may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, a burning sensation in the esophagus, or bitter taste. Side effects are usually associated with higher doses (4).
Extremely high doses of ALA in thiamine-deficient animals have achieved lethality. Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you have Vitamin B1 deficiency or have a current or previous history of excessive alcohol consumption (4).
If you are taking any medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with ALA.
If you are taking any Anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications, alkylating medications, anti-diabetes medications, chemotherapy medications, or thyroid medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with ALA because these types of medications may interact adversely with ALA (4).
For further information, please see our References Tab above.