The naturally occurring form of lipoic acid

Does your lipoic acid supplement contain the form found in nature or a synthetic
by-product that may interfere with its beneficial effects?

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) has been called the ideal antioxidant and is a key component in the antioxidant network. ALA is neuroprotective, helps control blood sugar, increases ATP levels and chelates heavy metals. It has potent antioxidant actions against numerous types of free radicals in every cell of the body. It is effective in increasing or maintaining levels of other antioxidants, including CoQ10, vitamins C and E, and glutathione. ALA prevents inflammation, which is associated with all of the chronic degenerative diseases of aging. It is a key component of mitochondrial dehydrogenase complexes, which may help slow the natural aging process. ALA is the normal commercially available form of lipoic acid and a 50/50 racemic mixture of the R and S enantiomers.


R-Lipoic Acid (the R (+) enantiomer) is the naturally occurring and 99% chirally pure form found in the human body that is responsible for most of alpha-lipoic acid's beneficial effects. Commercially available ALA contains the unnatural S-Lipoic acid, which may interfere with the action of the R-form.1
R-Lipoic Acid may be better absorbed and is 10 times stronger than ALA at reducing inflammation.2
R-Lipoic Acid has been proven to significantly increase insulin sensitivity, enhance glucose transport, increase metabolic rate and reduce the gain in body fat associated with aging.
R-Lipoic Acid protects body fats against oxidative damage and reverses stress damage in the heart.
R-Lipoic Acid improves memory, reverses cognitive dysfunction and protects the brain from neurodegeneration associated with aging.
R-Lipoic Acid increases cellular and mitochondrial antioxidant activity and prevents mitochondrial decay.


R-Lipoic Acid is a highly unstable compound that easily polymerizes into a sticky rubber or glue-like substance if it is not prepared, stored and processed correctly. Even under the best conditions, RLA is extremely unstable. Exposure to air, light, moisture and temperatures slightly above ambient drastically reduces shelf life and increases the formation of this unwanted bi-product which may adversely affect bioavailability.


Potassium-R-Lipoate is a stable, non-hygroscopic, non-polymeric potassium salt form of R-Lipoic Acid. The material does not require any special handling or refrigeration. Potassium-R-Lipoate capsules are heat stable, characterized by fast dissolution rates, high solubility and absorption. The capsules are free of residual solvents and moisture. The shelf life is 3 years or greater.


There are wide variations in the R/S ratios and total polymer contents of raw material and finished products now on the market. Few supplement companies have experience with RLA and are unaware of the myriad of problems associated with its production and stability.

Information concerning RLA instability has not been passed on to their customers because their products have not been analyzed with state-of-the-art enantioselective HPLC equipment which reveals the R/S ratios and total polymer content. Frequently, supplement companies are relying solely on the manufacturer's Certificate of Analysis or are sending samples to analytical labs whose analysts have limited experience with enantioselective HPLC.

After processing RLA into Potassium-R-Lipoate, our material is retested independently for the RLA content of each individual batch. When the product is processed further into capsules, it is tested a third time to insure low polymer content and that we have met our own strict specifications.

Our product also contains optically pure and biologically active D-Biotin which may be reduced in the body by chronic use of lipoic acid.


1) Pharmaceutical composition containing R-alpha-lipoic acid or S-alpha-lipoic acid as active ingredient. Ulrich H, Weischer CH, et al. US Patent 5,728,735, 1998.

2) Oxidative stress in the aging rat heart is reversed by dietary supplementation with (R)-(alpha)-lipoic acid. Suh JH, Shigeno ET, et al. FASEB J 2001 Mar; 15(3): 700-6

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