Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a highly-potent antioxidant that is available as a dietary supplement. Using alpha lipoic acid for weight loss is recommended as part of a balanced diet and adequate physical fitness regimen. The antioxidant works by stimulating the body's ability to convert food into energy and is water soluble. While there are no current recommendations on the daily amounts of this supplement to take, certain individuals should be cautious about using it.
When using alpha lipoic acid for weight loss, a normal dosage amount would be anywhere from 20 to 50 milligrams (mg). Pregnant or nursing women should not take the supplement since its effects on developing infants are unknown. Likewise, individuals with kidney or liver troubles should refrain from taking it. Diabetics and those on thyroid medications are advised to check with a medical professional before taking ALA.
Alpha lipoic acid may help reduce appetite, increase an individual's energy, and stimulate the metabolism by regulating insulin levels. It can help prevent weight gain, but should not be relied upon as a sole source of weight loss support. It is still important to decrease caloric intake and increase physical activity. Using ALA is not guaranteed to produce any visible results and instead usually ends up enhancing an individual's other weight loss efforts.
If an individual chooses to take this supplement, a standard or low dosage will typically suffice. It is not necessary to take more than one to two pills a day, usually with a meal. Some professionals recommend that it be taken with the first meal of the day and with a full glass of water.
Alpha lipoic acid can be taken with other natural supplements to enhance a person's weight loss efforts. Some of those supplements include l-carnitine, DMAE and coenzyme Q-10. Most of these natural vitamins and substances work by reducing inflammation and regulating blood sugar levels. They can also help increase metabolism and muscle tone through physical activity.
Side effects associated with using alpha lipoic acid include headaches, tingling, rashes, and muscle cramping. Some individuals develop hypoglycemia as a result of excessive intake, so it is important to monitor how the body responds to a normal dosage. When taking any natural supplement, it is also vital that an individual talk to a medical professional to avoid adverse reactions with prescription medications.