Alpha Lipoic Acid (RS-ALA)
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant with anti aging properties. It is often used in skin care products intended to reduce inflammation, improve cellular energy production, and for neutralizing heavy metals. It is currently being tested for anti-aging properties, and shows much promise for reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
About Alpha Lipoic Acid in DIY Skin Care
Alpha Lipoic Acid, which is both water and fat-soluble, meaning it can stay for long in the body, is a good antioxidant which also has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Alpha Lipoic Acid’s ability to combat free radicals in the skin means that it is an antioxidant that reduces the impact and effects of photoaging and aids in cancer prevention. Topical application of 3% Alpha Lipoic acid in a lecithin base has been shown to reduce erythema induced by UVB radiation.
The major impact of Alpha Lipoic Acid is as an antioxidant where it has been found to have the following key properties:
It has a capacity and ability to chelate metals.
It is able to scavenge reactive oxygen species. This means that it is powerful in stopping the chain reactions of free radicals which saves the body from a lot of cellular structure changes and DNA changes.
It has the ability to regenerate antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E when these have been depleted due to the action of free radicals.
It has the ability and capacity to repair the results of oxidation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid side-effects.
Alpha Lipoic Acid does not appear to have any major side-effects. However, higher amounts of Alpha Lipoic Acid may also cause burning or stinging sensations or a mild rash on skin.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is highly sensitive to UV radiation and degrades very quickly in the presence of UV radiation.
Alpa Lipoic acid should therefore be used as a sun damage treatment, NOT a sun damage prevention product.
The effectiveness of Alpa Lipoic acid is believed to be due to its by-product, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA).
Although DHLA has a more powerful antioxidative effect than Alpa Lipoic acid, it is very unstable and is oxidized in the skin within minutes of application.
Alpa Lipoic acid has become popular due to the fact that it is absorbed in a stable form and after entrance into cells, is immediately converted to DHLA
From alpha Lipoic Acid to dihydrolipoic acid
Alpha Lipoic acid is an example of an existing drug whose therapeutic effect has been related to its antioxidant activity. 
Dihydrolipoic acid [DHLA], formed by reduction of lipoic acid, has more antioxidant properties than does lipoic acid. 
Both dihydrolipoic acid [DHLA], and Alpha lipoic acid have metal-chelating capacity and scavenge ROS, whereas only DHLA is able to regenerate endogenous antioxidants and to repair oxidative damage. 
Alpha lipoic acid can act as an antioxidant against the pro-oxidant activity produced by dihydrolipoic acid [DHLA]. 
Dihydrolipoic acid [DHLA], has the capacity to regenerate the endogenous antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C and Glutathione. 
Alpha lipoic acid topically applied to skin penetrated readily, and was reduced to 
Alpha lipoic acid was converted rapidly by the cells to dihydrolipoic acid. 
Topically applied Alpha Lipoic Acid may:
- prevent or reduce UVA and UVB sun damage:     
- act as an anti oxidant     
- increase collagen production 
- act as an anti inflammatory 
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