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R- Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid - Dangerous?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by GoodVibesOnly, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. GoodVibesOnly


    Hi Everyone,

    I have been doing a lot of reading on this forum about ALA and opinions seem to be divided as to wether or not it should be used. For example some posts point to some members having used ALA as part of their daily supplement routine for years with perceived positive results. Other members however warn heavily against the use of ALA as per Cutler Protocol.

    This has left me feeling somewhat confused. My nutritionist has advised me to add ALA to my supplements. This has led to my research. It would be great to hear from everyone currently taking ALA/ R-ALA and what their personal experiences are? To my knowledge I have no amalgam fillings, these were all replaced about 10 years ago at my insistence. I don't think they were removed that safely tho....

    Also just thought i'd include my research below for information.

    I understand that there are 4/5 types of ALA as follows (please correct me if I am wrong):

    1. Generic ALA racemic mixture made of stereoisomers of R-ALA and S-ALA. This type leads to 50% efficacy and there are even studies which suggest that the S-ALA isomer may actually block the absorption of the R-ALA isomer. That said this is the version most medical studies have been based on (incl diabetes and neuropathy). The therapeutic doses for both are 600mg and 1,800 mg respectively in divided doses. It is also cheap, readily available and much more stable that standard non-stabilized R-ALA.

    2. R-ALA which consists solely of the R-ALA isomer, which the body recognises and can use. At least twice as efficient as Generic ALA, however very unstable at high temperatures and easily polymerizes under certain conditions which impacts absorption and leads to un-desirable effects within the body. The manufacturing process for R-ALA can also leave undesirable constituent by-products.

    3. Stabilized R-ALA (Na-R-ALA) is R-ALA stabilized during manufacturing as a Sodium Salt. This makes it more water soluble, free flowing but most importantly increases the stability of the R-ALA within the body.

    4. There is also an equivalent Potassium salt version of stabilized R-ALA (K-R-ALA).

    5. Finally there is a third type of stabilized R-ALA known as R-Dihydrolipoic acid which is fat soluble and has a longer half life.
    oceiv likes this.
  2. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

    Jerusalem, Israel
    Has someone tested the GeroNova liquid potassium r-lipoic acid ?
    Saw some very good crit' on Lynch's site...
    GoodVibesOnly and melamine like this.
  3. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

    Cornwall, UK
    I don't know which type of ALA is in Healthspan Lipo-carn (200 mg alpha-lipoic acid and 250 mg acetyl-l-carnitine), but I have been taking one a day for over 2 years with no apparent ill-effects.

    There is general info about ALA effects and safety here.

    Erica Verrillo's book Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition says
    The e-book has lots of references and links where you can find out more.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  4. melamine


    Upstate NY
    The short answer is yes, it can be dangerous. I have a history of toxic exposure primarily through dental mercury. Although I did a course of chelation I remain sensitive to ALA and need to be careful when using it. I have not found a problem with GeroNova R-Plus ALA every few days but was not taking more than 100mg/day of Genceutic Naturals 300mg R-Lipoic Acid + when I was using it.

    GeroNova Carnitine + was the carnitine I was using with those, I believe at half to full dose. As with many things it is mostly a matter of starting low and working up to tolerance. ALA does not have to be dangerous but some people have to use more caution, particularly those with a history of heavy metal exposure.

    It is possible that if issues with Candida, which binds mercury in the gut, is addressed first, that tolerance would rise. I have not looked into this.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
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  5. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

    Upstate SC, USA
    I've been taking 200mg 2x/day for several years as it is one of the few supplements that has helped me consistently.

    I've had dental amalgams for 45 years (much fewer now). If I do have mercury it is either stuck somewhere or I'm detoxing it fine. EDTA, DMSA, ALA didn't change my baseline blood, urine or hair(?) levels which were very low to begin with. I did have a little above range for lead, but I know where that came from and has been reduced to very low levels, but I'm not sure what reduced it other than time.

    I think it is a personal judgement call though. It could or couldn't cause adverse effects IMO.
    oceiv, sueami and GoodVibesOnly like this.
  6. David Hammond

    David Hammond

    A study by Gregus showed that alpha lipoic acid can increase mercury in the brain by a factor of 3. This is why lipoic acid should not be taken when one had dental amalgams or other current exposure to mercury. I took ALA for several months without noticing any side effects, then I started to have problems with my balance which didn't resolve until after I chelated using Culter's protocol.


    The problem with mercury toxicity is that the effects can be delayed for years before they become apparent.
    Deborah Rice, a researcher at the Toxicology Research Division in Ottawa, Canada, exposed five monkeys to small doses of methylmercury from birth to seven years of age. When examined at the age of 13, six years after dosing had ceased, some of these individuals exhibited clumsiness during routine activities. These treated monkeys also took longer to retrieve raisins than controls of a similar age.Human beings, with a much longer life span, have decades for the adverse effects of heavy metal poisoning to become apparent, and eventually to become disabling

    Rice DC. Delayed neurotoxicity in monkeys exposed developmentally to methylmercury. Neurotoxicology. 1989 Winter; 10(4):6450-50.
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