Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects: Are There Any?

The ideal daily dose of alpha lipoic acid is between 50mg to 100mg. Not many serious side effects are linked to alpha lipoic acid.

With excess amounts of alpha lipoic acid you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Low blood sugar

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant and fatty acid naturally produced within the body. Its main function is to produce glutothimone, a small molecule that helps dissolve toxins in the liver. Alpha lipoic acid works with the body to turn glucose to energy. Since alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant, it helps fight free radicals which can cause disease and damage cells. Meats and vegetables are good sources of alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid can help people with cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and diabetes.

Alpha lipoic acid also helps by:

  • Improving benefits of vitamins C and E
  • Fighting free radicals
  • Detoxifying your body
  • Combating effects of aging

Effects of aging are reduced with alpha lipoic acid because it is an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Besides forming naturally in the body, free radicals can result from pollution, smoking, and alcohol. Free radicals can cause unwanted skin problems like fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.

Alpha lipoic acid supplements are a good idea since the antioxidant is only present in small amounts of foods like:

  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Organ meats
  • Rice bran

The Perricone Alpha Lipoic Acid Dietary Supplement provides a safe amount of daily alpha lipoic acid without minor alpha lipoic acid side effects. Dr. Perricone recommends taking 2 supplements a day with meals.

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20 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I’d prefer to go further a bit much more on this subject

  2. october 27 2012

  3. Donna.. I have had similar symptoms after taking ALA for about a month now. I began taking ALA due to suspected arthritis/pain/pins and needles sensation in my feet and ankles making it difficult to walk. I am 48 years old and in good health. No diabetes or B/P issues. Cholesterol borderline 180-220 though. I was taking 400mg/day and noticed severe bilateral leg/calf pain extending up through the buttocks/hips. Will be eliminating the ALA for now to see if there is any relief.

  4. [...] Alpha lipoic acid side effects vary from person to person. Current side effects known, for otherwise healthy adults, can include skin rash, cramping muscles, headache, stomach ache, tingling sensation (pins and needles), nausea, lowering of blood sugar, and lowering of thiamine. [...]

  5. I was diagnosed with RA several years ago, it was over a year before the Dr. found the right combination of medication to reduce the joint pain, stiffness and swelling, However I was on 4 types of pills and taking 2 injections twice a week. One of my co-workers mention that alpha lipoic acid was good for inflammation and Arthritis, so I picked up some from my local GNC store 600mg tablets. I take them daily around the same time everyday, within a month I notice that the swelling and stiffness began to fade. Now 4 months into taking ALA I haven’t had a flare up of any kind, before I was back and forth to the Dr. getting shots for the pain. It also help me to loss weight. No side effects. I feeling great. Try it for yourself.

  6. I am on day 3 of taking ALA 300 mg(not perricone, a diff brand)for weight loss assistance, per Dr Oz. I felt enerigized,but on day 3 felt OVER energized, like a caffeine supplement. ? so.. maybe I should take it every “other” day. ?

  7. I began taking Alpha Lipoic Acid about 5 or 6 weeks ago. In 3 or 4 weeks I began having severe muslce pain from my buttocks down to my calves also in my upper arms. Since it is supposed to help with cholesterol I am thinking it is affecting my muscles like the prescriptions statins do.. I stopped taking Alpha Lipoic Acid 3 days ago and still hurt I suppose it will take a while to get it out of my system. I am wondering if anyone has had any other similar complaints.

  8. Thank you for your comment, Jose. I decided to look up side effects from ALA; I had the exact same skin reaction on my arms and legs. I thought it was from the sun because I had been outside. But, the Alpha Lipoic Acid was the only thing different in my diet/regime. I stopped it and would love to know why this rash develops…

  9. I have been diagnosed with life-threatening hypoglycemia due to liver problems. (Non diabetes, non insulin, non diet related). I bought R-ALA (the natural form of ALA) and the label has a blood sugar warning. Is it safe for someone like me to take or will it further lower my blood sugar? I was hoping R-ALA would help fix my liver so I can have normal blood sugar levels again. Diet control does not help, brown rice & lentils put me to sleep, protein does not stabilize the only thing is emergency fruit juice needs as my levels dip rapidly particularly upon awakening. I constantly need to replenish glucose & losing weight the more (organic, 100% natural) sugary foods/juices I eat/drink.

    So does R-ALA pose a danger to my health or would it bring my blood sugar up? Does it normalize b.s. like an adaptogen would or does it always lower it?

  10. Hi … I used ALA for quite long, noticed great deal of improvement in skin but slowly started losing hair and started having grey hair quite much .. I am just 33 yrs old and my regime was 100m ALA from GNC and 500 mg vitamin c. My hair has thinned a lot I did some research and found that AL mimics natural compound in the blood and hence competes with it and depletes hair of that natural compound.
    Further more kindly inform what should be done to reverse the loss ..

  11. I have been using ALA for quite some time. Then I decided to take a break from my supplement regimine for a few weeks. When I returned to using ALA, I decided to try a new time release ALA. I broke out in something similiar to hives that was very itchy and had red skin and blotches all over my legs and arms, but not on my face or chest. It took awhile to figure out which supplement was the cause. I figured it was because I used the time release product versus a non time release ALA. So I reverted to my old ALA I used before (300mg is what I have always used) and I broke out again but not as bad. It still takes about 2.5-3 days to get my skin back to normal. My question is has anyone experienced these symptoms before. I just find it so strange that I have developed this and wonder why.

  12. I’m a great believer in taking supplements to help with diabetes. A lot of these contain ALA but as yet I’m not aware of any alpha lipoic acid side effects.

  13. i’ve been taking dr. perricone’s list of super supplements for a few months. I ran out of coq 10 and alpha lipoic and didn’t get replacements for a few weeks. I feel these 2 really do work well for my skin! and am excited to be back on my regiment!

  14. I have had a TON of wrinkles AND giant pores since using ALA. I had always been told I look young for my age. I read Dr. Perricone’s book and began buying ALA products. My skin kept getting worse and worse, so much so that my family members have noticed. I was hoping that the “skin remodeling” would ultimately lead to nice looking skin, as this same type of process happens with copper peptides. It is called going through the “uglies”. However, there seems to be no end in sight as to how bad my skin can look from this stuff. I would suggest anyone else proceed with extreme caution.

  15. I have a medical condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy my doctor told me to take this it would help with the swelling and nurve pain that i have. He told me i should take 300 for 500 mg a day.

  16. I have often wondered if there were any negative impacts. Everyone talks about the ALAs like they are THE thing- and your honest exploration of them makes a great deal. I was also really impressed by how you gave examples of food based sources.

  17. I recently lost 60 pounds and have stepped up an exercise plan walking the lakes and in the pool, however I have noticed many more wrinkles. Help. I’m 60

  18. I heard that it’s good to take ala. I would like to try it!

  19. I’m very interested in a natural anti-imflammator. Would be interested in trying and following a regimen of this kind.

  20. I have often wondered if there were any negative impacts. Everyone talks about the ALAs like they are THE thing- and your honest exploration of them makes a great deal of sense. I was also really impressed by how you gave examples of food based sources.