Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that was first isolated in the early 1950's. As a supplement, ALA has two primary functions - helping convert food into energy and antioxidant protection. In terms of energy production, ALA is a co-factor for some of the key enzymes involved in generating energy from food - like ATP. As an antioxidant, ALA boosts glutathione levels in cells and has potent antioxidant action in almost all the tissues of the body.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) supplements come in tablets, capsules and bulk powder.
"A few small clinical trials suggest that specific antioxidants from diet or vitamin supplements might improve asthma control or lung function in asthmatic children or adults."
Some studies have found that antioxidants can slow the progression of some auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
However, a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, found that "Randomized, placebo-controlled trials—which, when performed well, provide the strongest evidence—offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The results of the largest such trials have been mostly negative."