Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant also known as Acetate Replacing Factor, ALA, Biletan, Lipoicin, Thioctan, and many other names.
It is a naturally occurring fatty acid that can be found in many foods such as yeast, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and organ meats such as liver or kidney.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in weight loss, treating diabetic nerve pain, healing wounds, lowering blood sugar, improving skin discoloration caused by vitiligo, and decreasing complications of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Alpha-lipoic acid may have been combined with other plants or extracts in a specific preparation to treat these conditions.
Alpha-lipoic acid has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic liver problems, altitude sickness, heart-related nerve problems, HIV-related brain problems, or eye problems caused by diabetes. However, research has shown that alpha-lipoic acid may not be effective in treating these conditions.
Other uses not proven with research have included treating glaucoma, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, heart failure, dementia, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg pain caused by sciatic nerve damage or peripheral artery disease (PAD), anti-aging of the skin, and other conditions. (According to drugs.com)