Synthesized alpha lipoic acid contains (R)-enantiomer and (S)-enantiomer, that is a racemic mixture. But, only the (R)-enantiomer is active in a biochemical reaction in our body.
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful, natural antioxidant slowly becoming recognized as having some unique properties in the therapy and prevention of a broad range of diseases. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid helps the body use glucose, hence alpha lipoic acid’s potential role in improving blood sugar control. Alpha lipoic acid reduces complications from a high sugar diet. Lipoic acid is readily absorbed from the diet or as a supplement. Alpha lipoic Acid has a variety of benefits, particularly for diabetics. This compound has an antioxydant activity as to be used for antiaging.
Most alpha lipoic acid products on the market have both forms of lipoic acid: the synthetic S form, and the natural R form. R-Lipoic acid is much more potent (2 times on average) than commonly sold synthetic lipoic acid which contains both the R and S forms of lipoic acid. The S form is chemically the mirror image of the R form of lipoic acid and cannot be used by the body, hence it is useless.
A synthetic alpha lipoic acid product, 50/50 racemized, contains (R)- and (S)-enantiomers but only the (R)-form is active. Thus, R-Alpha lipoic acid R-50 is a single enantiomeric supplement that has the ability of the blood sugar control. On the other hand, the inactive (S)-enantiomer should be separated and removed. Thus, 50 mg of R-Lipoic Acid is equivalent to 100 mg of synthetic lipoic acid.
Consequently, the herbal supplement of alpha lipoic acid shoud not contain the (S)-enantiomer for the medicinally chemical effectiveness. Thus, the alpha lipoic R-50 including the (R)-enantiomer is an ideal herbal supplement as an antioxydant.