Lipoic acid works as a powerful and unique antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals in both the water- and fat-soluble parts of the cell and cell membrane, and is capable of regenerating vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants from their oxidized into their reduced forms, making them active once again. LA increases production of another powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is a well known liver detoxifier. LA forms dihydrolipoic acid in the body, which is an even more powerful antioxidant than LA.
In addition to its antioxidant abilities, LA chelates metal ions; repairs oxidized proteins, which are related to the aging process; regulates gene transcription and increases antioxidant gene expression; and inhibits activation of nuclear factor kappa B, which is involved in gene expression and in inflammatory and immune responses. LA activates: genes regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which in turn regulate gene expression; carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism; and tumour-activating processes. These varied effects are responsible for the activity of LA in promoting health, providing energy, aiding in weight loss, and protecting against the development of chronic disease and premature aging.