Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects

Alpha lipoic acid side effects may include:

  • headache
  • gastrointestinal disturbance
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • skin rash
  • tingling and a feeling of 'pins and needles' under the skin

Excess doses of alpha lipoic acid can cause low blood sugar levels. See 'dangers of alpha lipoic acid' below.

Safety & Dangers of Alpha Lipoic Acid

In general, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is considered a safe supplement to take.

Studies on the effects of ALA on rats found that it didn't cause the organs it was being treated for to become toxic. Alpha lipoic has also been found not to be carcinogenic (not linked to causing cancer).

Alpha Lipoic Acid - Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

However, research on alpha lipoic acid is quite limited and it is only in recent times that it has been taken as a supplement. Any possible long term effects are not yet known.

Research on ALA is limited; there are no studies on the effects of alpha lipoic acid on pregnant women and those women who breastfeed. As such it is advisable for pregnant women and those women breastfeeding not to take alpha lipoic acid.

Alpha Lipoic Acid & Insulin Autoimmune Syndrome

In rare circumstances, alpha lipoic acid may cause insulin autoimmune syndrome; also known as Hirata disease. This possible cause of Hirata disease by ALA was first reported in a study of Japanese patients [9]. Hirata disease is a condition is characterized by hypoglycemia; a low blood sugar (glucose) level with high levels of insulin. With this disease, antibodies malfunction. They become autoantibodies and can attack the body's insulin.

How Much Alpha Lipoic Acid Can A Person Take?

There are No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) for alpha lipoic acid.

A two year study of the side effects of ALA suggested a safe upper level dosage of 60mg per kilogram of body weight per day.

Alpha Lipoic Acid - Interactions With Other Drugs

In some circumstances, alpha lipoic acid may interact with other drugs counteracting their effectiveness. Diabetics should seek advise from a doctor first before taking ALA as it can counteract diabetic medication such as Glucophage (metformin), Diabeta & Glynase (glyburide).

Alpha lipoic acid can also affect people taking medication for thyroid problems including levothyroxine.