Also known as: ALA, biletan, acetate replacing factor, thioctic acid.
Potential uses: An antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid is said to help a variety of ailments, including diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, dementia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Usual dose: Oral doses range from 300 to 1,200 milligrams per day.
Are there any risks? Clinical trials lasting from 4 months to 2 years have shown no significant side effects from taking alpha-lipoic acid. But no research has looked at taking it for longer than that.
What does the research show? Studies show that alpha-lipoic acid helped improve insulin response in people with diabetes. But no research has shown that alpha-lipoic acid offers any benefits for people with breast cancer.