Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. It is also made in the laboratory for use as medicine.
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.