T Nation

Alpha lipoic acid to help with drinking

I have a friend who will be going on spring break next week and he is somewhat concerned about the possibility of putting on too much weight. I wanted to know if using ALA could help minimize the damage? I told him to take 200mg before he goes drinking but I don’t even know if this is would be effective in the least. Can anyone give me an idea if this will help? I know it won’t offset all the problems but will it help? Thanks guys.

There’s been some rather vehement discussions on different forums regarding whether ALA is more harmful than beneficial for weight loss purposes. The controversy centers around the fact that while ALA has been proven clinically effective for lowering blood glucose levels, it’s probable means for doing so is through increased insulin sensitivity. Unfortunately, that increase has not been shown to be specific to muscle tissue and most likely also extends to adipose tissue, thus (likely) resulting in increased fat storage on a hypercaloric diet. (This effect can be verified to some extent by extrapolating multiple studies which show that Metformin – a drug which also lowers blood glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity – affects adipose tissue insulin binding and is in fact anti-lipolytic.) For various reasons, ALA is highly beneficial on a hypocaloric diet, but that obviously doesn’t apply to your buddy, who will no doubt be sucking down a shitload of cheeseburgers and pizza along with massive amounts of beer. In sum, ALA will likely do more harm than good in his case, so just tell him to quit worrying about it and enjoy himself.