T Nation

Alpha Lipoic Users


Just ordered some Na-R-ALA for the wife as I've read it can help with acne.

Anyone know of good brands for it? Not going to buy ReceptorMax just for the Na-R-ALA ingredient.

If it isn't ok to answer in this thread due to board rules, feel free to PM me


I'm pretty sure Poliquin has it in his store, of course it's more expensive. You can go to BB.com and search for ALA and see what's a pure top-rated product.


This is just pure conjecture here, but how does N-R-ALA help with acne?

I always breakout when my insulin is kept high, and N-R-ALA helps with blood sugar; if that is the mechanism by which it helps would not chromium, cinnulin PF, or fish oil also help?

Just me rambling, as I find it weird how the sodium chelated R-isomer was recommended over regular ALA, as the latter seems to have more widespread benefits but much less blood sugar control.


ALA helps with glycation for one, and I read something else but forget the terms used.

She's already on fish oil 10-12g/day but just switched her to Flameout as we were using another brand.


not to sound like a smart arse but why not go to the doctor and get prescription acne medication?


tried that. gets expensive, but I'd rather treat the problem that is causing it rather than just covering up the issue.

Was going to do an elimination diet this week, but will wait till next week after seeing if the ALA will help


I may be mistaken, but I think the method R-ALA helps with glycation is just removing excess glucose from the blood. How this helps with acne I have no clue.

However, if glycation = bad for the skin, then Cinnulin PF and other insulinomimetics would work in the same manner; maybe not chromium since it is a oxidant.

But yeah, Benzoyl Peroxide on your face 3x a day and put a clean towel over your pillow every night; will reduce acne in a flash if zinc levels are adequate and insulin is kept low.

As for the towel, it really doesn't help the skin by rubbing your face into something that resembles a drool stained WWI bandaid for 8 hours a day.


What were you using? I used to have acne until I started taking doxycycline. It only cost $16 for 28 50mg capsules in Australia.


You should see about having her try a lactoferrin product (get one with 250-300 mg, as they are a better value then the lower dose ones). Jarrow makes a good one. If you google "Jarrow Formulas Lactoferrin -- 250 mg - 60 Capsules" you'll find a few sites that sell if for 60%+ off retail. It's about $15. Almost all the reviews are good and report improvements with skin and reduction in acne problems.

As for Na-R-ALA, I haven't heard of it helping acne. interesting. Anyway, what does are you looking for. 100mg? 300 mg? For 100 mg, try googling "Source Naturals R-Lipoic Acid -- 100 mg - 30 Tablets" and see the shopping results. 300 - Life Extension makes one at a fair price.


Thanks for the tips! On the towel on the pillow tip, is it bacteria or oils on the pillow?


I've trained an estetician (sp) and she said the same thing about the pillow case due to bacteria.

I doubt that's it though. This has been recent problem in the past 2 months, worse than normal.


No clue, I just know it was touted on another website I visit as a cure for acne. A few days later an abnormal amount of people tried it and it showed great effects.

I would imagine oils, since it was your face being pressed into the pillow. If it were bacteria I would think the media would try to scare us with a 'sleep infection' story.


Check out some of the reviews for lactoferrin too! I obviously have no financial interest in it, but seriously every review I read on it ppl were claiming that it helped with their acne.

I just recently bought some, so I won't be able to tell you yet if it improves my skin for a few weeks time.


Yeah. True about the bacteria-media thing. Actually now I think I remember it is the oil, not from your face, but from your hair. The hair oil collects on the pillow if I remember correctly. If you wash your hair at night you'd probably have the same effect I guess. I'm not really a fan of excessively washing the oils off of your hair and skin though, so I think I might try changing pillow cases every night or every other night and see if that helps.


Its both bacterial and from oil. The sebum is in the hair follicles, which is the main cause of acne. The bacteria simply spread once they start eating the oil. If your wife has really oily hair after not washing it for a day it might be she has very active or over active sebaceous glands.

So far I've noticed that washing your face with some kind of emulsifier works (no yolks lol), anything with SLS in it usually works, so basic soap it fine. it will dry the skin out a little, so use something like coconut oil, which is antibacterial, to help moisturize the skin. If her hair and skin aren't very oily it's a bad bacterial infection. Use something more gentle on the face, like tea tree oil. That helped me a lot when I was younger. That too is antibacterial, and a very good one.


BPT- any idea how much lactoferrin to take?

I ordered the Jarrow product 250mg pills.

I did a quick google search, and seems that 800mg was used in studies to improve acne. Any other info for me?


I suffered from chronic acne, it was serious enough that I was prescribed accutane. My advice is to look into her diet. When I did a low carb veggie and meat only diet, my acne subsided.

Btw, I've been taking ALA for the past 2 weeks to improve my insulin sensitive since its a potent antioxidant that works like an insulin mimicker. Can't say I've noticed improvements, but it did give me a better pump during workouts.

Other things worth looking into would be vitamin D, perfect skin by geniune health. Most important factor is still the overall diet.


That's not entirely correct, it's just that racemic ALA's glucose control benefits are dose-dependent. Perhaps only the R-isomer works in this manner, but as regular ALA is half R-lipoic acid, you just need more to do the same thing, and perhaps even more than that wothout chelation (for improved bioavailability).

OP, I use Vitamin Shoppe brand, regular ALA. It works perfectly fine and is cheap; however, they do not make an R-ALA product. I don't know if acne-specific use requires R-ALA, but I imagine you'd be fine with regular ALA, just dosed higher as described above.