Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is an organic compound that’s made in the body. It serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production. It’s made inside the mitochondrion, where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. The antioxidant properties of alpha-lipoic acid have been linked to several benefits, including lower blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed skin aging, and improved nerve function. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, ease symptoms of nerve damage, and lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy.