There’s no getting around it. Losing weight can be hard. But more and more research shows that one of the most important things you can do when you’re cutting calories is to take alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
ALA is one of my all-time favorite dietary supplements. This antioxidant is a powerhouse for heart, liver, and kidney health. And it can help control blood sugar and fight diabetes.
ALA is especially important when you’re dieting, for two reasons:
- It enhances your body’s ability to convert food into energy.
- It discourages fat formation.
And now a new study confirms that it can help you lose significantly more weight than dieting alone.1 ALA can do this by itself or combined with another all-star, eicosapentaenoic acid. EPA is one of the primary essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.
In the 10-week study, 97 overweight or obese women were put on an eating plan in which their total daily calories were cut by 30 percent. The women were then divided into four groups. One group was given 300 mg of ALA daily, one group received 1.3 grams of EPA a day, and another group was given both ALA and EPA. The fourth group got a placebo.
At the end of the study, the placebo group lost an average of 11.4 pounds, and the EPA group lost an average of 11.9 pounds.
The women who took ALA lost the most weight—a whopping 15.4 pounds on average. The ALA/EPA group was close behind, losing 14.3 pounds.
While the group taking ALA lost the most weight, researchers said the EPA supplementation significantly reduced the decrease in leptin, the hormone that regulates hunger.
So if hunger pangs derail your weight-loss efforts, you might want to supplement your ALA regimen with EPA. You’ll lose almost as much weight and likely feel more comfortable doing it.
I recommend taking 100 mg of ALA three times a day. It’s an easy way to be slimmer and healthier overall.
And if you want to add EPA, I recommend taking it in the form of fish oil so that you get a dose of the essential fatty acid DHA at the same time. I typically recommend 3,000 mg EPA and DHA per day.
1“Effects of α-lipoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in overweight and obese women during weight loss.” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb; 23(2): 313-21.