The main difference between alpha lipoic acid and R lipoic acid is that alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant while R-lipoic acid is the cis form of alpha-lipoic acid. Furthermore, alpha-lipoic acid attacks free radicals which cause damages to the cells while R-lipoic acid serves as a co-factor for mitochondrial enzymes during the energy production by cellular respiration.
Alpha-lipoic acid and R-lipoic acid are two types of compounds produced by cells. Both have structures similar to vitamins. Significantly, the two enantiomers of alpha-lipoic acid are the R-lipoic acid (“right hand”) and the S-lipoic acid (“left hand”).
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Alpha Lipoic Acid
– Definition, Formation, Role
2. What is R Lipoic Acid
– Definition, Formation, Role
3. What are the Similarities Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and R Lipoic Acid
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and R Lipoic Acid
– Comparison of Key Differences
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Antioxidants, Co-Factor, Enantiomers, R Lipoic Acid (RLA), S Lipoic Acid (SLA)
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a sulfur-containing organic compound, which is a vitamin-like antioxidant. It is also known as lipoic acid (LA) and thioctic acid. It consists of two enantiomers: R-lipoic acid, which is natural, and S-lipoic acid, which is unnatural. The formation of S-lipoic acid occurs in the laboratory through various chemical reactions.
Furthermore, the main function of alpha-lipoic acid is to serve as a strong antioxidant, attacking free radical formed in the body. These free radicals can damage cell including DNA, making it difficult for the body to fight against infections. On the other hand, alpha-lipoic acid aids in the regeneration of other types of antioxidants in the body as well. Also, all the cells in the body produce alpha-lipoic acid to aid in the production of energy from glucose inside mitochondria.
What is R Lipoic Acid
R-lipoic acid (RLA) is one of the two enantiomers of alpha-lipoic acid, which is naturally produced inside both animal and plant cells. The formation of R-lipoic acid occurs inside mitochondria through a series of biochemical reactions starting from octanoic acid. Moreover, R-lipoic acid occurs inside the cell attached to protein molecules.
However, the main function of R-lipoic acid is to serve as a co-factor, assisting the enzymes, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and pyruvate dehydrogenase in mitochondria. Dihydrolipoic acid is the reduced form of R-lipoic acid. It is a strong antioxidant. Due to the antioxidant properties of R-lipoic acid, it reduces the effects of aging. On the other hand, it prevents the loss of vitamin C and glutathione in the liver. These losses cause aging.
Similarities Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and R Lipoic Acid
- Alpha-lipoic acid and R-lipoic acid are two types of vitamin-like compounds produced by both plant and animal cells.
- Both perform an important function in the body.
Difference Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and R Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid refers to an organosulfur compound, which acts as a free radical scavenger and assists in repairing oxidative damage while R-lipoic acid refers to one of the two enantiomers of alpha-lipoic acid, which is essential for cellular function and energy production. Thus, this is the main difference between alpha lipoic acid and R lipoic acid.
While Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant produced by cells, R-lipoic acid and S-lipoic acid are the two enantiomers of alpha-lipoic acid.
Another major difference between alpha lipoic acid and R lipoic acid is their function. Alpha-lipoic acid serves as an antioxidant while R-lipoic acid serves as a co-factor to the mitochondrial enzymes during cellular respiration.
Moreover, Alpha-lipoic acid is important in neural degeneration and in preventing difficulties in diabetes while R-lipoic acid is important in decreasing the effects of aging. Hence, this is another difference between alpha lipoic acid and R lipoic acid.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant which attacks free radicals formed inside the body. It is a racemic compound whose enantiomers are R-lipoic acid and S-lipoic acid. R-lipoic acid is the naturally-producing form of alpha-lipoic acid by cells. R-lipoic acid serves as a co-factor for mitochondrial enzymes during energy production. However, the main difference between alpha lipoic acid and R lipoic acid is their relationship and function.
1. “Different Forms of Lipoic Acid: What You Need to Know.” GeroNova Research, Available Here
1. “AlphaLipoicAcid” (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “(RS)-Lipoic Acid Structural Formulea V” By Jü – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
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