Alpha-lipoic acid was discovered in 1951, and has long been recognized as a coenzyme needed to break down sugar for energy production. It was not until 1988 that researchers realized that not only is alpha-lipoic acid itself an antioxidant, but the body converts some of it to dihydrolipoic acid, which possesses antioxidant properties. The body is capable of making some alpha-lipoic acid, but in certain conditions, the body may be unable to make enough.
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