Alpha lipoic acid is an exceptionally versatile nutrient; being both water and fat soluble, it is able to function in almost any part of the body. It is manufactured in the body, but often times not in the amounts necessary to perform its many functions. Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant which neutralizes harmful free radicals and enhances the activity of vitamins C and E. A key component of the metabolic process, alpha lipoic acid produces energy in muscles and directs calories into energy production. In addition, this powerful nutrient helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism, supports the nervous system and provides nutritional support for healthy liver function. In one study, alpha lipoic acid decreased serum lactate and pyruvate and promoted healthy glucose metabolism in lean and overweight individuals. Alpha lipoic acid supported nerve health in subjects who participated in a four-month, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. The ability of alpha lipoic acid to modulate nitric oxide metabolite activity and to promote healthy microcirculation accounted for its ability to promote nerve cell health in two separate studies.