Does alpha lipoic acid make urine smell?

2023-10-18 09:59:30

Nascence lipoic acid( ALA) is a emulsion that's made naturally in the body and plays a vital part as an antioxidant. It helps to cover cells from damage and is involved in energy metabolism( 1). As an oral supplement, ALA has gained fashionability in recent times for its implicit benefits in managing certain health conditions like diabetes, whim-whams pain, and habitual fatigue( 2). But there have been some accounts of ALA causing peculiar urine odor changes when taken as a supplement. This article will explore the scientific research surrounding ALA and its potential effects on urine smell.


Understanding Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid Powder, also known as ALA, is an organic emulsion set up naturally in the body that functions as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help cover the body's cells against oxidative stress and free revolutionaries, which are composites that can damage cells over time( 1).

In addition to being made in the body, ALA can also be acquired through certain foods like spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes, incentive, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and rice bran( 3). It's also available as an oral supplement which some people take to help manage health conditions like diabetes, supplemental neuropathy, and liver complaint( 2).

At recommended boluses, ALA supplements are considered safe and generally well- permitted. still, some implicit side goods can include nausea, rash, and digestive worried( 4). also, there have been some reports that taking ALA may beget a distinct urine odor, which is the focus of this composition.

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Urine Odor Causes and Factors

Urine typically has a mild odor that can fluctuate based on hydration status, diet, and health conditions. However, certain medications, supplements, and medical disorders can dramatically alter urine odor in some cases (5).

For example, foods like asparagus, garlic, and coffee can cause temporary changes in urine smell after digestion and metabolization (6). Some vitamin supplements, like B-complex or vitamin C, may also lead to a noticeable odor. Diseases like diabetes mellitus and metabolic disorders can also impact urine odor due to chemical changes in the body (5).

Medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and anti-seizure medications have also been associated with urine smell changes in some instances (7). Being aware of factors that influence urine odor can help identify potential causes if a noticeable shift is detected.

Scientific Research and Evidence

A small number of studies have examined the implicit goods of ALA supplementation on urine odor in humans.

In one double-eyeless, placebo- controlled study published in 2009, experimenters supplemented 141 subjects with 600 mg per day of ALA and compared results to cases given a placebo( 8). After just one day of supplementation, a significantly advanced chance of those taking ALA reported having" unusual" urine odor compared to the placebo group. The ALA urine smell was described as "cysteine-like" by some subjects.

Another small study in 2012 gave participants 600 mg of ALA for 10 days and found that 45% noticed unusual urine odor versus just 15% of the placebo group (9). The ALA group reported smell changes like "cabbage-like", "stinky feet", and "mousy".

While these studies suggest ALA may be associated with temporary urine smell changes in some individuals, the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is not fully understood. One theory is that ALA supplementation leads to transient metabolism changes that result in sulfurous compounds being excreted through urine, yielding a distinguishable odor (10).

However, more research is still needed to corroborate the link between ALA and urine odor. Larger, more robust studies would help determine precisely what percentage of ALA users are affected and identify factors that may predispose certain groups to this side effect.

Expert Opinions and Recommendations

Some medical experts acknowledge that ALA supplementation may occasionally be associated with peculiar urine odor side effects. Dr. Brent Bauer, an internist and director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, has stated that ALA can "result in a sulfur-like body odor and urine smell (11)."

Dr. Andrew Weil, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, also notes that ALA can cause "unpleasant body and urine odors in a small percentage of individuals (12)."

While ALA is considered safe for most people at moderate doses of 50-600 mg per day, experts caution that strong urine odor changes could be a sign of excess intake for that individual. Dr. Weil suggests reducing the dosage or stopping supplementation if intolerable odors occur, then slowly reintroducing ALA while monitoring for smell changes (12).

Checking with a doctor before starting ALA is also advised, as those with diabetes, thyroid conditions and peripheral neuropathy may require different dosing recommendations and monitoring (4). Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to avoid ALA supplementation due to lack of safety data (13).

What are the negative side effects of alpha lipoic acid?

Some of the potential side effects of alpha Alpha Lipoic Acid Bulk Powder may include headache, skin rash, and stomach upset. At very high doses, ALA could cause nausea, vomiting or dizziness. There is also a small risk of hypoglycemia in diabetics taking medications, so monitoring blood sugar is important (4). As mentioned earlier, unusual urine or body odor is another possible side effect that is seen in a minority of users. Overall, ALA is considered safe when taken at recommended dosages, though anyone experiencing adverse effects should notify their healthcare provider promptly.

Does alpha lipoic acid make you pee a lot?

There is limited evidence that ALA directly increases urination or pee frequency. The studies discussed earlier reported urine odor effects but did not find significant changes in urine volume or need to urinate more often (8,9). This suggests that ALA is not usually a diuretic, though more research may be needed. Anecdotal reports are mixed, with some users commenting they urinate more and others noticing no differences. In most cases, any increased need to urinate seems to go away within a few days of starting ALA. Overall, there is no strong data showing ALA necessarily makes you pee more frequently or in larger amounts. But it's wise to monitor body changes whenever starting a new supplement.

Does alpha lipoic acid help with smell and taste?

Some preliminary research indicates ALA may help improve smell and taste in certain cases. One study found taking ALA for 5 months improved odor detection and odor identification in older adults with evidence of mild cognitive impairment (14). Researchers theorize this effect may be related to ALA's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the brain. Another study showed ALA supplementation mildly improved taste sensitivity in older adults with impaired glucose tolerance (15). Though modest, these early findings suggest ALA's effects on aging senses warrants further investigation. More research is still needed to verify if ALA can benefit smell and taste in wider populations.

How does alpha-lipoic acid help with smell?

The mechanisms behind ALA's potential effects on improving smell are not fully understood yet. Some theories suggest ALA may enhance smell by protecting olfactory nerve cells and sensory pathways from oxidative damage as an antioxidant (14). ALA may also reduce inflammation in the nasal and sinus tissues involved in odor detection. Additionally, ALA's roles in energy metabolism and mitochondrial function may help provide more efficient energy to aging nerve cells and neurons involved in smell pathways (16). More research is still needed to elucidate exactly how ALA may aid declining sense of smell, but early results are promising. Larger clinical trials will help provide more insight.

What does alpha-lipoic acid taste like?

R Alpha Lipoic Acid Powder is described as having a relatively neutral, minimal taste in its pure form. However, some ALA supplements come in capsules or tablets that also contain fillers, binders, and flavorings which can impart additional tastes. For instance, a raspberry flavored ALA supplement may be pleasantly sweet while an unflavored version may be more bitter or astringent. The sulfur-containing chemical structure of ALA means that in some cases it can leave a faint rotten egg or cabbage-like aftertaste, though this is not typical. Testing a small amount like half a tablet can help determine if an ALA supplement has a bothersome taste before taking a full dose.


In conclusion, current research suggests alpha lipoic acid supplements may cause distinctive urine odor changes like a sulfur or cabbage-like smell in a subset of users. While the exact prevalence and cause is unclear, studies estimate around 45% or less of those taking ALA may notice odd urine smells. These odor changes seem temporary and subside within 1-2 days of stopping supplementation. ALA is considered safe at recommended doses for most people, but limiting intake or discontinuing use if intolerable odors occur is advised. Those taking ALA should also monitor for potential side effects like digestive upset, headaches, or skin rashes. More rigorous clinical trials are still needed to clarify the connection between ALA and urine odor. But at this time, people taking ALA supplements should be aware of this possible transient side effect and consult a doctor if any worrisome symptoms arise.

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1. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Lipoic Acid Fact Sheet.

2. Skibska B, Goraca A. The protective effect of lipoic acid on selected cardiovascular diseases caused by age-related oxidative stress. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2015

3. National Institutes of Health. Alpha-lipoic acid.

4. LexiComp Online. Hudson, Ohio: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; 2022; Accessed October 2023.

5. Sheth SG, Goyal RK. Clinical Applications of Urine Volatile Organic Compounds as Biomarker: A Review. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM). 2021

6. Suarez FL, Springfield J, et al. Identification of Hyperosmia in the Prognosis of Uraemic Hyperammonaemic Encephalopathy. American Journal of Medicine. 1997.

7. Messert B, Peluso EB, Hahn EA. Olfactory function in patients with diabetes mellitus. Physiology & Behavior. 2019