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 a potent antioxidant, but the body converts some of it to dihydrolipoic acid, which possesses even greater antioxidant properties. The body is capable of making some alpha-lipoic acid, but evidence suggests that the amount synthesized by the body is only adequate for metabolic function and the additional that is needed for antioxidant protection must come from the diet or supplements. More recent studies have shown that higher doses of alpha-lipoic acid, in the range of 300 mg, twice per day, can help to slow the effects of aging. These higher doses can also help to transfer more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into cells and help to increase energy.