Lipoic acid is a nutritional coenzyme that participates in the energy metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, with a particular role in blood glucose balancing and stabilization. It is also able to scavenge a number of free radicals. Lipoic acid is essential for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, for the conversion of their energy into ATP. Because lipoic acid is involved in so many different antioxidant functions in virtually all body tissues, it has been called the universal antioxidant. Many lipoic acid products contain a racemic mixture of both the R and S enantiomers of lipoic acid. The R-enantiomer of lipoic acid is naturally occurring, and has received special attention as studies indicate it may be better utilized by the body than a racemic mixture.