What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant that is found in every single cell of the body. This is one of the antioxidants the body creates itself. This antioxidant not only goes to work on attacking free radicals that cause cell damage and disease, but it also helps to regenerate other important antioxidants once they have been used by the body.

Unlike water-specific or fat-specific antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid is both fat and water soluble. Once this acid is taken in by the cells of the body, it is converted todihydrolipoic acid.

This antioxidant has been studied at depth to determine the crucial roles it plays in protecting the body against the free radicals that would seek to destroy it.

How Does Alpha Lipoic Acid Protect the Body?

Diabetes:

Over the years, there has been much research carried out on Alpha Lipoic Acid and its ability to protect the body. One crucial area of study has centered around diabetes research. Through research, scientists have found treatment with Alpha Lipoic Acid can offer promising results on three key areas diabetics suffer from.Spinach and Broccoli

1) Blood Sugar: When Alpha Lipoic Acid is given to diabetic patients as a supplement, their blood sugar levels are dropped lower. Researchers have found this antioxidant helps to improve the body’s insulin sensitivity.

2) Diabetic Neuropathy: Alpha Lipoic Acid has been used to treat patients with Diabetic Neuropathy for years in Germany. It is believed the nerve damage caused by Diabetes is in direct correlation with free radical attacks. In Germany, neuropathy is treated with Alpha Lipoic Acid via IV.

It is not clear what effect an oral Alpha Lipoic Acid supplement will have on treating this condition. The only research that has been documented suggests it offered about the same results as a placebo.

3) Autonomic Neuropathy: This condition is commonly found in diabetics. This condition affects the organs of the body and how they function. In a study carried out on patients with Autonomic Neuropathy of the heart, it was found those who were given 800 milligrams of Alpha Lipoic Acid experienced fewer symptoms than those who were given a placebo.

Brain Function:

Though further research needs to be conducted, studies have been carried out on Alpha Lipoic Acid to determine how it can protect the brain. Since this antioxidant is easily transferred to the brain, researchers hope it may be used one day to treat brain conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, both of which are caused by free radical attacks on brain cells.

Further research needs to be carried out on whether or not treatment with this antioxidant will prove beneficial.

Cancer Prevention:

Although there have been no clear findings in preliminary research, scientists believe Alpha Lipoic Acid may play an important role in cancer prevention. Cancer is often the result of free radical attacks on healthy cells.

As the cells are taken over by the free radicals, the DNA in the nucleus is altered. This damaged DNA then begins to replicate itself over and over, causing tumor formation. Alpha Lipoic Acid attacks these free radicals and prevents them from harming healthy cells.

The Aging Process:

Free radicals are also responsible for skin cell damage which leads to lines, wrinkles, and furrows in the skin. In a recent study, participants used a topical cream that contained 5% Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Participants reported seeing positive results in the reduction of their wrinkles caused by sun exposure. It is hoped further studies will reveal how Alpha Lipoic Acid may be used as a safe method of protecting the skin against the aging process.

Should People Take Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements?

Most people have an adequate supply of Alpha Lipoic Acid being produced by their bodies. Some people may be lacking and can benefit from adding foods that are high in this antioxidant to their diet. Those who want to increase their Alpha Lipoic Acid levels should consume red meats, organ meats, and Brewer’s Yeast.

Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements can be given in oral form and through injection by a doctor. Alpha Lipoic Acid can be purchased in capsules that range from 30 milligrams to 100 milligrams. The amount one needs will depend on why they are seeking this antioxidant.

  • For General Use :One should take 20 milligrams to 50 milligrams a day.
  • For Neuropathy: One should take 600 milligrams a day, divided into two doses.
  • For Diabetes: One should take 800 milligrams a day, divided into two doses.

Are There Other Antioxidants That Should Be Taken With Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Glutathione is considered the mother of all antioxidants. Though the body produces Glutathione, many people today are lacking this crucial molecule because of poor diets, pollution, stress, and medications. Taking this supplement with Alpha Lipoic Acid can give the body the full antioxidant protection it needs to combat oxidative stress and free radical attacks which lead to cancer and a host of other diseases.

Vitamin C is a crucial antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system and prevent illness. Since this is a water-soluble vitamin, one does not need to worry about overdose.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can be taken orally or applied to the skin to treat the signs of aging and promote healing.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is crucial for keeping the body healthy and preventing the signs of aging. Those who are concerned about their health should research this important antioxidant so they can make an informed decision on whether or not they should supplement their body’s supply through a supplement.

When Alpha Lipoic Acid is combined with other powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione, the benefits are even more widespread in the body.

As a part of antioxidant supplementation, it is also important people eat a healthy diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and lean sources of protein.

A healthy diet and antioxidant supplementation can go a long way towards keeping a person healthy and strong so their body can fight the free radicals that seek to destroy cells and cause damage to the organs and body systems.

Glutathione Bottles

Alpha Lipoic Acid foods

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant that can be found in foods like broccoli, liver, potatoes, spinach and yeast. In addition, Alpha Lipoic Acid is laboratory-made for medicinal use. It is useful in treating diabetic symptoms and others that are nerve-related.

In addition, it is often used for alleviating symptoms of cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), heart disease, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, memory loss, diseases of the blood vessels and heart like cardiac autonomic neuropathy, and Lyme disease.

ALA is also used by many individuals for treatment of Wilson’s disease, which is a disease of the eyes, as well as other eye disorders like glaucoma, cataracts, and retina damage.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Restores Vitamin Levels

And, that’s not all by any means. Alpha Lipoic Acid also appears to be helpful in the restoration of important vitamin levels like those of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. It’s also responsible for preventing some types of cell damage and improving the functioning and conducting of neurons in diabetics. Type 2 diabetes symptoms have been treated using 600 to 1200 mg daily and this dose has improved numbness, pain and burning of the arms and legs in some diabetic individuals.

ALA Treats Many Specific Conditions

Our bodies utilize Alpha Lipoic Acid for breaking down carbohydrates and then making energy to efficiently fuel the body’s other organs. It also works as an antioxidant and could be providing protection for the brain from injury or damage at the same time. In addition, ALA could be beneficial in treating specific liver diseases.

Other conditions that Alpha Lipoic Acid has been reported successful in helping include the following:

  • Prediabetes
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic nerve pain
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
  • Vitiligo, which causes patchy skin

Other Possible Conditions

Here are some other conditions that could possibly be helped by taking ALA, but there is still not quite enough evidence yet to say for sure:

  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Dementia
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Glaucoma
  • Liver inflammation (nonalcoholic)
  • Migraines
  • Aging skin
  • Clogged arteries
  • Radiation exposure
  • Sciatica
  • Mushroom poisoning

Antioxidant Properties of Alpha Lipoic Acid

In view of increasing cases of diabetes, as well as its numerous complications, any natural strategy that can be successful at supporting healthier blood glucose levels, while also protecting the body from oxidative stress, is something that can provide hope for many people.

Risk factors like insulin resistance, combined with low HDL, high triglycerides and high blood pressure, which make up metabolic syndrome, can increase an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is well known for its effective and quite potent antioxidant properties, which are useful in relieving insulin resistance symptoms and lowering blood pressure and triglycerides.

European Research of Alpha Lipoic Acid

In some European countries, Alpha Lipoic Acid is actually a regulated substance, much like a drug. It has been approved there as a treatment for treating alcoholic complications and various liver conditions, as well as those related to diabetes.

It is also a significant part of each and every health maintenance regimen instituted by people who are well informed. ALA is also showing some very impressive benefits related to stroke, migraines, glaucoma and bone health, according to emerging European research.

ALA vs. Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress and free radical production are underlying problems for people with diabetes. Those free radicals attack and damage tissues as they circulate through our bodies. High glucose levels in diabetics make them more susceptible to oxidative stress and it may actually contribute to diabetes’ complications long-term.

Antioxidants like ALA help by preventing this damage via the neutralization of free radicals, while also causing substantial reduction in oxidative stress. It is actually a very unusual antioxidant due to the fact that it functions in both fat-soluble and water-soluble realms in the tissues and cells.

Amplifies Glutathione and CoQ10

Ease of absorption and transporting to numerous systems and organs, like the nerves, liver and brain, are all due to ALA’s lipid-soluble qualities. This is in direct contrast with some other antioxidants, like Vitamin C or E, neither of which is lipid-soluble.

However, when ALA combines with them, it increases the fighting of free radicals in the body. Not only that, but ALA can also be responsible for regenerating those vitamins and amplifying their positive effects.

It can also aid in the amplification of the considerable benefits of other powerful antioxidants in the body, including co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Glutathione. Glutathione is essential in fighting disease and aging.

Energy Production of Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is also helpful in supporting energy production by teaming up with B-vitamins and causing the conversion of food components like protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy that is stored for later use.

By protecting the mitochondria, which produce energy in the cells, ALA ensures more efficient energy production in the body during use, further reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Eye Health

ALA’s ability to increase essential antioxidant enzymes, like Glutathione, can also provide significant protection against cataract formation. In addition, studies have shown that ALA brought improvement in patients with vision loss due to glaucoma.

In that study, some open-angle glaucoma patients took either 150 mg for a month or 75 mg for two months, while others received no ALA at all. The patients who received it had marked improvement in visual function.

The study also showed that, when taken in conjunction with vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid prevented retinal cell death in test animals who had retinitis pigmentosa, making it the only medical treatment found to be effective against the disease.

Alpha Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss

Perhaps one of the best-known uses for Alpha Lipoic Acid is for weight loss. The practice of taking 1800 mg every day for 20 weeks could help with reducing weight in overweight individuals, according to researchers.

Other research shows that ALA also aids in healing wounds when 300 mg daily are taken for 14 to 30 days before and following oxygen therapy for ulcers.