Alpha Lipoic Acid - A Potent Antioxidant for Healthy Cells
Alpha Lipoic Acid, more commonly referred to as ALA, is a relatively unknown antioxidant, much like glutathione. In fact, its main function is to increase levels of glutathione, which helps eliminate toxic substances in your liver.
Scientists discovered the importance of ALA in the 1950's, and it was recognized as an antioxidant in 1988. It plays a critical role in the energy-producing structures in the cells of your body. Without it, your cells may become sluggish and have a hard time performing their tasks.
There is little free circulating ALA in your body unless you consume supplements. It acts as an antioxidant only when there are excesses of it and it's in a 'free state' in the cells.
Your body normally produces enough alpha lipoic acid for basic function but as you age, this amount declines drastically. Therefore, the older you get, the more you're going to need it, especially if you're active and don't want to slow down!
Foods that contain High Concentrations of ALA
Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
Helps deactivate cell-damaging free radicals in your body.
Potent and versatile antioxidant.
Co-factor in a key biochemical pathways responsible for energy production in the cells.
Inhibits cross-linking (formation of chemical bridges between proteins or other large molecules.) Cross-linking contributes to the aging process by causing hardening of arteries, wrinkling of the skin, and stiffening of joints.
Capacity to neutralize and remove toxic substances such as free radicals.
Improves the physique, protects our genetic material, slows the aging process, protects against heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, diabetes, cataracts and many more diseases.
As you age, you can feel declines in energy, muscle strength, brain function, and immunity but ALA increases them.
Is being studied to assist HIV, AIDS, and Multiple Sclerosis.
ALA may help you lose weight by helping you control your appetite. People taking the supplement are less likely to overeat and consume extra calories.
Helps the body expend more energy at a cellular level.
Alpha-lipoic acid may prove useful in the treatment of chronic hepatitis because it relieves stress on the liver and helps rid the body of toxins. There have been several case reports using alpha lipoic acid in combination with milk thistle and selenium to help treat hepatitis C. Hep C is a serious type of hepatitis contracted from blood transfer or contact with other bodily fluids. As of now, there is no known cure for the disease, but there is a treatment that seems effective if you abstain from alcohol.
Because alpha lipoic acid can pass easily into the brain, it has protective qualities for brain and nerve tissue and shows promise as a treatment for stroke and brain disorders involving free radical damage. Animals treated with ALA, for example, suffered less brain damage and had a four times greater survival rate after a stroke than the animals who did not receive it. While animal studies are encouraging, more research is needed to understand whether the benefits apply to people as well.
Further research suggests that alpha lipoic acid might also help in the anti aging process by reducing wrinkles. In one small study, high potency lipoic acid supplements helped to reduce mild to moderate wrinkles by up to 50 percent, whereas fine lines seemingly disappeared. In another study, it significantly improved the appearance of certain types of scars. In both studies the effectiveness varied among participants, from little effect to a marked improvement.
Varied results are normal however. Many anti aging products work well for some people but not for others. Even the most well established wrinkle treatments produce varied results. If further studies corroborate skin benefits of lipoic acid, it may be added to the mainstays of today's anti aging skin care products. In fact, ALA will be a highly beneficial in the family of proven wrinkle fighters because it is less irritating for your skin than tretinoin (Retin A, Renova) and alpha hydroxy acids.
Alpha-lipoic acid can be purchased in dosages ranging 30 mg to 100 mg capsules. Currently there are no established recommended doses for supplementation. For general antioxidant support, the recommended dose is 20 mg to 50 mg per day.
Manufacturers of ALA suggest one or two 50 mg capsules daily as a dietary supplement.
Studies show an improvement of nerve function in diabetics who received 600 mg of ALA per day in divided doses.
Alpha lipoic acid may not be the most famous of antioxidants but maybe it should be! It's one simple but potent supplement! It's very effective when taken regularly. You can save more money if you buy it in your local superstore or online.
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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