Alpha Lipoic Acid is a sulphurous compound that is generally made by most animals. This is where we tend to get most of our dietary intake. Alpha Lipoic Acid will not be seen on a list of vitamins and minerals, because yet again, it is a natural substance that is not defined by a vitamin or mineral. The body uses more nutrients than the standard vitamins and minerals on your packets.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy
One of its main functions is to help convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy. About forty years ago, biologists discovered that ALA is also an antioxidant—a powerful substance that combats potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals which may cause heart and liver disease, cancer, cell aging, and many other conditions. Antioxidants attack “free radicals,” waste products created when the body turns food into energy. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. They also damage organs and tissues.
Other antioxidants work only in water (such as vitamin C) or fatty tissues (such as vitamin E), but alpha-lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble. That means it can work throughout the body. This is one of the key benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid. The other main benefit of ALA is that it operates in conjunction with vitamins C and E, and the antioxidant glutathione, recycling them when they’re used up.
Many studies have been conducted confirming the health benefits of alpha lipoic acid, including recent findings that ALA offers neuroprotective and possibly cognitive enhancing effects. Lipoic acid has been the subject of numerous research studies and clinical trials. Alpha Lipoic Acid in clinical trials since the 1950s has shown very positive results on the following;
- Preventing organ dysfunction,
- Reducing endothelial dysfunction,
- Treating or preventing cardiovascular disease,
- Accelerating wound healing,
- Managing burning mouth syndrome,
- Reducing iron overload,
- Treating metabolic syndrome,
- Improving or preventing age-related cognitive dysfunction,
- Preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease,
- Preventing erectile dysfunction,
- Preventing migraines,
- Aiding in multiple sclerosis,
- Treating chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress,
- Reducing inflammation,
- Inhibiting advanced glycation end products (AGE) and helping in peripheral artery disease.
Lipoic acid is a very important antioxidant for our fertility because it not only helps to protect the female reproductive organs, but it has also been shown to improve sperm quality and motility. Lipoic acid is a must in every supplement regime as it regenerates all of the other antioxidants and is the only antioxidant that can regenerate glutathione.
It also helps to build a strong and properly functioning immune system and can help to reverse some of the damage caused from smoking cigarettes. Alpha Lipoic Acid has also received a lot of fame for its ability to detoxify heavy metals, including mercury and aluminium. It has had very impressive results in a clinical setting as an alternative to the harsh chelating drugs.
We have strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help with type 2 diabetes. Several studies have found that they can improve insulin resistance. Studies also found that alpha-lipoic acid supplements can help with neuropathy — nerve damage — caused by diabetes or cancer treatment. They seem to reduce symptoms like pain, tingling, and prickling in the feet and legs. It may also help protect the retina from some of the damage that can occur in people with diabetes. They include spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes, yeast, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, and rice bran. Red meat — and particularly organ meat — is probably the best source of alpha-lipoic acid.
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