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What Is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
In the late 1980s, scientists realized that alpha-lipoic acid, a compound initially classified as a vitamin when it was discovered three decades earlier, possessed potent antioxidant properties that could prevent healthy cells from getting damaged by unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals. In fact, this vitamin-like compound has proved to be many times more potent than such old guard antioxidants as vitamins C and E. As a perk, it even recycles C and E (as well as other antioxidants), enhancing their effectiveness.
*This revolutionary anti-oxidizing supplement that rejuvenates your body's cell to give you glowing, radiant skin and increased energy.
Because it dissolves in both water and fat, this so-called "universal antioxidant" is able to scavenge more wayward free-radical cells than most antioxidants, the majority of which tend to dissolve in either fat or water but not both. Alpha-Lipoic Acid can reach tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, as well as those made mainly of water, such as the heart.
Benefits / Shown to Help with:
- Anti-Aging, skin, hair and overall health.*
- Eliminates the "Jumpy Leg Syndrome" (restless legs).*
- HIV / AIDS*
- Alzheimer's patients, including preventative.*
- Fat Loss & Muscle Building*
- Heart Disease, cell and tissue health in heart attack victims.*
- Liver Protection*
- Radiation Poisoning*
- Stroke victims*
- Supports the body's defense against free radicals*
- Recycles antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin E*
- Helps maintain a healthy blood sugar level when used as part of the diet.*
- Defends Against Free Radicals.*
- Nerve Health*
See All LifeSource Vitamins Alpha Lipoic Acid Products, Articles and Studies: Click Here
ALA is a powerful antioxidant, soluble in both water and lipid. Alpha Lipoic Acid is called the "Universal Antioxidant" because of its dual solubility. ALA is called Metabolic Antioxidant because it plays a vital role in the energy production of the cells. Able to reach and protect both water and lipid portions of skin with potent antioxidant benefits. "Spares" levels of other antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E, which are naturally, present in cells, thus working to increase their levels. Dual solubility enables ALA to be rapidly available to the skin. The skin develops a healthy youthful glowing appearance. Gentle yet powerful -- 400 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamins C or E. Present naturally in the skin. Promotes optimum efficiency for the production of energy and aids in exfoliation.
Also known as lipoic acid or thioctic acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is mainly derived from dietary sources (spinach, liver, brewer's yeast), although scientists have discovered that the body does manufacture small supplies of its own. In order to get the concentrated doses needed to treat specific ailments, however, many experts recommend supplements.
The body needs ALA to produce energy. It plays a crucial role in the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in cells. The body actually makes enough ALA for these basic metabolic functions. This compound acts as an antioxidant, however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the "free" state in the cells. But there is little free ALA circulating in your body unless you consume supplements or get it injected. Foods contain only tiny amounts of it. What makes ALA special as an antioxidant is its versatility-it helps deactivate an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems. In particular, ALA helps protect the mitochondria and the genetic material, DNA. As we age, mitochondrial function is impaired, and it's theorized that this may be an important contributor to some of the adverse effects of aging. ALA also works closely with vitamin C and E and some other antioxidants, "recycling" them and thus making them much more effective.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is being studied in animals and in humans as a preventive and/or treatment for many age-related diseases. These range from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, as well as declines in energy, muscle strength, brain function, and immunity. It is also being studied for HIV disease and multiple sclerosis. In Germany it is already prescribed to treat long-term complications of diabetes, such as nerve damage, thought to result in part from free-radical damage; there is also evidence that it can help decrease insulin resistance and thus help control blood sugar.
Most of the metabolic reactions in which alpha-lipoic acid participates occur in mitochondria. These include the oxidation of pyruvic acid (as Pyruvate) by the Pyruvate dehydrogenase enzyme complex and the oxidation of alpha-ketoglutarate by the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase enzyme complex. It is also a cofactor for the oxidation of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) via the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase enzyme complex.
For Weight Lifting - Body Building - Elite Athletes - & Individuals who Work out regularly:
- Powerful Antioxidant and mimics insulin*
- Enhances Glucose Utilization*
- Enhance Amino Acid Transport*
- Lowers Blood Sugar*
- Increases Creatine Uptake*
- ALA increases your muscles uptake of glycogen. This increases muscle cell volume and contributes to that full pumped feeling when you work out.*
- This is a very desirable effect as the increase in muscle glycogen also increases other important nutrient transport that contributes to cell volume and muscle growth.*
- ALA is not a thermogenic but it does appear to contribute to favorable body composition changes. This is believed to be due to a nutrient partitioning effect where nutrients are channeled more to lean tissue and away from fat tissue.*
- ALA will help enhance the efficiency of many different supplements. One, in particular, is Kre-Alkalyn or LifeSource's buffered creatine. ALA will help enhance the absorption of Kre-Alkalyn (creatine) into the muscle cell by providing a transport vehicle by its unique ability to mimic insulin. As we said in an earlier answer, you must use ALA in a capsule form and not in a pre-mixed powder.*
- ALA is also one of the most potent antioxidants available. And, when taken with other antioxidants it actually enhances their antioxidant abilities.*
Alpha Lipoic Acid is approved in Germany as a drug for the treatment of polyneuropathies, such as diabetic and alcoholic polyneuropathies, and liver disease, as well as an approved treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Numerous studies in both animals and humans have produced promising results with lipoic acid in this neuropathy. In animal models and culture studies, lipoic acid has demonstrated antioxidant properties that help reduce or eliminate a sequence of events that include reduced endoneurial blood flow and oxygen tension, which are pre-requisites of neuropathy. In addition, some of these studies have revealed favorable lipoic acid effects that appear to be independent of its antioxidant properties, including increased glucose uptake, promotion of new neurite growth and chelation of transition metals thought to play a role in diabetic neuropathy.
In some animal experiments, lipoic acid, administered for up to three months, significantly reversed the increase in nerve vascular resistance and the decrease in nerve blood flow in diabetic rats. Nerve conduction velocity was entirely restored in some nerve groups after three months of treatment. Human clinical trials have been similarly encouraging. In one of these studies, subjects received 200 milligrams of intravenous lipoic acid daily. After 21 days, significant pain reduction was achieved in most subjects.
In a larger, multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 328 patients with type 2 diabetes, significant improvements were recorded in several clinical measures of diabetic polyneuropathy, including pain, numbness, paresthesia and burning sensations. These results were evident after three weeks of intravenous lipoic acid given five times weekly in doses of 600 and 1200 milligrams. Pill form you should try 500 to 1,000 mg per day. Only after consulting your doctor!
Nerve conduction velocity has not been shown to improve in the short-term human studies conducted so far. One group of researchers has suggested that proof of neurophysiological improvement in these neuropathies may emerge from long-term lipoic acid supplementation studies, as has been the case in some animal model studies. "A period of several years," they have observed, "is required to slow progression of diabetic neuropathy due to normalization of blood glucose levels."
There is evidence, too, that lipoic acid may help prevent or slow the development of atherosclerosis for which diabetics are at higher risk. It may do this, in part, through a gene-regulatory mechanism that helps prevent endothelial cell activity that has been implicated in the progression of atherosclerosis.
With respect to atherosclerosis, in general, lipoic acid's antioxidant and metabolic effects appear to offer some protection, as demonstrated in various animal models. Recently, researchers demonstrated, in a 16-week randomized trial, that lipoic acid, in oral doses of 600 milligrams daily for eight weeks, significantly inhibits the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in healthy human subjects. The supplements also significantly reduced levels of F-2 isoprostanes, markers of oxidative stress. In this study, lipoic acid proved to be superior to vitamin E in decreasing levels of plasma protein carbonyls. Protein oxidation and LDL-cholesterol oxidation are implicated in heart disease.
Various animal studies have suggested that lipoic acid can prevent or reduce cell and tissue damage in heart attacks and stroke. There is extensive animal work showing that lipoic acid can exert significant protective effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury.
ALA is believed to work in this context, at least in part, through its antioxidant properties and its reported ability to increase cellular levels of glutathione that are typically depleted by the reactive oxygen species formation that characterizes ischemia-reperfusion. More research is needed to further elucidate these mechanisms and determine whether these results will apply to humans.
Animal work is also suggestive of some modest benefit from lipoic acid in the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. Results to date, however, remain inconclusive. Clinical studies are needed. There is some evidence that children afflicted with inborn errors of Pyruvate metabolism may derive some benefit from lipoic acid treatment. Those with Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder characterized by disturbed copper metabolism, may be helped by lipoic acid as well. The supplement has also proved useful in conferring some protection against cadmium poisoning and hexane inhalation. It has also been used in some liver toxicities, such as Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning.
ALA's role in immunity is not well understood. There are reports that it can augment antibody response in some animal models of immunosuppression. This research warrants a follow-up.
Claims that lipoic acid slows the aging of the brain and is an anti-aging substance generally seem to be related to its potent antioxidant properties. Direct proof of anti-aging is lacking, but there is some animal work suggestive of some possible anti-aging effects.
Rats were fed a lipoic-acid supplemented diet to see whether the substance can reverse age-related declines in metabolism and mitochondrial function. Un-supplemented aged rats (24 to 26 months) exhibited ambulatory activity, said to be a general measure of metabolic activity, which was threefold lower than that of young controls. But this decline was significantly reversed in similarly aged rats supplemented with lipoic acid for two weeks.
Diabetic Neuropathy presents a major public health problem. It is defined by the symptoms and signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in diabetic patients, in whom other causes of neuropathy have been excluded. PATHOGENETIC MECHANISMS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPLICATED IN DIABETIC NEUROPATHY ARE: a) increased flux through the polyol pathway, leading to accumulation of sorbitol, a reduction in myo-inositol, and an associated reduced Na+-K+-ATPase activity, and b) endoneurial microvascular damage and hypoxia due to nitric oxide inactivation by increased oxygen Free radical activity. Alpha-Lipoic Acid seems to delay or reverse peripheral diabetic neuropathy through its multiple antioxidant properties. Treatment with alpha-lipoic acid increases reduced glutathione, an important endogenous antioxidant. In clinical trials, 600 mg alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to improve neuropathic deficits. This review focuses on the relationship of alpha-lipoic acid and auto-oxidative glycosylation. It discusses the impact of alpha-lipoic acid on hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress and examines the role of alpha-lipoic acid in preventing glycation process and nerve hypoxia.
LifeSource Vitamins Alpha Lipoic Acid - ALA - Shown to help with Anti Aging, skin, hair and overall health, Jumpy Leg Syndrome, restless legs, HIV / AIDS, Alzheimer's patients, including preventative. Cataracts and Glaucoma Diabetes, Fat Loss, Heart health.
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*Disclaimer: None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As always, consult your physician before taking any and all supplements. LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may vary.
Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the opinion of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins Bruce Brightman, and the entire team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been ongoing on since 1992. Other articles and information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retain the copyright as marked on the article. The information on this site is not intended to replace your health care professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing your own studying and research and taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in partnership with your health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking supplements based on the information on this site.
Alpha Lipoic Acid - ALA - Shown to help with anti-aging, skin, hair and overall health, jumpy leg syndrome, restless legs, Alzheimer's patients, including preventative, cataracts and glaucoma, diabetes, fat loss, heart health