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
*This revolutionary anti-oxidizing supplement
that rejuvenates your body's cell to give you glowing, radiant skin and
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,
- Cataracts &
- Fat Loss & Muscle
- 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
- Nerve Health*
ALA has also shown to
help Blood Pressure!
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 the 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. 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
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
- Enhances Glucose
- Enhance Amino Acid
- Lowers Blood Sugar -
- Increases Creatine
- 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
- 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 it's unique ability to mimic insulin. As we
said in an earlier answer, you must use ALA in a capsule form and not in a
- 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 endoneural 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
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 progress 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 the 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 in 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 follow-up.
Claims that lipoic acid slows 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
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.
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,
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Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the
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team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been
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