Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
According the the shocking results of a study in which old rats were given Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acethyl L-carnitine the two antioxidants were so effective that they made the old rats younger!
Alpha lipoic acid, (also known as lipoic acid and thioctic acid) is a sulphur-containing vitamin-like antioxidant. It is produced naturally in the body and found in the food sources of brewer’s yeast, potatoes and other foods. Alpha lipoic acid has dual role in human health; it is a powerful antioxidant and a key component for producing cellular energy. As an antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid is unique in that it is both water- and fat-soluble; thus it can be used throughout the body. It also extends and enhances the effect of other antioxidants, which are used to defend the body against free radical damage.
Alpha lipoic acid has been used in Europe for over three decades to treat europathy, to help regulate blood sugar, and prevent retinopathy and cardiopathy. It is an approved drug in Germany for the treatment of neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid normalizes blood sugar levels and also reduces the secondary effects such as retinopathy, cataract formation, nerve and heart damage, as well as increasing energy levels. Alpha lipoic acid helps control blood sugar by facilitating the conversion of sugar into energy. Alpha lipoic acid reduces glycation (also known as glycosylation), which is the process in which proteins react with excess glucose. This sugar reaction to protein is just as detrimental as oxygen damage (free radical damage). Alpha lipoic acid helps to keep blood sugar levels under control and reduced levels of glucose mean less glycation. This is important in reducing side effects and slowing aging. In summary, alpha lipoic acid’s effect on blood sugar regulation is through its potent antioxidant capabilities, as well improving blood sugar metabolism, reducing glycosylation of proteins, improving blood flow to the peripheral nerves, and actually stimulating regeneration of nerve fibers.Glutathione is a major cellular antioxidant. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant and facilitator of glutathione production. A strong antioxidant defense system can help prevent this oxidative damage and help keep the immune system strong.
Alpha lipoic acid has been beneficial to patients suffering with peripheral neuropathy, a damaging side effect of chemotherapy. Lipoic acid also protects against cell damage as a result of its potent antioxidant effects. Lipoic acid protects a complex called Nuclear Factor kappa-B and prevents it from activating oncogenes. Oncogenes are genes that contribute to dangerous cell proliferation. When these genes are altered by either NF kappa-B or a carcinoen, they cause the cell to become malignant. Lipoic acid can enter the cytosol of cells and protect NF kappa-B from activation by free radical, radiation, or even sunlight.
Alpha lipoic acid may be helpful in other conditions including Liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, heart disease, cataracts, heavy metal toxicity, and support during detoxification. Its role in detoxification is as a chelator (remover) of heavy metals and toxic minerals from the body. Alpha lipoic acid protects the nervous system and may be involved in regenerating the nerves. It is being studied in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Alpha lipoic acid has been shown to improve antibody response in immunosuppressed animals (Quillin 1998).
Alpha lipoic acid has been shown to prevent oxidative stress in neuronal (nerve) tissue. Lipoic acid helps maintain glutathione levels which are found to be depleted in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Examination of current research reveals protective effects of lipoic acid in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion, excitotoxic amino acid brain injury, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuropathy, inborn errors of metabolism, and other causes of acute or chronic damage to brain or neural tissue.
ALA is a potent antioxidant and is used to regenerate glutathione. It offers particular benefits in skin health through preventing glycation (the free radical damage caused by sugar’s toxic effects) causing collagen ‘cross-linking’. When collagen cross-links, it becomes stiff and inflexible, leading to the wrinkling and stiffness of old skin.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that is used throughout the body to neutralise damaging free radicals. Scientists have discovered that teamwork between Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L Carnitine can increase energy in muscle cells and allow you to lead a more active lifestyle. It is also useful for brain function and memory and may help beat the signs of ageing.
Alpha Lipoic Acid 250mg Capsules may help to balance blood sugar levels, slow down the signs of ageing, lower cholesterol level and improve cognitive functions of the brain.
Alpha lipoic acid supplementation is very safe. In over 30 years of extensive use and testing in European clinical trials in the treatment of neuropathy, there have been no reported side effects. As a precaution, until further information is available, alpha lipoic acid is not recommended for pregnant women.
Dr. Packer suggests that Alpha Lipoic Acid may compete with Biotin and interfere with its activity in human organism. For this reason, Biotin is recommanded if the daily intake of Alpha Lipoic acid exceeds 200mg.
Potential Applications: Blood sugar regulation, liver cirrhosis, heart disease, cataracts, neuropathy, immunity, retinopathy, skin health and memory.
Contraindications: As a precaution, until further information is known Alpha Lipoic Acid should not be used during pregnancy.
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