Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a natural enzyme produced in the body, it is also found in small amounts in several foods. These include spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer’s yeast, brussels sprouts, rice bran, tomatoes, potatoes and organ meats (kidney, heart and liver).
Characteristics: ALA is unique in that it is both water-and fat-soluble, being fat and water soluble means alpha lipoic acid is able to reach all parts of the cell and protect cell from being damage by free radicals.
Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid:
- ALA may help diabetics reduce their reliance on insulin. Once inside the cell, ALA is reduced to dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), which has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes; so that their glucose levels can be controlled better.
- ALA is a powerful antioxidant that combats potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals. Antioxidants are depleted as they attack free radicals, but evidence suggests ALA may help regenerate these other antioxidants and make them active again.
- ALA can help improve blood flow. A study of 28 men and women with peripheral artery disease (characterized by reduced blood flow to the limbs) were able to walk longer with less pain after supplementing with 600mg ALA daily.
- ALA can help improve Glaucoma, condition where pressure builds up inside the eyeball. A study using 150 mg ALA for one month found improvement in visual function.
- ALA can help improve smell for people who had no sense of smell or reduced the ability to smell after an upper-respiratory tract infection. Participants took the ALA for average of 4.5 months.
- ALA has the ability to raise glutathione level in the body. The function of Glutathione is to help remove toxic substances in the liver.
- ALA has a memory enhancing effect and help slow down aging process.
- ALA has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Recommended ALA Dosage: No reports of Alpha Lipoic Acid overdose toxicity. Doses up to 600mg daily are considered safe.
Side Effects of Alpha Lipoic Acid: Side effects are not common. Rare side effects include skin rash, digestive upset such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Apha-lipoic acid may lower levels of thyroid hormone. Blood hormone levels and thyroid function tests should be monitored closely in people taking thyroid hormones who are also taking alpha-lipoic acid.
- ALA can reduce blood glucose levels, so people taking diabetes medications should be monitored to see if their medication dosage should be lowered.
- ALA is not recommended for pregnant or breast feeding women.
“This post was originally published on January 10, 2012 @ 21:51”