Natural Biology Top Ten
"One of Our Top 10 Natural Micro-Nutrients"
Alpha lipoic acid is a major ingredient used in EVEREST Earth & Sea Formula, OxyAGE, and Med Factors. Combined with acetyl-l-carnitine it provides a unique synergy that has been demonstrated to repair damaged cells and reverse cellular aging. (See OxyAGE for more details)
Summary: Known as the “universal anti-oxidant,” Alpha Lipoic Acid has unique solubility traits in water and fat. It serves as a coenzyme in the energy production process, which allots quick bursts of energy at one time. Alpha Lipioic Acid is also vital for the aerobic metabolism while also cutting down on muscle fatigue and protecting brain and nerve cells in the process.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is often referred to in scientific and nutritionist circles as the"universal antioxidant." Antioxidants, as you may know, neutralize free radicals in the body. Left alone, free radicals can do damage to cells, cell organelles, and DNA. The constant wearing down of the DNA structure by free radicals is thought to lead to many degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, and atherosclerosis. Some scientists have even advanced theories implying that free radicals cause us to deteriorate as we age. Hence, antioxidant research is a big deal. If current theories hold water, doctors and scientists could discover the key to longevity.
Also known as ALA, Alpha Lipoic Acid is very special even among antioxidants. Unlike a lot of antioxidants, ALA is soluble in both water and fat. It is a fatty acid as well as a vitamin and free radical scavenger. Vitamin C, conversely, is only soluble in water, and Vitamin E is only soluble in fat. This enables ALA to reach a lot of places that most antioxidants aren't able to go, because barriers of water or fat stand in their way.
One of the most notable territories of Alpha Lipoic Acid is in nerve cells throughout the brain and body. Nerve cells consist of the fatty myelin sheath as well as a water-based internal environment, so normal antioxidants are often stymied. ALA, however, can clean up the free radicals in the brain and nervous system, making it a potential antioxidant for treating brain and nerve disorders. Preliminary research suggests that peripheral neuropathy, or uncontrolled nerve stimulus resulting in itching, tingling, burning, numbness and pain, may be effectively treated with ALA. Comparatively, Alpha Lipoic Acid has been shown to reduce the level of brain damage in animals following a stroke. Studies to find a connection between ALA treatment and reduction in cognitive decline due to aging have thus far yielded promising results.
In addition, ALA offers a number of other health benefits. These include:
* Lowering blood pressure
* Helping balance insulin in the blood
* Detoxifying the liver
* Acting as a chelating agent and reducing levels of mercury in the system
The body typically makes enough ALA to serve its basic function, which is as a fatty acid. However, in order to ensure that free ALA molecules are cleaning up free radicals, it is important to take a supplement or other dietary enhancement. As an antioxidant, ALA plays a key role in synergizing other antioxidants within the body. For instance, when other antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Co-Q10 get used up, ALA recycles them. In addition, it stimulates the production of glutathione, another antioxidant that works to recycle used-up antioxidants and create new ones. Without this antioxidant network, we wouldn't be able to maintain our free-radical fighting capabilities. Hence, Alpha Lipoic Acid holds a key role in maintaining the health of many different antioxidants, and its moniker, "the universal antioxidant" is indeed well-deserved.
If that weren't enough, the basic function if ALA holds an essential place in the heart of energy production for the cell. It plays a key role in cellular respiration, which is the process of transforming glucose sugars into ATP, or energy. Because ALA is so tied in to the cell's metabolism, it can more effectively scavenge free radicals within the cell. ALA can "use" the metabolism of a cell to improve its protective effects, unlike many other antioxidants which don't serve multiple purposes.
ALA is available in pill form, as the amount present in food is generally quite low. If you suffer from low blood pressure or low thyroid hormones, you should consult your doctor before beginning an Alpha Lipoic Acid regimen, as ALA could push you into hypoglycemia or hypothyroidism. Generally, however, the side effects or contraindications to using ALA are limited. As the "universal antioxidant," if you only decide to take one antioxidant supplement, ALA is it. It will stimulate the entire antioxidant system throughout your body.