Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant compound found in plants we eat such as broccoli, peas, carrots, spinach and beets, it’s also found in yeast, liver and kidney. Alpha Lipoic Acid or ALA for short can prevent certain kinds of cell damage and may help restore vitamin E and C levels. ALA can also break down carbohydrates into energy for other organs in the body to use. It’s found in every cell of our bodies. Humans can make a small amount of ALA, but we need to be getting the majority through diet. ALA also works with B vitamins to convert the food we eat into energy for our bodies. It’s water and fat soluble so can be absorbed by either.
ALA being an antioxidant it fights free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are chemical-reaction byproducts that can cause significant damage to living cells and tissue in our bodies by causing oxidative stress. ALA can help slow down the cellular damage created by the free radicals, fighting damage done to our brain, neurons, blood vessels, heart and liver.
Another popular use of ALA is improving insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics. There have been some studies done which show it could help lower blood sugar levels. ALA is also used to help against symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes such as numbness, pain and tingling in the arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy).
ALA has been shown to boost the levels of glutathione which is one of the most important antioxidants produced by our bodies. Levels of glutathione can become depleted due to poor diet, chronic disease, infection and stress. Supplementing with ALA helps increase the level of glutathione in our bodies which can help regulate our immune systems response to disease.
Studies have not been done on ALA use in children and woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always speak to your Doctor before starting with a new supplement.