Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

No.121 Alpha Lipoic Acid

Applied Health Journal

Applied Health Journal

Topics of Health and Natural Healing
Issue 121
ISSN: 1525-6359


Alpha Lipoic Acid

alpha lipoic acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid

What is Alpha-lipoic acid? Is it a laundry detergent for your clothes? An elite fraternity at an Ivy League school? Or a nutritional powerhouse protecting your body from nasty free radicals?

Also, called Alpha-lipoate, thioctic acid, or just lipoic acid, ALA is sometimes abbreviated as LA.  It is easy to confuse Alpha-lipoic acid with alpha linolenic acid (abbreviated “ala” - small “a”). Be careful when reading about LA, ALA or ala, so you can differentiate between them. 

Often referred to as the “universal” antioxidant, the unique part about ALA is that it has the ability to function in either water or fat.  This is unlike other antioxidants, such as vitamin C (water-soluble) or vitamin E (fat-soluble).  An interesting note, ALA also helps “recycle and restore”, as it regenerates antioxidants, (particularly vitamin C and E), while assisting the production of glutathione, another powerful antioxidant.

Besides being produced by the body, ALA can be found in foods, such as spinach, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, whole grain rice, potatoes, and organ meats.  Dietary supplements provide additional support – best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach.

Benefits of Alpha lipoic acid:

  • May help balance diabetes glucose levels and nerve-related symptoms. The combined antioxidant and hypoglycemic actions of ALA may protect against kidney complications and other problems associated with diabetes.
  • Provides nerve support and protection for those with Peripheral Neuropathy. Studies have shown 600 mg of ALA is best tolerated and also provides benefits for this condition.
  • Strong anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Crosses the blood-brain barrier, and helps protect the brain from free radical damage and memory-loss.   Because ALA can pass easily into the brain, it has protective effects on brain and nerve tissue.
  • Studies found that animals treated with ALA suffered less brain damage and had four times greater survival rate after a stroke than animals who did not receive this supplement.
  • May protect skin from photodamage and aging.
  • May protect against free radical damage, which contributes to accelerated aging and chronic diseases, such as chronic fatigue symptom, HIV/AIDS, cancer, liver disease, and even cardiac autonomic neuropathy.
  • A study has shown that Hepatitis C may be improved with the triple antioxidant combination of ALA, silymarin and selenium.
  • Recommended for cataracts, glaucoma, and eye disease, such as Wilson’s disease.
  • Studies show there may be helpful benefits for multiple sclerosis, cholesterol imbalance, liver disease, pancreatic disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and stroke patients.

Alpha-lipoic acid supplements are available as capsules. It may also be given by injection under the supervision of a health care provider.

previous issue:
Find Your Stubborn Place
next issue:
Practically Paleo Pesto

References:

Androne L, Gavan NA, Veresiu IA, Orasan R. In vivo effect of lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In Vivo. 2000;14(2):327-330

Berkson BM. A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the treatment of hepatitis C. Combination of alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: three case histories. Med Klin. 1999;94 Suppl 3:84-89.

Clark WM, Rinker LG, Lessov NS, Lowery SL, Cipolla MJ. Efficacy of antioxidant therapies in transient focal ischemia in mice. Stroke. 2001;32(4):1000-1004.

Faust A, Burkart V, Ulrich H, et al. Effect of lipoic acid on cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes and insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1994;16:61-66.

Head KA. Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma. Altern Med Rev. 2001;6(2):141-166.

Lynch MA. Lipoic acid confers protection against oxidative injury in non-neuronal and neuronal tissue. Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(6):419-438.

Melhem MF, Craven PA, Derubertis FR. Effects of dietary supplementation of alpha-lipoic acid on early glomerular injury in diabetes mellitus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001;12:124-133.

Melhem MF, Craven PA, Liachenko J, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid attenuates hyperglycemia and prevents glomerular mesangial matrix expansion in diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002;13:108-116.

Ansar H, Mazloom Z, Kazemi F, Hejazi N.  Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on blood glucose, insulin resistance and glutathione peroxidase of type 2 diabetic patients. Saudi Med J. 2011 June; 32(6):584-8.

Matsugo S, Bito T, Konishi T.  Photochemical stability of lipoic acid and its impact on skin aging. Free Radic Res. 2011 June 9.

Nagamatsu M, Nickander KK, Schmelzer JD,et al. Lipoic acid improves nerve blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, and improves distal nerve conduction in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care. 1995;18:1160-1167.

Packer L, Kraemer K, Rimbach G. Molecular aspects of lipoic acid in the prevention of diabetes complications. Nutrition. 2001;17(10):888-895.

Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K. Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha-linoic acis. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22:359–378.

Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant. Free Rad Bio Med. 1995;19(2):227-250.

Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy: The SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care. 2006;29:2365-70.

Ziegler D, Gries FA. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic peripheral and cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Diabetes. 1997;46 (suppl 2):S62–66.

Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1999; 107:421-430.

[previous issue: Find Your Stubborn Place]  [next issue: Practically Paleo Pesto]


This healthy tip brought to you by Applied Health Solutions (www.appliedhealth.com), purveyors of specialty formulas to give Solutions for Life.

Weight Loss tools we recommend include:

Alpha Lipoic Acid Foundation  Nutra Lean
Alpha Lipoic Acid Foundation Blue Green Algae with Advanced Enzyme Technology. Nutra Lean for Weight Loss


 

 

For a complete list of past and current articles,
visit Applied Health Journal Archives.


Copyright © 2011 Applied Health Solutions, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona
All rights reserved. www.appliedhealth.com 480.998.0992