(Health Secrets Newsletter) Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA, is a potent and versatile antioxidant that also serves to convert blood sugar into metabolic energy. In addition, recent research has shown lipoic acid’s power to help repair nerve damage and possibly protect against Alzheimer’s and declining vision. There are many more health issues helped by ALA than most of us know.
January 11, 2012
The more ALA is researched, the more it appears to be a miraculous substance that is easy to supplement since it’s so widely available. ALA is also useful for detoxing or as a preventative or remedy for many maladies.
The latest research: using alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy
Lipoic acid has been clinically tested on patients suffering from neuropathy, a disease manifesting from damaged nerves. though usually associated with diabetes, neuropathy can manifest from other sources and is often confused with fibromyalgia, MS or even rheumatoid arthritis.
The latest sources of neuropathy include adverse effects from “new and improved” antibiotics. It seems antibiotics can cause more damage than just destroying the intestinal tract’s level of good bacteria. There are forums and social network pages devoted to posting comments and videos of some seriously debilitating neurological conditions after antibiotic therapy.
If you use antibiotics at all, or if someone is suggesting you do, do some research to find out which antibiotics cause the most harm, and the extent of serious harm they can cause. Fluoroquinolone type antibiotics are among the worst.
Trials using lipoic acid for neuropathy therapy have been conducted jointly in Russia and Israel. This research concluded that neuropathy sufferers experienced considerable relief from pain throughout the body as well as relief from numbness, tingling, dizziness and loss of balance.
Oddly, the best results were obtained on the lowest dose of 600 milligrams daily, compared to doses of 1200 mgs and 1900 mgs.
Currently there are new formulas specifically for neuropathy victims that include ALA and highly potent versions of B1, B6, and B12, which combine synergistically with ALA to further help restore nerve damage and alleviate aggravating symptoms.
ALA as a potent antioxidant
Unlike most other antioxidants, ALA functions in cellular water or fat. Though it is produced in our bodies, production wanes as we age. So supplementing with ALA is yet another anti-aging strategy.
Another interesting feature of ALA is its abilities to recycle glutathione, considered the master oxidant because it recycles other antioxidants after they are used in capturing free radicals. So the ALA antioxidant even recycles the master oxidant.
That master oxidant glutathione is critical for liver and overall health. Glutathione cannot be introduced into our systems directly because it can’t get past the GI tract. Its normal production from the liver can only be stimulated externally by precursors. So having the ability to recycle glutathione is very helpful for maintaining high glutathione levels.
ALA combines synergistically with both glutathione and CoQ10 to maximize free radical protection. As we age, uninhibited free radicals destroy internal tissues and allow bone mass deterioration.
ALA’s ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier and function in fats (the brain is composed of mostly fatty tissue) has helped repair stroke victim’s brain damage. It also shows promise for protecting against and repairing neuropathy from injuries, diabetes, or other toxic pharmaceuticals besides antibiotics.
Since ALA functions in cellular fats as well as cellular water or serum, ALA eye penetration has enhanced the vision of people with glucoma, and it seems to slow cataract growth and retinal deterioration.
There is plenty of research proving ALA’s protection of the liver, the under appreciated organ responsible for cleaning our human housing. A good deal of low energy symptoms come from toxically overburdened and weakened livers.
ALA is even more than an antioxidant
ALA converts blood glucose into energy on a cellular level. This contributes toward leveling out blood sugar. A corollary to this comes from recent research. That corollary involves metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and poor coronary health. The research found that ALA supports insulin sensitivity and heart related endothelial function.
Even bone health is aided by ALA’s ability to suppress osteoclast cell production, which affects bone quality and mass. It’s not unusual for some commercial chelation products to be mixed into ALA, because ALA alone has heavy metal chelation capabilities.
It’s obvious that ALA is a full spectrum supplement covering a wide range of health issues. ALA works synergistically with the B vitamins and vitamins C and E, and other antioxidants.
To sum it up, ALA chelates heavy metals, balances blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, adds to bone density and cardiovascular health, protects the liver, offers cataract protection, restores the master antioxidant while capturing free radicals itself, and protects against and repairs nerve damage. Who could ask for anything more?
Cautions: Dosages used in testing ranged from 300 to 1800 mgs per day. Those who are on blood pressure or diabetes meds are cautioned to monitor themselves through their health care professionals. There are no long term studies with ALA on pregnant or nursing women.
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