Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), also known as lipoic acid (or thioctic acid), is a sulfur-containing fatty acid found inside every cell of the human body. The main function of alpha-lipoic acid is to generate the energy required to keep living organisms alive and functioning. Lipoic acid plays a key role in variety vital energy-producing reactions in the body that turn glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful, natural antioxidant becoming recognized as having some unique properties in the therapy and prevention of a broad range of diseases.
In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid helps the body use glucose, hence alpha lipoic acid’s potential role in improving blood sugar control. Alpha lipoic acid reduces complications from a high sugar diet. Lipoic acid is readily absorbed from the diet or as a supplement. Alpha lipoic Acid has a variety of benefits, particularly for diabetics.
Some of the prime alpha-lipoic acid benefits
# Some studies have found that it may be beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma.
# It helps the liver regenerate, especially in the treatment of liver degeneration because of damage from excessive consumption of alcohol.
# It may help in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.
# Helps to balance the level of cholesterol.
# Helps in the case of cardiovascular problems such as hard arteries.
# It helps to improve the efficacy in our bodies of other nutrients such as vitamin C and E.
# It may help to detoxify your body.
# It is a powerful antioxidant.
# Helps to prevent brain damage
Lipoic acid supplements have been repeatedly demonstrated to benefit a number of health conditions, including the neurological complications of diabetes, arterial sclerosis and others. Normally once an antioxidant has eliminated a free radical, it is lost forever. Lipoic acid is the only antioxidant with the unique ability to regenerate/recycle itself, and other antioxidants such as vitamins C & E, so that they can continue destroying free radicals. This is why ALA is known as a network antioxidant.
The common dosage of alpha-lipoic acid for complications of diabetes is 100 to 200 mg three times daily. In studies that found benefit of supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid, several weeks of treatment were often necessary for effects to develop. However, some studies have indicated as much as 600-1,800 mg per day of alpha-lipoic acid for optimal benefit in people with specific health concerns such as diabetes, liver cirrhosis and atherosclerosis.
There are not enough studies to support the following claims made by some practitioners, but there are not studies against them either:
* Prevents cancer
* Treats depression
* Treats HIV
* Reduces obesity
* Alleviates pain after surgery