Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant unique in that it is both fat and water soluble. ALA was first studied in the 1950s at the University of Texas for its role in glucose metabolism. Without ALA glucose cannot enter the mitochondria of the cells where it can be burned to produce energy. For this reason it has often been promoted as an aid in weight loss, Type 2 diabetes, and in muscle building. ALA is not a vitamin because our bodies produce it in our cells, but in decreasing amounts as we age (one reason children have more energy than adults).
Further research in the 1980s uncovered many more benefits of this compound. It was discovered that ALA has the ability to:
• fight infection and reduce inflammation
• chelate metal toxins including mercury, arsenic, copper and lead
• fight cancer
• protect nerve & brain cells from aging-related degeneration
• reverse peripheral neuropathy from diabetes and other causes
• stimulate stem cell growth
• regenerate the liver and other organs
As an antioxidant, in addition to being a powerful free radical fighter, ALA:
• increases levels of glutathione, our most important cellular antioxidant
• regenerates Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other antioxidants, extending their functional life
• protects cells from radiation damage (ALA was used to reverse liver damage in Chernobyl victims).
ALA is absorbed well from food and dietary supplements. It comes in two forms: R-ALA is the naturally occurring and biologically active form, up to 12X more effective than the mirror image S-ALA which makes up 50% of cheaper ALA formulas.
This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.