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Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like antioxidant, often referred to as the "universal antioxidant". It is is able to deactivate both fat and water soluble free radicals, thereby protecting both lipoproteins and membranes. No other antioxidant can do this.
ALA is also capable of enhancing and regenerating several other antioxidants back to their active states, including vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10.
Alpha Lipoic Acid & Cognition/Anti-ageing: Alpha Lipoic Acid is regarded as the master antioxidant and has long been used as an anti-ageing supplement. Recent research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that combined therapy of ALA and the amino acid energy booster
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) mop up the free radicals in mitochondria. The deterioration of mitochondria is an important cause of ageing, resulting in mood changes, cognitive decline and lack of energy.
The supplement combination of ALA and ALC also boosted the
activity of an enzyme fundamental to the energy-creating process within the mitochondria.
Alpha Liopic Acid & Diabetes: Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is not only a powerful antioxidant but ALA helps the body use glucose, hence alpha lipoic acid's potential role in improving blood sugar control. It is prescribed in Germany for adult onset of diabetes and may be useful for the following reasons:
to aid the sugar burning ability of insulin
to decrease insulin resistance
to decrease the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (800mg/day)
Sources: Foods that contain mitochondria, such as red meats, are believed to provide the most alpha lipoic acid.
People with a vitamin B12 deficiency should avoid alpha lipoic acid as its use may cause a worsening of symptoms.