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What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Aug 3, 2008
You can be sure that a supplement has some remarkable therapeutic possibilities when it makes headlines on the five o'clock news. A recent experiment which showed the conditions of rats that had been fed a diet that was totally deficient in vitamin E tested alpha lipoic acid, which caused the rats to return to full health even though no vitamin E was replenished. The results of this test are profound, as giving these rats an alpha lipoic acid caused existing stores of vitamin E that the body was previously unable to use to be regenerated.

Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that has been used in Europe for a long period of time. It has recently emerged as an extremely impressive therapeutic agent that scavenges free-radicals. Recent studies have suggested that it has the ability to stop some degenerative diseases, the oxidative process of aging, and restores the health of diseased organs. Additionally, it has the ability to make up deficits of vitamin E or C and could potentially be one of the best treatments that have emerged for diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is considered to be more potent than vitamins E and C, as well as coenzyme Q10. Unlike other antioxidants, ALA has properties that make it superior because it is able to replace certain nutritional supplements, while potentiating others, and inhibiting tissues from deterioration that is associated with diseases. This supplement is also both fat and water soluble, which allows it to protect lipid and aqueous cell structures.

Alpha lipoic acid is a compound that is synthesized in small amounts in the body, but can also be supplied from food or supplement sources. A vitamin-like substance, it contains sulfur and also plays a crucial role in energy reactions. It can be found in liver, yeast, spinach, organ meats, broccoli, red potatoes, and red meat. When it is orally ingested, alpha lipoic acid is not compromised in the GI tract or the liver.

Numerous studies have been conducted on ALA, all of which confirm its positive effect on metabolic processes, with recent clinical tests supporting its ability to enhance free-radical protection, slow the aging process, and guard against a variety of degenerative diseases. ALA was discovered in the 1930s, where it was originally classified as a vitamin, and later categorized as an essential coenzyme when scientists discovered that it was involved in the energy processes of cell mitochondria. It wasn't until 1988 that scientists found that it also has powerful antioxidant effects.

Alpha lipoic acid is important because it protects us from free-radicals which are present in a body as a result of the number of toxic substances such as auto exhaust, tobacco smoke, pollution, preservatives, and additives that we are exposed to on a daily basis. These free radicals can actually accelerate the aging process, causing premature tissue breakdown to occur. Additionally, our environment will continue to surround us with these pollutants that create free radicals.

There are things we can do to minimize our health risks, which include exercising, eating nutritiously, and not smoking. However, these measures are rarely enough to decrease our risk for certain degenerative disease a substantial amount. ALA is beneficial because it scavenges oxidants that are left behind and helps to convert carbohydrates, fatty acids and protein to energy that is needed to drive muscle movements.
About the Author
More information on alpha lipoic acid is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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