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ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
Fatty Acid found naturally inside every cell of the human body!

"DID You Know"
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made naturally in the body and can also be found in foods. It is used to break down carbohydrates and to make energy.!

ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)

What is ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)?

Scientists first discovered the importance of ALA in the 1950s, and recognized it as an antioxidant in 1988. It has been the subject of a tremendous amount of basic research around the world, some being done at the University of California, Berkeley by Dr. Lester Packer, a leading expert on antioxidants.

The body needs ALA to produce energy. It plays a crucial role in the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in cells. The body actually makes enough ALA for these basic metabolic functions. This compound acts as an antioxidant, however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the "free" state in the cells. But there is little free ALA circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements or get it injected. Foods contain only tiny amounts of it. What makes ALA special as an antioxidant is its versatility—it helps deactivate an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems.

In particular, ALA helps protect the mitochondria and the genetic material, DNA. As we age, mitochondrial function is impaired, and it’s theorized that this may be an important contributor to some of the adverse effects of aging. ALA also works closely with vitamin C and E and some other antioxidants, "recycling" them and thus making them much more effective.

Where does ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) come from?

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made naturally in the body and also found in foods. It is used to break down carbohydrates and to make energy. Alpha-lipoic acid can be eaten in foods, such as red meat, carrots, beets, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Anyone looking for optimal health and vigor. There are no known deficenciencies associadte with ALA. Since ALA works on a mirad of free-radicals in the body it has been used to treat many age-related diseases, from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and cataracts. Bottom Line: This potent and versatile antioxidant may some day be seen as a very important supplement. But for now, not enough is known to recommend it. If you have diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s and decide to take it, tell your doctor.

How much should be taken? Are there side effects?

Most doses of ALA, such as 100mg to 600mg have been used in studies, and do not cause side effects of any significance. However, higher doses could cause gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea or stomach upset. Extremely high doses could potentially lead to very low blood sugar.

For any long-term use, we do not recommend that you take no more than 100-200 mg a day until more extensive human studies have been completed. People don’t always realize that even a good thing can turn bad. Some antioxidants are thought to turn into pro-oxidants (oxidation-causing) in excessive dosages. Also, the body needs some oxidation-type chemicals in order to fight off certain germs. It may be unwise to mop up all oxidants in the body, since some may play certain key roles. It would certainly be wise to make your healthcare practitioner aware of the supplements you are taking.

Recent Studies

ALA is being studied in animals and in humans as a preventive and/or treatment for many age-related diseases. These range from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as declines in energy, muscle strength, brain function, and immunity. It is also being studied for HIV disease and multiple sclerosis. In Germany, in particular, it is already prescribed to treat long-term complications of diabetes, such as nerve damage, thought to result in part from free-radical damage; there is also evidence that it can help decrease insulin resistance and thus help control blood sugar. Many studies have yielded promising results; others are still underway.

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