How does lipoic acid work in the body?
Lipoic acid fact sheet
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an organic compound made in the body that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight ‘free radicals’ which cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage organs, tissues and cells, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. It is found in every cell where it serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production, because it helps turn glucose into energy.
How does lipoic acid work in the body? Alpha-lipoic acid is both water soluble and fat soluble, allowing it to work in every cell or tissue in the body. Most other antioxidants are either water or fat soluble, for instance, vitamin C is only water soluble, while vitamin E is only fat soluble.
Good sources of alpha lipoic acid
Your body naturally produces alpha-lipoic acid, but only in small amounts. It’s found in a variety of foods but, however according to WebMD, ‘food does not appear to produce a noticeable increase in the level of free ALA in the body’, so we would recommend an alpha lipoic acid supplementation because they can pack up to 1,000 times more alpha-lipoic acid than food sources.
Animal products like red meat and organ meats such as kidney, liver and heart are great sources, but alpha-lipoic can also be found in plant foods like green peas, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, yam, potatoes, carrots, beets, sprouts and rice bran.
Our range of dietary supplements includes Liposomal R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid, which is combined with vitamin C to support the immune system better. It helps the liver eliminate toxic substances, it’s a great source of energy and it fights free radicals and reduces oxidative stress.
Alpha R Lipoic Acid is good for blood sugar balance, supports the pancreatic function, supports peripheral nerve function as well as being an antioxidant and free radical neutraliser. There are no set dosage requirements, most evidence suggests that 300–600 mg is sufficient and safe as a daily dose. Higher doses are not recommended, as there is no evidence that they provide extra benefits
Benefits of alpha lipoic acid
Studies show that the properties of alpha-lipoic acid have been linked to many benefits including lowering blood sugar levels, lowering the incidence of blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improving nerve function. Lipoic acid also attacks waste products created when the body turns food into energy.
Research suggests using alpha acid in the treatment of weight loss, memory, heart health conditions including heart disease, skin health in particular reducing aging skin, treating HIV and diabetes gave positive results. Here we look at some of the benefits in more detail:
Diabetes – ALA has become popular as a potential aid for people with diabetic symptoms due to lowering blood sugar levels. It works by promoting processes that can remove fat that accumulates in muscle cells, which would otherwise make insulin resistant or less effective. It is proven to ease symptoms of nerve damage and lower the risk of diabetic eye damage (retinopathy) that can occur with uncontrolled diabetes, and alpha-lipoic acid may lower the risk of diabetes complications generally.
Weight loss – Research shows that ALA may affect weight loss. In a US randomized controlled trial, long-term LA supplementation resulted in slight BMI loss, greater antioxidant enzyme synthesis and less potential for inflammation in overweight adults.
Skin health – ALA benefits for skin improvements are thought to come from its high antioxidant content, because an antioxidant is a molecule that protects your cells from damage by donating electrons to potentially the dangerous free radical molecules. Research has found that topical ALA results in an almost complete reduction of fine lines around the eyes and upper lip in most of the participants.
Alpha lipoic acid side effects
Alpha-lipoic acid is generally considered safe with very few possible side effects. In some cases, people may experience mild symptoms like nausea, rashes or itching, but these would cease once the supplement is no longer taken.
Children and pregnant women should not take supplements unless advised to do so by their healthcare provider as there maybe risk factors involved. If you have diabetes and want to try alpha-lipoic acid, speak to your health care professional first, as the effect of alpha lipoic you interfere with other medications.
Check out our full range of Alpha Lipoic products which are all made with the highest grade, certified non-GMO ingredients of the purest quality and are vegan friendly.