Alpha-lipoic acid is considered one of the most powerful antioxidants manufactured by the human body. It has been called the “universal” antioxidant because it boosts glutathione levels in cells, and is both water and fat soluable. Alpha-lipoic acid is found in every cell of the body, a cofactor in several multi-enzyme complexes where it helps turn glucose into energy.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an essential co-factor in energy metabolism in organisms from microbes to humans. A nutritional coenzyme that participates in the energy metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, with a particular role in blood glucose disposal, alpha-lipoic acid is necessary for the mitochondrial energy production of the cell, which keeps us alive; it can also help reduce the aging process which reduces wrinkles in the skin and inhibits the disease process.
The therapeutic potential of alpha-lipoic acid is just beginning to be explored, but holds great promise. Alpha-lipoic acid can be found in foods such as organ meats, spinach, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, and rice bran. The richest natural food source of alpha-lipoic acid is red meat; other sources include, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, yeast (particularly brewer’s yeast), and certain organ meats (such as kidney and heart).
What’s the most important molecule you’ve never heard of? In this week’s UltraWellness blog, Dr. Mark Hyman gives you the lowdown on the “mother of all antioxidants” and tells you how you can boost it in your body — naturally. To find out more, visi…
Alpha-lipoic acid is a small molecule with chemical properties that allow it to pass easily in and out of cells. Unlike other antioxidants, which work only in water (vitamin c) or fat (vitamin e), alpha-lipoic acid is soluable in both fat and water, and thus can penetrate tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, or mainly of water, such as the heart, to protect them from free-radical damage.
Therefore, alpha-lipoic acid is able to deactivate both fat and water soluble free radicals and thereby protect both lipoproteins and membranes; no other anti-oxidant can do this. This means that the antioxidant activity of alpha-lipoic acid is working in the extra-cellular fluid and also within the cell.
Alpha-lipoic acid is unique in several ways. Alpha-lipoic acid exerts apoptotic (cell death) effects on tumor cell lines (anti-cancer effects). It is very important to the liver cell metabolic pathways and can be rapidly depleted when the liver is under stress.
One beneficial effect of alpha-lipoic acid is its ability to regenerate other important antioxidants such as vitamins c and e, coenzyme q10, and glutathione, superoxide dismutase (sod) and glutathione peroxidase (gpx). In fact, alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to protect against the symptoms of vitamin e or vitamin c deficiency in animals fed diets deficient in those nutrients.
Alpha-lipoic acid is used to help treat diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy, liver disease, retinopathy, dementia, cataracts, and glaucoma, chronic fatigue syndrome (cfs), hiv/aids, cancer, wilson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease (pad), intermittent claudication, lyme disease, and lactic acidosis that originate in genetic abnormalities in metabolism.
Supplements of Alpha-lipoic acid have shown benefits in treating pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes, nerve diseases, increasing energy metabolism, and slowing the aging process.
Thus it benefits our body by regulating blood sugar levels and improving symptoms of cardiovascular ailments, blurred vision, and liver complication. Results suggest that dietary alpha-lipoic acid is a promising agent for reducing cardiovascular complications of diabetes. It is used for improving insulin-resistance and glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, and treating amanita mushroom poisoning.
For well over 30 years physicians in germany have been clinically treating diabetics with alpha-lipoic acid and in germany to date, alpha-lipoic acid is an approved medical treatment for peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes.
Topically, alpha-lipoic acid can be used to decrease wrinkles and lines in the skin, and protect against sun damage. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant used in Europe to promote liver and nerve health, and confer protective benefits against oxidative processes.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an effective inhibitor of human immuno-deficiency virus (hiv-1) replication. In vitro, alpha-lipoic acid demonstrates synergistic effects when combined with azt, with the two combined show stronger supression of hiv replication than either when used alone.
Alpha-lipoic acid is being investigated for its own anti-cancer activities, for reasons that seem counterintuitive. Reasons that seem counterintuitive? After reading the mountain of positive evidence for this substance in this article, it is counterintuitive that alpha-lipoic acid would have anti-cancer properties?
To whom could such a thing be counterinuitive – an academic researcher who works in the interests of pharmaceutical companies, perhaps?
Watch how guys from the mainstream medical establishment who are in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies twist things around. Here’s a quote from an article on alpha-lipoic acid (found here) by a pompous academic from ScienceBlogs.com who goes by the all too appropriate “nom de plume” (that’s a classy I’m a really educated guy French way of saying “pen name”) “Abel PharmBoy.” An able pharmaceutical boy he is.
He writes, humorously were it not so twisted, “As with any treatment designed to reduce chemotherapy side effects, the major concern with alpha-lipoic acid is that it does not interfere with the beneficial anticancer effect of platinum drugs.”
The boys who help make pharmaceutical drugs see the natural health supplement super antioxidants like alpha-lipoic acid as the problem or “concern.” They show no concern for the cause of the cancer, or if alpha-lipoic acid could have prevented the cancer, but only concern that there is no interference with it’s treatment by pharmaceutical drugs.
Did it ever occur to these guys to test whether or not alpha-lipoic acic is superior at fighting cancer than their pharmaceutical drugs? No, they refuse to do these tests because they don’t care. Their interest is only profit from pharmaceutical drugs. And to smear and throw dirt on natural supplements.
The substance that could have helped prevent the cancer in the first place – “for reasons that seem counterintuitive” – becomes their natural enemy, a stumbling block in their race to build the perfect drug, and then, take over the world? Ha.
Where does Able PharmBoy learn this way of thinking? From his cohorts in government, where else? The NIS (Nauional Institute of Health) issued a report in 2001 titled, “Garlic supplements Can Impede HIV Medication.”
Sound familiar? They won’t test the garlic to see what health benefits it has, but they will smear it and make it appear dangerous in the eyes of the public should they interfere with very ineffective pharmaceutical drugs. You can see whose side they are on, and it isn’t yours, the public.
Unfortunately, there have never been any pharmaceutical drugs made by pharmaceutical companies that have ever shown to be very effective in the fight against cancer. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Not compared with the benefits of various natural health supplements.
Certain natural supplements h`ve shown to be incredibly powerful. Vitamin D can reduce certain types of cancer risk by about 60%, and 200mcg of Selenium a day has shown to reduce certain types of cancer risk and mortality by about 50%. No pharmaceutical drug has ever come close to those numbers, but you don’t hear these guys crowing about that.
The irony is that if people took sufficient quantities of powerful anticancer supplements like alpha-lipoic acid and garlic, they probably wouldn’t get cancer, but that never seems to occur to these super geniuses. They can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. They’re apparently too busy strutting around with their PhD diplomas hanging from their noses.
Oh, to be fair, he does casually allude to a couple of very questionable studies done, by, well wouldn’t you know, the Pharmaceutical Department at West Virginia University, insinuating that alpha-lipoic acid – you guessed it – might actually cause cancer. Will the BS ever stop?
You have to read it to believe it. And yes, most research departments at major universities are bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry – this has been well-documented. The FDA is as corrupt as they come, with bonehead PhD’s and medical doctors poisoning and killing hundreds of millions of people so the pharmaceutical companies can make hundreds of billions in profits.
And don’t be surprised if I am attacked and shut down by the US government for speaking the truth. Censorship happens all the time in America. It is getting worse, not better, and the US is slowly drifting right towards a more powerful central government that controls and restricts your freedoms in the guise of keeping you safe and protecting you. I want protection from the criminals in my government who support the criminals in the pharmaceutical industry, the criminals in the energy industry, the criminals who build massive war machines, etc.
You can see the war being waged on natural supplements by the US government and pharmaceutical companies. The US government is hiring scientists with your tax dollars to discover any way that a natural supplement might interfere with pharmaceutical drugs, but refuse to test or acknowledge the ability of those natural supplements to heal by themselves. Rock on Abel PharmBoy! Rock on USA!
Other research on alpha-lipoic acid has shown that it might help people with genetic defects leading to muscle myopathies. It has virtually no side-effects, and some studies have safely used very high doses in some individuals, especially diabetics. In animal studies, alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to improve memory, apparently by reversing the damage that had been induced by oxidative stress.
Alpha-lipoic acid has also been studied for its benefit in the treatment of hiv, liver ailments such as chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, and glaucoma. In fact, alpha-lipoic acid has been used for nearly thirty years in Europe to treat peripheral nerve degeneration, lower cholesterol, detoxify the liver, and to help diabetics control blood sugar levels.
Moreover, alpha-lipoic acid has been found to help protect the mitochondria and the dna during the aging process, and has a role in enhancing energy production (atp synthesis). In aging rats, short-term dietary supplementation with r-alpha-lipoic acid has been found to decrease mitochondrial ros production and improve mitochondrial function. In older rats, alpha-lipoic acid has also been shown to improve memory and to reduce age-related damage in the brain.
In addition, it has been linked to an increase in high-density lipoprotein levels, thereby helping to scavenge cholesterol and decrease the total amount of deposited cholesterol and lipids in addition to its antioxidants properties. Alpha-lipoic acid has also been implicated in helping to protect the brain from damage following a stroke, to protect tissues from damage associated with low oxygen supply that can occur following heart attack and stroke.
Alpha-lipoic acid has several potential benefits for bodybuilders. Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid has the dual effect of increasing muscle size (in both the short- and long-term) while minimizing fat gain.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to possess cancer-cell-killing activity via activation of the apoptosis pathway. It has kept cataracts from forming in animals. The metabolic thiol antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid has been suggested to be of therapeutic value in pathologies associated with redox imbalances. Alpha-lipoic acid has been found to prevent the formation of agep in the test tube.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been approved for use as a dietary supplement and become very popular in japan. When combined with other antioxidants, alpha-lipoic acid has the ability to lengthen cell life, fight infection, increase energy and detoxify the body.
Alpha-lipoic acid acts as an antioxidant, however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the “free” state in the cells. There is little free alpha-lipoic acid circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements.
Consume at least 100mg – 400mg of alpha-lipoic acid every day. Oral bioavailability for a 200 mg dose of alpha-lipoic acid is estimated to be 30%. Leave the pharm boys to their dirty work.
This test article contains many direct quotes from the following sources.
61. http://www.hquest.com/hq_handouts2.asp?VitaminName=Lipoic%20Acid63. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/08August/Pages/Goodnewsfordietingrats.asp