Alpha Lipoic Acid – The Grandmother of Antioxidants
WHAT IS ALPHA LIPOIC ACID?
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found in small amounts in certain foods, such as spinach and broccoli. It is also available as a dietary supplement. ALA has been studied for its potential to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, as well as to protect against nerve damage and other conditions.
HOW DOES ALPHA LIPOIC ACID WORK?
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that plays a key role in the body’s energy metabolism. It works by increasing the production of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells.
ALA also works by helping to recycle other antioxidants in the body, such as vitamins C and E, which allows them to continue to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
ALA also helps to lower inflammation in the body by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. This can be beneficial in preventing or treating chronic diseases that involve inflammation such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
In addition to this, ALA also has a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to protect the brain and the nervous system from oxidative stress and inflammation. This is why it’s considered to be beneficial for cognitive function, memory, and neuropathic pain.
WHAT FOODS IS ALPHA LIPOIC ACID FOUND IN?
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found in small amounts in certain foods. Some of the best dietary sources of ALA include:
- Spinach: Spinach is one of the richest dietary sources of ALA, with a serving of cooked spinach providing around 4-5 mg of ALA.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is also a good source of ALA, with a serving of cooked broccoli providing around 1-2 mg of ALA.
- Organ meats: Organ meats such as liver and kidney are also good sources of ALA, with a serving of cooked liver providing around 2-3 mg of ALA.
- Yeast: Brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, and torula yeast are also good sources of ALA, with a serving of yeast providing around 2-3 mg of ALA.
- Potatoes: Potatoes, especially when cooked and cooled, contain high levels of alpha lipoic acid.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are also a good source of ALA.
- Brussels Sprouts
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ALPHA LIPOIC ACID?
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that has several potential health benefits. Some of the benefits of ALA include:
- Improving insulin sensitivity: ALA may help improve the body’s ability to use insulin, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
- Lowering inflammation: ALA has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Protecting the nervous system: ALA may help protect the nervous system from damage caused by free radicals and may be useful in treating conditions such as neuropathic pain and diabetic neuropathy.
- Improving cognitive function: Some studies suggest that ALA may help improve cognitive function and memory.
- Improving skin health: ALA may help improve skin health by reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity.
- Protecting the liver: ALA may help protect the liver from damage and may be useful in treating liver diseases such as hepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
WHERE CAN I BUY ALA?
Alpha lipoic acid can be found in many health food stores and online retailers as a dietary supplement in various forms such as capsules or tablets. Some common places to purchase it include:
- Vitamin Shops (GNC, Vitamin World, etc)
- Health Food Stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc)
- Online retailers (Amazon, iHerb, etc)
- Online vitamin and supplement retailers
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID FAQ
- What is alpha lipoic acid (ALA)? ALA is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found in small amounts in certain foods, such as spinach, broccoli, and organ meats. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
- What are the potential benefits of ALA? ALA has several potential health benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity, lowering inflammation, protecting the nervous system, improving cognitive function, improving skin health, and protecting the liver.
- How much ALA should I take? The appropriate dosage of ALA can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement to determine the appropriate dosage for you.
- Are there any side effects associated with ALA? ALA is generally considered safe when taken as directed. However, some people may experience side effects such as skin rash, stomach upset, or a tingling sensation in the hands and feet. If you experience any side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak with a healthcare professional.
- Can I take ALA with other medications? ALA may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medications. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking ALA if you are taking other medications.
- Are there any populations that should avoid taking ALA? ALA is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and should be avoided by people with a history of a kidney or liver problems. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement.
- Is there any scientific evidence to support the benefits of ALA? While there is some scientific evidence to support the potential benefits of ALA, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the appropriate dosage and duration
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