MEGA-LIPOSOMAL R- ALPHA LIPOIC ACID™ (ALA)
What is alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)?
Alpha-lipoic acid (also recognised as ALA) is a naturally occurring co-factor in several dehydrogenase enzymes in the metabolic pathway produced in the body which can also be synthesized by both plants and animals. In order for the body to produce energy ALA must be present. Fortunately a healthy liver produces enough ALA to cover basic metabolic requirements and cellular energy production and function.
What does ALA do?
As well as being vital to cellular energy production, ALA is a sulfur-containing antioxidant with metal-chelating, anti-glycation capabilities and helps to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are chemical by-products produced during the process of oxidation that converts nutrients to energy at the cellular level. As they oxidize, these compounds can develop into highly reactive toxins which are harmful to the cell, distorting its vital components and reducing its metabolic efficiency. While a healthy body can naturally manufacture enough ALA for metabolic functions, studies have shown that supplementing ALA can create more optimal levels to circulate in a free state.
What are ALA’s benefits?
ALA has been clinically proven to increase the effectiveness of partnering antioxidants, especially vitamins C and E and some other antioxidants, “recycling” them and thereby making them much more effective. Studies have also determined that ALA also acts as a synergist with B vitamins to assistance in the production of energy from the proteins, carbohydrates and fats consumed in our diet. ALA has been shown to increase intracellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is an important water-soluble antioxidant that is synthesized from the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. The availability of cysteine inside the body’s cells governs its rate of glutathione synthesis.
Studies have also shown that ALA helps protect the mitochondria and the genetic material from the oxidizing effects of free radicals. As we age, mitochondrial function becomes under increased stress, impairment and attack. It is theorized that this condition may be an important contributor to some of the adverse effects of aging.
As a dietary supplement, ALA appears to help increase insulin sensitivity, and may be specifically useful in combatting metabolic syndrome. Researchers have explored the use of ALA in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, liver ailments and glaucoma. It may also improve memory via its protective effects on brain and nerve tissue by helping increase long and short term memory and cognitive function. This is achieved by protecting the billions of neurotransmitters that travel across the synapse of the brain and throughout the body each second. This benefit was discovered when ALA was administered to individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
In Germany, High doses of ALA are approved and are currently being used for the treatment of the conditions of diabetes as well as the nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms.
Finally, many people have reported that ALA supplementation may in fact slow the effects of aging, support healthy vision and promote clear, healthy skin.
What are the signs of ALA deficiency?
ALA works in concert synergistically with many other nutrients in the body and because of this, ALA nutrient deficiency symptoms alone are challenging to characterize and or diagnose. A true ALA deficiency can replicate the overall symptoms of insufficient cellular antioxidant activity, including but not limited to a weakened immune function, decreased lean muscle mass and long and short term memory issues.
How much ALA does an adult require?
As of today, the relationships between supplemental doses and therapeutic doses have not been clearly identified or defined. Because ALA is not considered a required vitamin, there is currently no ‘Recommended Daily Allowance’ (RDA) that has been established. As with any dietary supplement, it is always strongly recommended that you speak with your physician about the dosage size of ALA you should take.