by: Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) Alpha lipoic acid – a.k.a., ALA, linolenic acid, or a-lipoic acid – is a potent, versatile antioxidant that also serves to convert blood sugar into metabolic energy. Recent research has shown lipoic acid's power to help repair nerve damage and possibly protect against Alzheimer's as well as declining vision. And there are many more health issues covered by ALA than most know.
ALA as a potent antioxidant
Unlike most other antioxidants, ALA functions in cellular water or fat. Though it is produced in our bodies, production wanes as we age. So supplementing with ALA is yet another approach to anti-aging.
It is unusual because it can actually recycle glutathione, considered the master oxidant because it recycles other antioxidants after they are used up from capturing free radicals. The ALA antioxidant even recycles the master oxidant.
That master oxidant, glutathione, is also critical for liver and overall health. Glutathione cannot be introduced into our systems directly because it can't get past the GI tract. Its normal production from the liver can only be stimulated externally by precursors. So recycling glutathione is very helpful for maintaining high glutathione levels.
ALA combines synergistically with both glutathione and CoQ10 to maximize free radical protection. As we age, uninhibited free radicals destroy internal tissues and allow bone mass deterioration.
ALA's ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier and function in fats (the brain is composed of mostly fatty tissue) has helped repair stroke victims' brain damage. It also shows promise for protecting against and repairing nerve damage known as neuropathy from injuries, strokes, diabetes, or toxic pharmaceuticals.
Neuropathy is experienced as tingling or burning sensations as well as numbness.
Again, since ALA functions in cellular fats as well as cellular water or serum, ALA eye penetration has enhanced glaucoma victims' vision and seems to slow cataract growth and retinal deterioration.
There is plenty of research proving ALA's protection of the liver, that under appreciated organ responsible for cleaning our human housing. A good deal of low energy symptoms come from toxically overburdened weakened livers.
ALA is even more than an antioxidant
ALA converts blood glucose into energy on a cellular level. This contributes toward leveling out blood sugar. A corollary to this comes from recent research.
That corollary involves metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and poor coronary health. The research found that ALA supports insulin sensitivity and endothelial (blood vessel) function.
Even bone health is aided by ALA's ability to suppress osteoclast cell production, which affects bone quality and mass. It's not unusual for some commercial chelation products to be mixed into ALA, because ALA alone has heavy metal chelation capabilities.
It's obvious that ALA is a full spectrum supplement covering a wide range of health issues. Some consider a higher potency ALA is found with R-dihydrolipoic acid. ALA works synergistically with the B vitamins, vitamins C and E and other antioxidants.
It chelates heavy metals, balances blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, protects against and repairs nerve damage for eye health, adds to bone density and cardiovascular health, protects the liver, offers cataract protection, and restores the master oxidant glutathione while capturing free radicals itself. Who could ask for anything more?
Cautions: Dosages used in testing ranged from 300 to 1800 mgs per day. Those who are on blood pressure or diabetes meds are cautioned to monitor themselves through their health care professionals. There are no known long term studies with ALA on pregnant or nursing women.