Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA, also known as thioctic acid) is a naturally occurring vitamin-like nutrient that has been intensely investigated as a therapeutic agent for a variety of conditions involving the body’s nervous, cardiovascular, immune, and detoxification systems. It is produced in small amounts in the liver and other body tissues, where it is needed by enzymes to catalyze numerous essential chemical reactions in the body. For instance, ALA is essential inside the mitochondria (power plant) of cells, where it is needed to metabolize glucose and direct calories into energy production.
Nature’s Most Versatile Antioxidant
Researchers have found that ALA displays diverse pharmacologic and antioxidant properties. Recently discovered is ALA’s ability to switch the regulation of several genes linked to cell survival, inflammation and oxidative stress. So in addition to its enzymatic role, ALA is a powerful antioxidant and performs a number of other vital functions in the regeneration of other antioxidants like Vitamin C, E and the master antioxidant, Glutathione.
Help Maintain Healthy Glucose Levels
The latest, and arguably the most important discovery regarding ALA, is its ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of the diet. Researchers have found that alpha lipoic acid is a key factor in the cellular process that metabolizes glucose to produce energy. The importance of ALA’s role in blood sugar metabolism is evidenced in many of the most recent studies. Recently, researchers have shown that alpha lipoic acid when added to the diet can increase the body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin. In a four week controlled, multi-center trial, people with type II diabetes took oral doses of 600mg, 1200mg and 1800mg daily. At the completion of the four-week trial researchers found that all participants showed an improvement in insulin sensitivity and the effect was dose sensitive.
Researchers at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute for Micronutrient research have found that our body’s natural lipoic acid levels decline markedly with age, but can be replenished through dietary supplementation. They describe ALA as an “age-essential” micronutrient and have shown that, when fed to rats, it markedly improves mitochondrial function and ameliorates many signs of aging (Hagen et al. 2002; Suh et al. 2004; University 2007). ALA is also being extensively studied in humans by researchers across the globe, and so far has been found to exhibit a number of both confirmed and potential benefits for health and longevity.
Serving Size: 1
Servings Per Container: 60
Other Ingredients: Modified cellulose (vegetarian capsule), magnesium silicate, silicon dioxide, rice powder.
Directions: As a dietary supplement, take 1-2 capsules daily, or more as directed by your health care professional