Alpha-lipoic acid is known as an antioxidant that can be naturally made by the body, just as it can also be found naturally present in food.
One of the main purposes of alpha-lipoic acid is breaking down carbohydrates to effectively utilize energy -> helping turn glucose into energy.
It can be crucial for absorption, the creation of energy, and digestion. It can also help enzymes to turn nutrients into energy.
Alpha-lipoic acid can recycle antioxidants that are used by the body, including vitamin C & E, and a potent antioxidant compound known as glutathione.
While many antioxidants are only either water-soluble or fat-soluble, alpha-lipoic acid is both water and fat-soluble, meaning it can work in every cell and tissue in the body.
Many people seek to optimize their antioxidant intake, especially for health reasons related to chronic health.
conditions that ALA may help address – diabetes, inflammation, nerve disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and heart disease.
For those, looking into alpha-lipoic acid may be a good starting point as a generally well-tolerated natural supplement. While our bodies do produce alpha-lipoic acid on their own, we only produce a small amount.
Food like leafy greens and meats also provide ALA, but again, in much lower quantities.
What Are Some of The Uses of Alpha-lipoic Acid?
ALA is commonly used for nerve pain in people with diabetes.
Some studies found it to lower blood sugar levels by up to ~64%.
There has been a vast amount of research that proves that alpha-lipoic acid is a good preventative measure against diabetes and in the management of diabetic nerve pain.
It helped prevent many kinds of cell damage within the body and restores vitamin levels such as vitamin C & E.
Alpha-lipoic acid can provide many health benefits due to its antioxidant capabilities. It has become a potential aid for diabetes, as it can lower blood sugar levels in both humans and animals.
There have also been studies that show that alpha-lipoic acid helps with lowering blood sugar by promoting processes that can remove fat that has been accumulated through the muscle cells, in which the insulin is less effective.
It was proven that it lowers the risk of diabetic retinopathy and prevents symptoms of nerve damage within the eyes.
since oxidative stress can cause nerve damage and cause vision problems that also include people with diabetes or older adults.
ALA can be known as a successful treatment to help control symptoms of eye-related disorders.
which include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, retina damage, vision, and Wilson’s disease.
Another benefit would be that the properties of the alpha-lipoic acid may slightly promote weight loss as one study showed that people who took a supplement of alpha-lipoic acid had lost an average of 1.52 pounds which is equivalent to ~0.69 kg throughout a couple of months with no other intervention methods.
ALA may help prevent patients from experiencing neuron damage, motor impairment, memory loss, and changes in cognitive function. ALA may reverse the damage in aging cells of the brain, lower oxidative damage and improve performance in memory tasks.
I’ve Heard Alpha-Lipoic Acid is Risky for Heavy Metal Detox? Is That True?
If you have any serious concerns regarding this, or have heavy metal toxicity and are proceeding with doing a heavy metal detox protocol, you should consult with your doctor.
Generally, alpha-lipoic acid appears to be extremely useful (i.e., one of the most useful chelating agents) in regards to “detoxing” from heavy metals given its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cell membranes.
However, there are valid concerns that ALA may “redistribute” heavy metals when detoxing with a high dosage.
This can cause unwanted side effects, or the metals (such as lead or mercury) to be redistributed throughout other parts of the body.
This is generally only a problem for those with mercury or lead poisoning and even in those cases, this is a hypothetical concern.
Those concerned with this aspect should look into the Andrew Cutler chelation method, which does recommend ALA for this very issue, but with a highly specific dosing regimen based on the supplement half-life in the body. ALA, in this case, is dosed or taken every ~3 hours.
Therefore, the idea of this protocol is to reduce this as much as possible by maintaining a steady blood level and by only taking it once serum levels are low (hence ~3 hours) or you run the risk of allowing fairly innocuous mercury to enter your brain.
It is best advised not to take ALA with metal tooth fillings and not to take it randomly, say once a day or something, even without fillings, if you have any sort of mercury-related health concerns.