The Ultimate Guide of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha-lipoic Acid refers to the naturally occurring compound that our body produces. This compound plays vital functions in our body at a cellular level. Among its main function is the production of energy.
Our body is able to produce ALA for as long as we remain healthy. But there are instances when our body won’t be able to produce enough of it especially as we age. In this case, taking Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) supplements is highly recommended.
Those who have been taking the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) supplements have claimed that it provides tons of beneficial effects, especially in treating certain conditions like diabetes and HIV. It has also been found to aid in weight loss.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is a type of organic compound that can be found in the body cells. This compound is produced within the mitochondrion, which is also considered the powerhouse of cells. It works by helping the enzymes to convert the nutrients in our body into energy.
In addition, the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) contains powerful antioxidant properties. Some other antioxidants are either fat-soluble or water but the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is both fat-soluble and water, which is why it works in each and every cell in your body.
Vitamin C, for instance, is water-soluble only while Vitamin E is fat-soluble. The alpha-lipoic acid contains antioxidant properties that offer tons of health benefits including reduction of inflammation, lowering of the blood sugar level, improved nerve functioning and slowing down skin aging. Although our body produces Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) naturally, it can only produce a small amount. This is the reason why many would rely on alpha-lipoic acid supplements.
Animal products such as organ meats and red meat are some of the best sources of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). However, plant foods like tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and Brussels also contain these compounds. But the best way to provide a good amount of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) in your body is by taking it in the form of supplements. The best alpha lipoic acid supplement can provide you with up to a thousand times more ALA than what you can get from food sources.
How Does Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Work?
The main function of the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is to prevent cell damages in the body. It also works by restoring the level of vitamins in your body, such as Vitamins C and E. There are also pieces of evidence showing that the alpha lipoic acid neuropathy may help to improve the function of neurons for diabetes. In addition, the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) can help to break down carbs in the body and converts them into energy.
The Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) serves as an Antioxidant and this means that it can help to protect the brain from injury or damage. Its antioxidant effects are also very useful in treating certain diseases in the liver.
Does Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Help with Weight Loss?
Some studies show that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) may aid in Weight loss in various ways. Studies done on animals have proven that the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) can minimize the activity of AMPK or AMP-activated protein kinase, which is found in the hypothalamus of the brain.
If the AMPK remains active, it has the tendency to enhance hunger pangs, which could lead to overeating. By suppressing the AMPK activity, you could prevent eating more than you’re supposed to, which helps you to lose weight.
But the studies done on humans have shown that the alpha lipoic acid weight loss has only small effects. 12 studies were analyzed and it was discovered that those who are taking the alpha-lipoic acid 300 mg supplements have lost an average of 1.52 lbs. more than the group who were asked to take a placebo.
In a similar analysis, it was found that the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) did not have any significant effects on the overall waist circumference. Another analysis done on the same studies has shown that those who took the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) lost 2.8 pounds more than those who took the placebo, which is just a very small effect.
Other Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
The Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) has been known to provide tons of health benefits. Below are some of the reported Alpha lipoic acid benefits.
· Minimizes Skin Aging
Some research shows that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) might be effective in fighting the most common signs of skin aging. In a study done on humans, a group of scientists has found that applying alpha-lipoic acid cream to the skin can help to minimize wrinkles, fine lines and rough texture on the skin.
Once the alpha lipoic acid skin cream is applied into the skin, it will penetrate deep into the skin layers and provide protection from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) may help to increase the antioxidant level in your body, including glutathione, which can effectively protect the skin from damage and minimize aging.
· Promotes Healthy Nerve Function
Research shows that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) can help to promote the healthy functioning of the nerve. As a matter of fact, the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) has also been found to minimize the development of carpal tunnel syndrome while still in the early stages. Such a condition can lead to tingling sensation and numbness of the hands. In addition, taking Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) before and after undergoing surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome may help to improve the chances of recovery.
· Treats Memory Loss
One of the issues that we all have to deal with, as we grow older is Memory loss. Health experts believe that memory loss may be due to oxidative stress. Since Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant, several studies have looked into its ability to slow down the progression of memory loss, which is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
Lab studies suggest that the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) could potentially decrease the development of Alzheimer’s by neutralizing the free radicals in the body while suppressing inflammation. However, more research is required before medical experts would recommend the ALA for the treatment of memory loss.
· Lowers Risks to Heart Disease
One of the most common causes of death around the world is heart disease. A research was done on animals, humans, and in the lab has shown that the ALA’s antioxidant properties could minimize the risk of heart diseases in many ways.
First, it allows the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) to neutralize the body’s free radicals and minimize oxidative stress, which is usually the leading cause of heart disease. Secondly, it can help to improve the endothelial dysfunction, a condition that takes place when the blood vessels won’t be able to dilate properly, which also increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Because of these, some health experts believe that one of the alpha lipoic acid benefits are lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Furthermore, a review of studies has found that consumption of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) supplements could lower the bad cholesterol level on adults.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) vs R Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
The Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is available in 3 different forms – alpha RS-lipoic acid, alpha R-lipoic acid, and alpha S-lipoic acid.
Both the Alpha RS and Alpha S lipoic are synthetics produced by means of chemical synthesis. Meanwhile, alpha R-lipoic acid is a natural form of lipoic acid. It’s the only natural version that exists and is produced by the body, while synthesized by both animals and plants.
The Lipoic Acid is considered a super antioxidant that’s capable of doing everything that an antioxidant can do, and even more. Certain types of antioxidants come only in the form of water-soluble, such as Vitamins C and E. However, the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is both water and fat-soluble.
How Much Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Should You Take?
The Alpha-lipoic acid is available in a supplement form and you can purchase it from various health and beauty stores worldwide. You can also buy Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) online. By taking the ALA supplements, you’d be able to consume up to a thousand times more of ALA compared to eating certain foods.
It is best to consume the alpha lipoic acid supplement while your stomach is empty. Taking the alpha lipoic acid before bed is also a good idea. That’s because there are certain foods that have the tendency to lower the supplement’s bioavailability. When it comes to the alpha lipoic acid dosage, evidence suggests that 300 – 600 mg should be sufficient. There are instructions that you can find at the supplement’s bottle so you better refer to it when it comes to the proper dosage.
People suffering from cognitive disorders or diabetic complications might need more ALA. In this case, you must first consult with your healthcare provider on the proper alpha lipoic acid dosage that you’ll need.
How Long Does Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Take to Work?
Taking the alpha lipoic acid 600 mg orally or through IV should be enough to improve the diabetic symptoms like pain, burning sensation, and numbness on your arms and legs. It could take up to five weeks of taking the supplements before you’ll notice improvement.
What Foods Are High in Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
If you prefer to take the Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) from food, it’s usually bonded with protein molecules from dietary sources. Here’s a list of the alpha lipoic acid foods sources.
Spinach contains 3.2 mcg per grams of lipoic acid, so eat as much of these green veggies as you can! You can have it in your soup or make it into a smoothie. But if you really love the flavor of these veggies, cook the stir-fries or add it into your favorite pasta dish.
- Red Meat
The red meat, most especially those muscles derived from beef, is one of the best sources of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). It usually has 1 to 3 mcg per grams of lipoic acid. You can consume your meat braised, roasted, grilled, etc.
The heart of beef can be a great meal if you just cook it right. It contains around 1.51 g dry weight of lipoyllysine. You can slow cook it and add herbs, spices, onions, etc. Another way is to dust the heart cubes with flour before slow cooking in a stew along with some veggies.
Eating organ meats like kidney is one way to get a good dose of the ALA. For instance, the kidney of beef contains 2.64 grams of lipoyllysine. You can make them into a kidney pie or cook them in any way you want.
Tomatoes are among those veggies that contain ALA, having 0.6 mcg of lipoyllysine. You can cook it in many different ways. Aside from adding on casseroles, you can also add it to pasta sauces. Tomatoes can also make for a great ingredient for salads.
The liver is another excellent source of ALA, providing around 0.86 mcg/g of lipoyllysine. You can cook it with some spices or simply add tons of caramelized onions to it.
Broccoli is another great veggie that’s considered one of the best alpha lipoic acid foods. What’s great about Broccoli is that you can cook it in many ways. You can roast, sauté, or perhaps blanch it lightly with dressing. This vegetable has 0.9 mcg/g of ALA.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
If you show any signs of Alpha lipoic acid side effects, see your doctor immediately. Although not serious, some of the minor side effects of taking the supplements are hives, allergic reaction, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, etc.
Although it’s not clear what exactly are the side effects of the ALA supplements, it is best to read the instructions carefully and follow the recommended dosage when taking the supplements.
If you suffer from any of the conditions below, stop taking the pills and see your doctor.
- Light-headed feeling- you feel like you wanted to pass out.
- Low blood sugar- this comes with symptoms like headache, weakness, fatigue, hunger, irritability, confusion, dizziness, heart palpitations, etc.
Some of the common alpha lipoic acid side effects may include the following:
- Skin rash
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Buy
You can now purchase the alpha-lipoic acid tablet in some vendors online. But you need to exercise due diligence because not all these vendors are legit. To ensure that you’re buying authentic supplements, take time to research and alpha lipoic acid reviews online. Don’t be tempted into buying the alpha lipoic acid supplement at a very cheap price from dubious sellers.
You should only buy from Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) manufacturer that have a good reputation. Find out what the others have to say about them by reading the alpha lipoic acid reviews. They should have more positive reviews than negative ones.