What is ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid - and how can it help you?*
Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. Yeast, spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, yams and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. A healthy body makes enough lipoic acid to supply its energy requirements; therefore, there is no daily requirement for this supplement. However, several medical conditions appear to be accompanied by low levels of alpha lipoic acid – specifically, diabetes, liver cirrhosis and heart disease.
Alpha-lipoic acid is most commonly taken by mouth for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. It is also given as an injection into the vein (by IV) for these same uses. In Europe, alpha lipoic acid is licensed for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. It has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity, improve microcirculation in the limbs, and reduce neuropathic symptoms.**
How does it work?
Alpha-lipoic acid seems to help prevent certain kinds of cell damage in the body, and also restores vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C. There is also evidence that alpha-lipoic acid can improve the function and conduction of neurons in diabetes. It is used in the body to break down carbohydrates and to make energy for the other organs in the body.
Important Functions of ALA*
Alpha lipoic acid acts as a powerful antioxidant both inside and outside of the cells.
Alpha lipoic acid helps to regenerate both fat and water soluble antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E.
Alpha lipoic acid improves sugar and fat metabolism.
Alpha lipoic acid also has anti-inflammatory action.