==== ====Get free e-books on a variety of topics from Affiliate Marketing to how to heal with crystals.http://thothknows.blogspot.com/==== ====Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) occurs naturally in the body and plays a crucial role in the energy-producing structures of cells. At the molecular level, it binds to protein and functions as a cofactorfor several important mitochondrial enzymes. Although the majority of alpha-lipoic acid producedby the body is used almost entirely to generate energy, researchers have found that ALA may actas an antioxidant when incorporated into the diet.Taken in supplement form, alpha-lipoic acid may defend the body against free radicals and singleaction molecules which can damage cells and lead to degenerative disorders associated withdiminished health and aging. Other common and scientific names for alpha-lipoic acid includeALA, biletan, lipoic acid, lipoicin, thioctacid, thioctan and thioctic acid.Sources of alpha-lipoic acidAlpha-lipoic acid is synthesized in both animals and humans. But because little "free" alpha-lipoicacid is left circulating in the body after cells use it for energy, external sources of ALA are neededto produce an antioxidant effect. These include meats and select vegetables (such as spinach)and dietary supplements that contain alpha-lipoic acid.How ALA works in the bodyAlpha-lipoic acid, recognized for its antioxidant potential in the late 1980s, is said to function inboth reduced and oxidized forms. It may neutralize free radicals in both the watery and fattyregions of cells and fortify the antioxidant power of vitamins C (water soluble) and E (fat soluble).Its also been said to extend the metabolic lifespan of glutathione (a tripeptide essential to themetabolism of nutrients in cells and one that plays a major role in dissolving toxic substances inthe liver) and coenzyme Q10 (a vitamin-like enzymatic cofactor needed for cells to produceenergy). Supplemental forms of alpha-lipoic acid are easily absorbed into the bloodstream andmay cross the blood-brain barrier.Alpha-lipoic acid benefits; claimsResearch indicates that ALA supplementation may slow age-related heart problems and braindegeneration, and help boost the physiological strength and cognitive function of older persons -hence its reference as an anti-aging nutrient. ALA may also stave off age-related maculardegeneration and, when added to cosmetic creams and face masks, alpha-lipoic acid mayenhance the elasticity and youthful appearance of skin.Benefits of ALA supplementation may include:
o A reduction of oxidative stress and circulating free radicals in the bodyo Improved heart and artery healtho Enhanced immune system strength and brain functiono Blood glucose regulation and balanced cholesterolo Detoxification of the livero A healthy neural systemAlpha-lipoic acid side effects, safety and toxicityAlpha-lipoic acid is said to be safe in doses ranging from 100 mg to 400 mg daily.* It may also betoxic, and even fatal, in doses as high as 1,800 mg a day.* Excessive doses of alpha-lipoic acidhave been known to cause stomach upset and nausea and may lead to dangerously low bloodglucose levels. The frequency and strength of ALA supplementation is typically based on thereason for treatment.It is advisable to consult a physician prior to ALA supplementation if youre:o Taking any type of prescription medicineo Allergic to any prescription or over-the-counter medicine or dietary supplemento Pregnant or plan to become pregnanto Nursingo Suffering from any type of cardiovascular, heart, blood or arterial disorderThough alpha-lipoic acid appears to be safe, the effects of long-term use have yet to be fullyexplored. Contraindications may exist, as might adverse reactions with certain medications orsupplement regimens.Research shows that the potency of alpha-lipoic acid may be diminished if mixed with certaincompounds such as thiamine.*Statement not evaluated by FDAClinical studies and alpha-lipoic acid researchThe majority of current research available focuses on the impact of alpha-lipoic acid on rodents inthe laboratory. ALA research has found that alpha-lipoic acid supplementation may aidinflammation in rats and reduce oxidative stress. It may also help to metabolize glucose andregulate blood sugar in mice.
Because oxidative damage is shown to be a major factor in the decline of physiological function inolder persons, ALAs potential in fighting immune disorders may be far reaching, as ALA has beenfound to protect cells from oxidative damage in older rats. Its also been shown to suppresscollagen-induced arthritis in mice and to slow retinal degeneration. Rodent studies suggest thatALA may improve epidermal blood flow and aid nerve damage caused by high blood glucose.As a result of aggressive testing in the lab, alpha-lipoic acid is being studied for its potential infighting human disorders as the cellular level. Alpha-lipoic acid research, however, is in thenascent stage, and the long-term potential of ALA supplementation in human health is relativelyunknown.Alpha-lipoic acid efficacy and the FDAALA is considered a dietary supplement in the U.S. and is neither regulated nor inspected by theFDA. As a result, theres no guarantee to the purity, safety or strength of alpha-lipoic acidsupplements. Research has revealed ALA benefits in rodents, but effective human clinical studiesremain in the distance.Laboratory tests in 2007 found that certain ALA supplements contained less alpha-lipoic acid thanindicated on the label.For more information on Alpha Lipoic Acid, visit www.VitaCost.com/Supplements/Alpha-Lipoic-Acid-ALAReferences1. All About alpha-lipoic acid. Frequently asked questions. The Complementary and AlternativeMedicine Information Source Book. Edition 1, 2001 p159.2. [alpha ]-Lipoic acid modulates gut inflammation induced by trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid inrats.(Author abstract)(Report) Meltem Kolgazi, Nermina Jahovic, Meral Yuksel, Feriha Ercan, LnciAlican. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Nov 2007 v22 i11 p1859 (7).3. Antioxidants and narrow band-UVB in the treatment of vitiligo: a double-blind placebo controlledtrial. (Author abstract)(Report) Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. Nov 2007 v32 i6 p631 (6).4. The effect of [alpha ]-lipoic acid on symptoms and skin blood flow in diabetic neuropathy.(Authorabstract)(Report) H.Y. Jin, S.J. Joung, J.H. Park, H.S. Baek, T.S. Park. Diabetic Medicine. Sept2007 v24 i9 p1034(5).5. Mitochondrial Aging and the Beneficial Role of [alpha]-Lipoic Acid. (Author abstract) A. R.Palaniappan, A. Dai. Neurochemical Research. Sept 2007 v32 i9 p1552 (7).6. Wellness Guide to Dietary Supplements. UC Berkeley wellnessletter.com. 2007.7. New alpha-lipoic acid from Aquanova Nutraceuticals International. July 2007 pNA.8. ConsumerLab.com tests alpha lipoic acid supplements Nutraceuticals World. July-August 2007
v10 i7 p14 (1).9. Alpha-lipoic acid suppresses the development of collagen-induced arthritis and protects againstbone destruction in mice. Eun Young Lee, Chang-Keun Lee, Ki-Up Lee, Joong Yeol Park, Kyung-Ja Cho, You Sook Cho, Hee Ran Lee, Se Hwan Moon, Hee-Bom Moon, Bin Yoo. RheumatologyInternational. Jan 2007 v27 i3 p225 (9).10. Alpha-lipoic acid. Alternative Medicine Review. Sept 2006 v11 i3 p232 (6).For more information on Alpha Lipoic Acid, visit http://www.VitaCost.com/Supplements/Alpha-Lipoic-Acid-ALAArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mitch_Pellecchia==== ====Get free e-books on a variety of topics from Affiliate Marketing to how to heal with crystals.http://thothknows.blogspot.com/==== ====