ALA is a fatty acid that exists in the mitochondria and is involved in energy metabolism. Commonly taken with Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements as they are related in mechanisms. ALA gives a short but potent reduction of oxidation by increasing anti-oxidant enzymes, and may decrease Blood Glucose acutely.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a mitochondrial fatty acid that is highly involved in energy metabolism. It is synthesized in the body and can be consumed through eating meats and minimally in some fruits/vegetables.
In supplement form, it has shown benefit against various forms of oxidation and inflammation. These effects carry on to benefits that protect one from heart diseases, liver diseases, diabetes, and neurological decline with age.
It is a potent anti-oxidant compound. It works with mitochondria and the body's natural anti-oxidant defenses. It is also seen as an anti-aging compound since it can reverse some of the oxidant damage related effects of aging.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant produced in small amounts in your body. You also get it from eating spinach and collard greens, broccoli, beef and organ meats.You need Alpha-Lipoic Acid’s antioxidant power. Because it regenerates other antioxidants that were depleted by the ongoing fight with free radicals in your cells. It allows you to use the antioxidants Vitamin C & E, glutathione and CoQ10 already in your body over and over again. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a unique antioxidant because it is both water- and fat-soluble. Meaning it works in all parts of the human cell. The more Lipoic acid you have in your system; the more antioxidant benefits you experience.
In fact, Alpha-Lipoic acid is so efficient at what it does, it boosts the energy in your cells while reducing inflammation, and getting rid of heavy metals.
In your brain, Alpha-Lipoic acid boosts the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. And even increases glucose uptake in brain cells. Providing you with a boost of mental energy.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is used throughout your body. It helps increase insulin sensitivity which reduces the threat of diabetes. And ALA reduces the chances of metabolic syndrome which is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and weight gain.
Lipoic Acid is also known as Alpha-Lipoic Acid, ALA and Thioctic acid. The Alpha-Lipoic Acid you get as a supplement is usually a 50/50 mixture of R-(natural) and S-(unnatural) enantiomers. They are mirror images of each other and called a ‘racemic’ mixture.
Most commercially available forms of Alpha-Lipoic Acid include the ‘S-form’, or unnatural form of Lipoic acid. Chemically synthesized in 1952, and not found in nature.
It is thought that the two enantiomers differ biologically. But much of the research done over the last 30 years has been with the racemic version of Alpha-Lipoic Acid because the R-form was not commercially available.
S-Lipoic Acid (the enantiomer not found in nature) may not produce the most essential properties of Lipoic Acid. Including interactions with proteins, enzymes and genes.
R-Lipoic Acid is the form of Lipoic acid occurring naturally in the human body, animals, and plants. This is the only form that functions as a co-factor for mitochondrial enzymes involved in energy production.
Be aware that most commercially available forms of Alpha-Lipoic Acid include both S- and R-forms of Lipoic acid.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is produced as a mixture because R-Lipoic Acid, when separated from the S-form, is very unstable. And deteriorates very quickly making it unusable as a dietary supplement.
Very few companies go through the complicated, expensive process required to remove the synthetic S-ALA from R-ALA. So unless the bottle specifically states 100% R-ALA, you’re getting a 50/50 blend.
Know that R-ALA may be up to 12 times more effective than S-ALA.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.
1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid boosts Acetylcholine a neurotransmitter tied to memory and overall brain function.
ALA increases acetylcholine production by activation of choline Acetyltransferase and increases Glucoseuptake. This process supplies more Acetyl-CoA for the production of Acetylcholine.
2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a promising weapon in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Oxidative stress plays a key role in cognitive disorders because neurons are highly vulnerable to free radical damage.
A recent study showed that Lipoic acid may help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. An area where no known cure has been produced by the big pharmaceutical companies.
In this study 43 patients with dementia were given 600 mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid daily for 4 years. Researchers concluded from this study, “Alpha-Lipoic Acid might be a successful ‘neuroprotective’ therapy option for Alzheimer’s disease.”
As we get older, our brain chemistry and metabolism changes.
All of these age-related changes are contributing factors to the neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
But even if you’re not concerned with the effects of aging, Alpha-Lipoic Acid can help.
Research from hundreds of studies have shown that Alpha-Lipoic Acid will:
* Increase the production of acetylcholine
* Improve memory and learning ability
* Restore the health of neurons
* Boost cognitive performance and memory in Alzheimer’s patients
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is both water- and fat-soluble and quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier after you take it.
ALA improves your brain function and learning processes by directly increasing the production of acetylcholine.
There is little evidence whether R-LA supplements are more effective than regular Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplements in humans.
Taking Alpha-Lipoic Acid with a meal decreases it bioavailability. So we recommend taking ALA on an empty stomach (1 hour before eating).
Most Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplements contain a 50/50 mixture of R-LAand S-LA. Supplements claiming to contain only R-LA are often more expensive. And information regarding their purity is not often available.
Peak plasma (blood) concentrations of R-LA were found to be 40-50% higher than S-LA. This suggests that R-LA is better absorbed than S-LA.
* Alpha-Lipoic Acid dosage for cognitive benefits is 2- 600 mg per day.
* ALA dosage for diabetic neuropathy is 800 mg per day divided into two doses.
* Alpha-Lipoic Acid dosing for antioxidant benefits is 50 – 100 mg per day.
We suggest starting with a dose of 400 mg daily. And work your way up to 600 mg per day. Taken in two doses during the day. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is often stacked with B-vitamins.