Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that functions like avitamin, although it is not classified as a vitamin. As a coenzyme, ALAplays an important role in the metabolism of glucose that producesenergy in cells. ALA also has antioxidant properties and this isimportant for controlling free radicals. Because it is soluble in bothwater and fat, ALA is sometimes referred to as the "universalantioxidant."
Take one to six capsules daily, with or without food.
Cellulose, magnesium stearate, gelatin capsule.
Contains nothing other than listed ingredients.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is the only antioxidant that is both fat and water soluble. This is important because Alpha Lipoic Acid can access all parts of the cell, giving it tremendous ability to trap free radicals wherever they may be. One of the leading causes of the symptoms we know as aging is free radical damage,
Alpha Lipoic Acid is one of the very few substances that can actually cross the blood/brain barrier to enter the brain and go directly where it is needed most. Alpha Lipoic Acid supplementation causes increased levels of glutathione, which helps the body dispose of toxins.
This is important as glutathione protects the brain from free radical damage, and low levels of glutathione in the brain are associated with brain disorders such as stroke, dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
Normally once an antioxidant has eliminated a free radical, it is lost forever. Lipoic acid is the only antioxidant with the unique ability to regenerate/recycle itself, and other antioxidants such as vitamins C & E, so that they can continue destroying free radicals. This is why ALA is known as a network antioxidant.
Follow up studies showed that the animals not treated with lipoic acid showed a substantial increase in free radical related damage to the brain but not for the ones who were treated with lipoic acid. Their brains were normal, as if they had not had a stroke at all. Further testing showed that in the non-treated animals, glutathione levels had plummeted after the stroke, causing the antioxidant defenses to be wiped out while the animals treated with lipoic acid had glutathione levels that were quite high, a sign that they were able to successfully fight attack from free radicals.
Alzheimer's Disease and Alpha Lipoic Acid
Despite the fact that this study was small and not randomized, this is the first indication that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid might be a successful 'neuroprotective' therapy option for Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias.
Benefits for Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Oxidative stress appears to play an important role in neuronal degeneration associated with PD (Beal. 1992; Burke, 1998; Adams et al.. 2001; Sayreet al., 2001). The depletion of glutathione (GSH) in the brain is the earliest know indicator of oxidative stress in presymptomatic PD. (Jenner, 1993). Studies using both in vitro and in vivo models have suggested that pretreatment with R-Lipoic acid increases cellular levels of GSH, probably by preventing its depletion thereby protecting mitochondrial integrity (Suzuki et al., 1991; Scott et al., 1994; Hanet al., 1997; Xu and Wells, 1996; Lykkesfeldt et al., 1998; Kagen et al., 1992).
lipoic acid administration has been reported to result in increased ambulatory activity and improved memory in aged animals and to partially restore age-associated mitochondrial decay in both the liver and heart.
Results with previous studies suggest that R-Lipoic acid may be an effective neuroprotective agent in age-associated neurodegeneration. Utilizing the PC 12 cell model system, we propose that Lipoic acid administration could be an effective way of circumventing or delaying mitochondrial dysfunction associated with PD.
Treatment with Lipoic acid alone seems to significantly increase GSH levels only in whole cell preparations but not in mitochondrial extracts. However, pretreatment of cells with R-Lipoic acid appears to prevent BSO-mediated GSH depletion in both whole cells and mitochondria. Decreases in mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase activity associated with GSH depletion also appear to be preserved via Lipoic acid pretreatment.