What is alpha-lipoic acid? Why do we need it?
acid (ALA) is an antioxidant manufactured in the body. It is sometimes
referred to as the ?universal? antioxidant because, unlike most
antioxidants, it is soluble in both fat and water. In addition to being
manufactured by the body, it can be found in some foods and supplements
has several benefits, particularly for people with diabetes. It
enhances glucose uptake in people with type-2 diabetes, inhibits the
process of glybosylation (in which sugar molecules attach themselves to
proteins), and can reduce nerve damage and pain caused by diabetes.
Preliminary evidence suggests that ALA can improve visual function in
people with glaucoma. Test-tube studies show that ALA can stop the HIV
virus from replicating, but whether ALA supplements can help people
infected with HIV remains unclear at this point.
How much alpha-lipoic acid should I take?
of this writing, there is no clear evidence that any particular dose of
ALA provides a benefit for any particular condition. In the
abovementioned glaucoma study, researchers provided subjects with 150 mg
of ALA per day. Other studies typically use between 750 and 800 mg per
day. Some practitioners recommend 20-50 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily to
provide general antioxidant protection.
What are some good sources of alpha-lipoic acid? What forms are available?
amounts of alpha-lipoic acid are produced naturally by the body. Some
red meats ? particularly liver ? are believed to be good sources of ALA;
supplements are also available.
can happen if I don't get enough alpha-lipoic acid? What can happen if I
take too much? Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?
alpha-lipoic acid is produced naturally in the body, deficiencies are
not known to occur in humans. However, for people who take large doses
of ALA supplements, some side-effects may occur, including skin rash,
and diabetics run the risk of suffering hypoglycemia. Long-term use of
alpha-lipoic acid in animals has been shown to interfere with the
actions of the vitamin biotin, but research on humans has yet to be
always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider
before you begin taking alpha-lipoic acid or any other herbal remedy or
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