Alpha lipoic acid
Also known as: ALA, Thioctic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid 1
A fatty acid that assists with energy production and acts as an antioxidant in the body.
What Is It?
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that exists in the mitochondria of virtually every cell of the body that's heavily involved in energy metabolism. ALA can be synthesized in the body or obtained through the diet via meats and in limited quantities in some fruits and vegetables.
What Does It Do?
Alpha Lipoic acid is an essential cofactor in energy metabolism in all living organisms. Essentially, cofactors are compounds required by another substance, such as an enzyme, to perform a reaction or produce a desired result. Furthermore, when present in significant quantities, ALA exerts powerful antioxidant actions in the body helping to combat the proliferation of free radicals.
Unfortunately, the amount of ALA obtained through diet alone is rarely enough to see the antioxidant benefits in full effect. Here is where supplementing with ALA can be useful.
Increased antioxidant activity in the body has been shown to fight a number of degenerative disorders associated with aging, including: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Alpha Lipoic Acid also has been investigated for its effects on insulin and blood sugar regulation, particularly in the case of Type 2 Diabetics. ALA has also been shown to enhance glycogen storage and reduce blood sugar due to its actions with GLUT-4, a crucial glucose transporter in the body. Activation of GLUT-4 stimulates insulin secretion, which encourages glucose uptake by muscle in addition to liberating fatty acids to be used for fuel by muscles.
Lastly, research with ALA suggest it may alleviate complications associated with severe diabetes including vascular damage, cataract formation, and even nerve damage(polyneuropathy).
Lower blood sugar levels
Regulate insulin release
Combats free radicals
Protect against heart disease
Protect against cognitive decline
Clinical studies haven't identified an optimal dose when it comes to Alpha Lipoic Acid. However, general dosing seems to be in the range of 300-600mg each day. Although ALA is a fat-soluble compound, it does not need to be taken with fats in order to ensure proper absorption.
Alpha Lipoic Acid's role in antioxidant support and nutrient partitioning makes it an ideal supplement for a wide range of individuals. From bodybuilders to diabetics to health conscious individuals, ALA supports health, fitness, and longevity.
Whether you're looking to lose fat, build muscle, or ensure a long and healthy life free from oxidative damage, Alpha Lipoic Acid deserves a spot in your daily supplementation regimen.