Alpha Lipoic Acid Health Benefits
Because it acts like an antidote to oxidative stress and inflammation, alpha lipoic acid seems to fight damage done to the blood vessels, brain, neurons, and organs like the heart or liver. This mean it offers numerous benefits throughout the whole body, from naturally treating Alzheimer’s disease to controlling liver disease.
Because ALA isn’t an official essential nutrient, there hasn’t been an established daily recommendation needed to prevent a deficiency. However, being low in antioxidants in general can speed up in the ageing process, resulting in symptoms like a weakened immune function, decreased muscle mass, cardiovascular problems and memory problems.
Here are five ways that including supplements can help keep you feeling young and healthy:
1. Fights Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Because alpha lipoic acid can protect cells and neurones involved in hormone production, one benefit is it offers protection against diabetes. ALA is considered an effective drug in the treatment of diabetic distal sensory-motor neuropathy, which affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes. In dietary supplement form, ALA seems to help improve insulin sensitivity and might also offer protection against metabolic syndrome — a term given to a cluster of conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight. Some evidence also shows that it can help lower blood sugar levels.
ALA is used to help relieve complications and symptoms of diabetes caused by nerve damage, including numbness in the legs and arms, cardiovascular problems, eye-related disorders, pain, and swelling. That’s why it should be part of any diabetic diet plan to treat this common disorder. People who experience peripheral neuropathy as a side effect of diabetes can find relief from pain, burning, itching, tingling and numbness using ALA, although most studies show that high doses in IV form are most effective as opposed to eating ALA-rich foods.
A major benefit of alpha lipoic supplementation in diabetics is the lowered risk for neuropathic complications that affect the heart, since around 25 percent of people with diabetes develop cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN). CAN is characterised by reduced heart rate variability and is associated with an increased risk of mortality in people with diabetes. Research suggests that supplementing with 600 milligrams a day of ALA (or “LA” as it is sometimes called) for three weeks significantly reduces the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, although some doctors choose to use doses up to 1,800 milligrams a day safely in their patients under supervision.
2. Preserves Eye Health
Oxidative stress can damage nerves in the eyes and cause vision problems, especially in people with diabetes or older adults. Alpha lipoic acid has been used successfully to help control symptoms of eye-related disorders, including vision loss, macular degeneration, retina damage, cataracts, glaucoma and Wilson’s disease.
Results from certain studies demonstrate that long-term use of alphalipoic acid has beneficial effects on the development of retinopathy since it halts oxidative damage that can result in modified DNA in the retina. As people age, their vision becomes much more compromised, which is why it’s important to eat a nutrient-dense diet well before old age to prevent degeneration of eye tissue or vision loss early on.
3. Prevents Memory Loss and Cognitive Decline
We know that a nutrient-dense diet filled with various colourful “brain foods” helps protect memory. Some health care professionals use alpha lipoic acid supplements to further help prevent their patients from experiencing neurone damage, memory loss, motor impairment and changes in cognitive functioning because of it antioxidant activity. ALA seems to easily make its way into the brain by passing the blood-brain barrier, where it can protect delicate brain and nerve tissue. It’s also used to prevent strokes and other brain problems, including dementia in older adults.
Recent experiments using rats have shown that ALA can help reverse the damage in ageing cells of the brain, improve performance in memory tasks, lower oxidative damage and improve mitochondrial function, although we still don’t know how well these benefits can apply to ageing humans.
4. Helps Boost Glutathione
Glutathione is considered the “master antioxidant” by many experts, since it’s crucial for immunity, cellular health and disease prevention. Some studies have found that 300–1,200 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid helps increase the ability of glutathione to regulate the body’s immune response and fight off diseases like diabetes/insulin resistance or even HIV/AIDS. In adults, supplementation with alpha lipoic acid seems to positively impact patients with immune deficiency syndromes and serious viruses by restoring blood total glutathione levels and improving functional reactivity of lymphocytes to T-cell mitogens.
5. Helps Protect Skin from Damage
When it comes to battling physical signs of ageing on the skin, certain studies have found that topical treatment creams containing 5 percent alpha lipoic acid can help reduce fine lines caused by exposure to sun ways. Skin damage is one side effect of high amounts of free radicals, which is why antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies are said to keep you looking young.