Alpha Lipoic Acid (also known as lipoic acid, thioctic acid, or ALA) is one of the good fatty acids produced in every one of our cells. One of its main functions is to help convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy. About forty years ago, biologists discovered that ALA is also an antioxidant—a powerful substance that combats potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals.
Besides taking ALA for its general benefits as an antioxidant, studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid can help with the following conditions:
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol
- Peripheral Neuropathy (caused by diabetes and other conditions, such as Lyme disease, alcoholism, shingles, thyroid disease and kidney failure)
- Diabetes (improving glucose metabolism and helping diabetics utilize insulin better)
- Liver Disease
- Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer (increasing long-term survival)
- Impaired Brain Function (as a treatment for stroke and other brain disorders involving free radical damage, including Alzheimer's disease)
- Effects of Aging (improving blood flow and enhancing immune function, restoring levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound)
- Degenerative Diseases (ALA is a strong anti-inflammatory agent)
- Glaucoma and Cataracts
Alpha Lipoic Acid is manufactured by the body and is found in small amounts in several foods. These include spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer's yeast, Brussels sprouts, rice bran, potatoes and organ meats (kidney, heart and liver). The effectiveness of the low levels of ALA obtained by eating these foods hasn't been proven. Due to the poor western diet, the majority of Americans are deficient in this powerful antioxidant. Concentrated amounts of ALA are available by injection or IV and administered by Orthomolecular Nutrition & Wellness.