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.
What is Glutathione?
A small protein composed of three amino acids: Cysteine, Glutamic acid, and Glycine. Glutathione is involved in detoxification—it binds to toxins, such as heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides, and transforms them into a form that can be excreted in urine or bile. Glutathione is also the most important antioxidant. In preliminary research, dietary glutathione intake from fruit and raw vegetables has been associated with protection against some forms of cancer. Glutathione has also inhibited cancer in animal studies.
Glutathione is the most important molecule your body needs to stay healthy and prevent disease. Here are some of the following conditions that having the proper amounts of glutathione will not only prevent but will help eradicate.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Asthma (Inhalation of glutathione available)
- Autoimmune Disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic Infections
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Problems
- Liver Disease
- Lung Disease/COPD (Inhalation of glutathione available)
- Parkinson’s disease
Orthomolecular Nutrition administers our glutathione by inhalation, injection and as a part of our customized IV nutrient therapy.
S-Acetyl Glutathione (Orally)
Acetylglutathione is orally active, unlike plain glutathione, and is stable in the intestine and plasma when absorbed and delivered directly to the cells for natural deacetylation intracellularly. Plain glutathione delivered to the plasma by precursors, liposomal products, or intravenously must be broken down by enzymes to the basic amino acid components for absorption into the cell, and these require more energy expenditure to be reconstructed back to rGSH. It is known that disease states can block the reassimilation of components into rGSH. Therefore, it is a better dietary/ therapeutic decision to provide the orally active and absorbed acetylglutathione, which increases intracellular rGSH directly and naturally without increased energy expenditure and without being compromised from disease states.
Intracellular Energy Production
Mitochondria are the cell's fuel source and consume more molecular oxygen than other organelles within the cytosol. This creates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which generate more oxidative stress. This is a reason why mitochondria are a main target for GSH to neutralize ROS and reduce oxidative stress. Entry and replenishment of GSH into the mitochondria are a critical step in maintaining intracellular health.
Acetylglutathione provides replenishment of GSH intracellularly directly, without excess energy expenditure. The efficiency of action and ease of dosing make acetylglutathione an excellent choice for the gold standard of GSH replenishment: to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation of disease progression to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Currently, the use of GSH orally as a therapeutic agent is limited by its unfavorable biochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. GSH has a short life in human plasma (Less than 3 min) and difficulty in crossing cell membranes, so administration of high doses is necessary to reach a therapeutic value.
Acetylglutathione is more lipophilic than plain glutathione, sufficiently so to be taken up intact by cells, and has been shown to rapidly raise intracellular GSH levels.
S-acetylglutathione is able to increase intracellular-SH groups as reported by Vogel et al., is more stable in blood plasma than GSH, and enters the cells directly, where it is converted to reduced glutathione by the abundant cytoplasm thioesterases.
To order S-Acetyl Glutathione click here.
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“All diseases begin in the gut”. The Father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, made this statement more than two thousand years ago. The more we learn with our modern scientific tools, the more we realize just how correct Hippocrates was: all diseases do begin in the gut. Science has discovered that about 90% of all cells and all genetic material of the human body belongs to the gut flora - a mixture of various microbes, which live inside our digestive tract. So, in reality your body is just a shell, providing a habitat for this mass of micro-creatures living inside you; and their role in your health and physiology is monumental. Our modern world poses many dangers for human gut flora, and once it is damaged, the health of the whole body enters a downward slide towards disease.
What is the gut?
A "gut feeling" or a "gut reaction" to something is a description of a sense you have about it without knowing why. This probably comes from the fact that many people experience their emotions in their stomach or gut area. Think about where you would physically feel a "gut feeling." Research has shown that the network of neurons lining our guts is so extensive that it has now been nicknamed our "second brain" or "other brain." This gut "brain" doesn't think for us, but it does play a key role in certain diseases and communicates with the brain in our skulls.
Our "second brain" is known as the enteric nervous system. It is a collection of neurons in the gastrointestinal tract. Its role is to manage every aspect of digestion in all the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. It uses over 100 million neurons and some of the same chemicals things that can be found in your "other" brain, including neurotransmitters and neuropeptides.
Within your gastrointestinal tract, there is intestinal microflora or microbiota. This complex ecosystem contains over 400 bacterial species. Small amounts can be found in your stomach and small intestines, but the majority is found in your colon. The intestinal microflora aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins and nutrients, metabolize some medications, support the development and functioning of the gut, and enhance the immune system.
How can we help keep the Gut healthy?
The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning "promoting" and biotic, meaning "life." There is some debate about how to define probiotics. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines probiotics as "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host." Yes, they are actually alive, and most of these microorganisms are bacteria. Most people think of antibiotics and antibacterial products when you mention bacteria. Both of those kill bacteria so why would you want to consume anything that has live bacteria in it? It's all about balance.
Our digestive system normally has what we would call "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria. Maintaining the correct balance between the "good" bacteria and the "bad" bacteria is necessary for optimal health. Things like medications, diet, diseases, and your environment can upset that balance. Is your body able to handle this on its own or do you need to start including probiotics in your diet?
Probiotics can help or prevent with the following conditions:
yeast infections, urinary tract infection, irritable bowel syndrome, antibiotic-related diarrhea, traveler's diarrhea, diarrhea resulting from Clostridium difficile, treating lactose intolerance, skin disorders (fever blisters, eczema, acne, and canker sores), and prevention of respiratory infections.
Advantages of Probiotics
Probiotics are believed to protect us in two ways. The first is the role that they play in our digestive tract. We know that our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria, so what gets in the way of this? It looks like our lifestyle is both the problem and the solution. Poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria.
When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products. On the flip side, it takes in the things that our body needs (nutrients from food and water) and absorbs and helps deliver them to the cells where they are needed.
The idea is not to kill off all of the bad bacteria. Our body does have a need for the bad ones and the good ones. The problem is when the balance is shifted to have more bad than good. An imbalance has been associated with diarrhea, urinary tract infections, muscle pain, and fatigue.
The other way that probiotics help is the impact that they have on our immune system. Some believe that this role is the most important. Our immune system is our protection against germs. When it doesn't function properly, we can suffer from allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders (for example, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis), and infections (for example, infectious diarrhea, Helicobacter pylori, skin infections, and vaginal infections). By maintaining the correct balance from birth, the hope would be to prevent these ailments. Our immune system can benefit anytime that balanced is restored, so it's never too late. To learn more about probiotics and what they can do for you, call to make an appointment with one of Orthomolecular Nutrition’s practitioners today. (727)518-9808