Alpha Lipoic Acid

Introduction

Our body needs various substances for various functions. Antioxidants are among these substances, and they have several functions. They defend the body against free radicals that can cause harm if their levels go beyond the safe limit.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is one of the substances which work as an antioxidant. It’s naturally present in our body and also in many foods.

Like other antioxidants, it also performs several functions and offers plenty of health benefits. This short write-up will focus on some primary Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits, so continue reading.

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

In simple terms, Alpha Lipoic Acid is an organic compound that our body creates naturally and is also found in several food items. It also contains antioxidant properties, as mentioned above. Its main function is breaking down carbohydrates and creating energy. Apart from your body making the substance, the following foods also contain alpha-lipoic acid.

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Red meat
  • Organ meat (kidney, liver, heart, etc.)
  • Carrot
  • Potato
  • Yam
  • Yeast
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Rice Bran

All these foods are rich in alpha-lipoic acid, and you can also get health supplements on the market.

In the next section, we will try to see the various benefits that the organic compound can provide.

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic Acid Health Benefits

Researchers are continuing to study the effects and uses of ALA, and they have come to various conclusions. Here are some Alpha Lipoic Acid benefits.

May alleviate diabetic symptoms

Millions of people suffer from diabetes, and many of these patients die from the disease every year. While there is no medicine or treatment that can fully cure diabetes, it is possible to control and alleviate symptoms. Among other things, studies have shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid, which has powerful antioxidant properties, can help to control blood sugar levels.

Research has also shown that not only does it control blood sugar levels, but ALA may also alleviate neuropathy (nerve pain) in diabetic patients. Many people with neuropathy have expressed positive responses after using ALA supplements. However, it isn’t the sole treatment for diabetes.

May help in weight loss

An enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is responsible for increasing your hunger feelings. When you consume ALA supplement regularly, it slows down AMPK’s activity which in turn makes you feel less hungry. As a result, it can help you reduce weight.

However, simply taking the supplement will not suffice, and you will not see significant changes. If you are struggling with weight issues, you may take ALA supplements after consulting with your doctor. Along with it, you should also follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime.

May improve heart health

Some studies have also shown that consuming alpha-lipoic acid supplements for an extended period can lower bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It can occur in people whether they have hyperlipidemia or not.

May lower risk of muscle damage and inflammation

During high-intensity training, athletes often damage their muscles and suffer from inflammation. An experiment conducted between those who took ALA supplements and placebo showed that those in the former group had slightly lower muscle damage and inflammation than the latter group.

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid Health Benefits

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May hasten the muscle recovery process

During the same experiment mentioned above, experts also found out that those who took ALA supplements recovered faster after an intense workout session than those who used a placebo.

However, experts believe that they need to conduct more studies to know if ALA supplementation can also enhance physical performance or not.

May slow down skin aging process

Some experiments have also shown that using creams having alpha-lipoic acid can reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It may also protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Besides, ALA increases the amount of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps dissolve toxins in the liver and protects the skin from damage and aging.

May slow down memory loss

While there is much research to be done, initial experiments have also shown that taking ALA supplements can slow down memory loss in older adults. It does so by inhibiting inflammation and dissolving free radicals.

May improve the function of the nervous system

Studies indicate that ALA can promote nerve function. It may also slow down the onset of a nerve condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s a condition that produces a tingling sensation in the hand caused by a squeezed nerve.

As mentioned earlier, it also helps people who suffer from nerve problems due to diabetes.

Few Points To Keep in Mind

  • You can get ALA from several food items included in your diet, as described earlier. However, if you want to take supplements, there are plenty of products you can choose from.
  • While the moderate dosage is safe, it can harm you if you consume it too much. So, speak with your doctor before using any supplement.
  • Studies have shown that taking ALA supplements can lower the risk of muscle damage and inflammation and accelerate the recovery process. So, it can be a good supplement for people who are into intensive training.
  • People who have health issues and taking medication must also consult their physician before using ALA supplements.
  • Though there are many supplements, not all are pure and top-quality. So, buy and use only after considering all the options and checking out some reviews.
  • Not many studies have been conducted regarding ALA’s impact on children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. So, it would be best to avoid a supplement if you fall under one of these categories. If you, however, wish to use it, seek your doctor’s advice before starting a course.
  • Experts recommend taking ALA supplements on an empty stomach for best results.

Conclusion

So now that you know the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid, you can include the foods which contain ALA in your diet for a regular supply.

If you are a workout enthusiast, you can also use a supplement after selecting the best product. But do so after consulting a doctor for safety and well-being.

As mentioned earlier, follow a recommended dosage as a higher dosage doesn’t show any extra benefits. It’s an entirely safe compound, but some users may experience

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Rashes

Stop taking it for a while and ask your doctor for a solution.

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I've been a bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast for over 15 years. I'm also a Karate black belt and personal trainer with a PHD in sports nutrition.