We cannot live without oxygen. However, oxygen that keeps us alive is also responsible for producing free radicals. Free radicals are the unavoidable menaces that are responsible for heart diseases, degeneration of the brain cells and accelerating the aging process. Antioxidants are the magic nutrients blessed with the property of combating free radicals.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is one such antioxidant substance that could be found in the body cells.
Unlike popular antioxidants such as the water-soluble vitamin C and the fat-soluble vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid is soluble in both water and fat. It can therefore travel throughout a body cell. Moreover, this is the only antioxidant that can regenerate itself. Alpha lipoic acid can even help to recycle antioxidant vitamins, further enhancing their antioxidant functions.
Sources of alpha lipoic acid
Alpha lipoic acid is synthesized naturally in the body. Organ meats, red meat and Brewer’s yeast are good dietary sources of alpha lipoic acid. You are find small amounts of this antioxidant in whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, spinach and peas. You can increase supply of alpha lipoic acid in your body by taking alpha lipoic supplements on empty stomach.
Benefits of alpha lipoic acid
Nutrient for diabetics
Alpha lipoic acid is beneficial for diabetics. It not only reduces the blood sugar level, but it can even prevent diabetic neuropathy. Untreated diabetes could damage the peripheral nerves or the nerves present in the feet. Studies have shown that this condition in diabetics could be prevented with alpha lipoic acid. Perhaps for best results, alpha lipoic acid should be administered in the body intravenously.
Alpha lipoic acid could even prevent autonomic neuropathy in diabetics. In autonomic neuropathy, the nerves in the heart are damaged by the excess sugar level in the blood. Diabetics who take 800mg of alpha lipoic acid supplements have lesser chance of developing this condition.
Improves brain function
Very few substances could directly enter the brain. Alpha lipoic acid is one such substance that can directly access the brain cells. This antioxidant could prevent degeneration of the brain cells. Age related cognitive decline could be arrested with the help of alpha lipoic acid. Researchers believe that this antioxidant substance could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
Good for the liver
Alpha lipoic acid could prevent liver damage. It protects the liver from toxins.