- Helps support normal blood sugar metabolism.
- Encourages the body to excrete dangerous toxins through chelation.
- Supports eye protection and vision health. The eye is highly sensitive to oxidative damage. Alpha Lipoic Acid has shown promising in supporting visual function.
- Helps to detoxify the liver by supporting the production of glutathione, your liver's detox specialist. Glutathione binds with toxic gunk and makes it water-soluble enough to be flushed out through your kidneys. "We give patients who overdose on Tylenol a drug that stimulates glutathione production. It's the quickest way to rid the liver of toxins," says Savant Mehta, MD, director of the liver-transplant program at the University of Massachusetts."*
- May also support healthy neural tissue. This is generally thought to be related to potent antioxidant properties, which reduce oxidative damage in general. In some studies, rats fed Alpha Lipoic Acid-enriched diets demonstrate protection against the general effects of aging.
- Appears to prevent damage to cells at the genetic level.
*From WebMD/Men's Health: The Hard Liver's Guide to the Liver
Alpha Lipoic Acid, once thought to be a vitamin, is actually an antioxidant that can scavenge free radicals both intra- and extra-cellularly. Interestingly, Alpha Lipoic Acid is both water and fat soluble and can regenerate antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione.
Today, the body is exposed to far more toxic chemicals than at any other time in our history on this planet—pesticides, smog, cigarette smoke, tainted drinking water, etc. To balance the body's ability to combat toxins, which put a great deal of oxidative stress on internal systems, potent antioxidants are needed to address the trillions of free radicals that can ultimately lead to cell damage and aging. And, fortunately, Alpha Lipoic Acid is one of the most potent antioxidants around.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a good chelating agent. It is able to bind metallic and other substances, such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, iron, lead, and copper, neutralize them, and transport them for excrement from the body (mercury through the gall bladder, for example). This means if you've noticed a funny smell when you urinate or sweat after taking Alpha Lipoic Acid, it's doing it's job!
Dr. Bruce Ames, a biochemist and Professor at the University of California at Berkeley had his work profiled in Readers Digest in 2003. Dr. Ames believes that while the production of energy in the mitochondria in your cells is highly efficient, the minor element of inefficiency—which releases free radicals—is the cause of aging.
Dr. Ames is known for pairing the powerful antioxidant and "free radicals-fighter" Alpha Lipoic Acid with Acetyl-L-Carnitine.
- Theoretically, Alpha Lipoic Acid might have additive effects with herbs that decrease blood glucose levels. These herbs include devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, gotu kola, and the above-ground parts of the stinging nettle.
- For people taking high doses of Alpha Lipoic Acid and who are at risk for thiamine deficiency (e.g., alcoholism), thiamine supplementation may be warranted.