Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a sulfur-containing fatty acid that performs vitamin-like roles in the body. Also known as "lipoic acid" or "thioctic acid," ALA functions, in a similar way to B complex vitamins, as a co-enzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrates that produces energy inside cells for the bodys metabolic needs. ALA is required for synthesis of "acetyl CoA," a key metabolite in the cellular process that turns glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Because the body produces ALA on its own, it is not classified as a true vitamin. As with other so-called "non-essential" nutrients, however, internal ALA production may not always be optimal. Alpha-lipoic acid functions as both a water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidant. (Antioxidants neutralize free-radicals, normal by-products of metabolism that, while necessary at normal levels, may damage tissues over time if not properly kept in check by antioxidants.) ALAs ability to act upon free radicals in both a watery and fatty environment makes it a highly versatile antioxidant. In the body, alpha-lipoic acid can be converted (reduced) to DHLA, or dihydrolipoic acid. Together, these two forms of ALA make up a "redox couple," which means that each form can chemically change into the other and back again. DHLA also functions as an antioxidant. How about R-Lipoic Acid ? Alpha Lipoic Acid occurs in two forms, designated "R" and "S". Studies suggest that R-alpha lipoic acid, the natural form, is more biologically active than the S form. Like ALA, RLA recycles antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C and E, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of the diet. IngredientsBenefits Supports the Bodys Defense Against Free Radicals Recycles Antioxidant Nutrients such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level when used as part of the diet Alpha-lipoic Acidthe "Ideal Antioxidant" The antioxidant potential of a substance is based on a number of criteria, including: Ability to quench specific free-radicals. Ability to bind or "chelate" metal ions that can generate free radicals. Ability to function as an antioxidant in fatty and watery environments. The "ideal antioxidant" would meet all the above criteria. Very few antioxidants do, yet a particular antioxidant with but a few of the characteristics is still valuable and effective. Vitamin E, for example, is one of the most important dietary antioxidants, yet it only works in fatty environments such as cell membranes. As a team, ALA and DHLA come close to the ideal, for the following reasons:1,2,3 -ALA is easily absorbed when consumed orally. -ALA is readily converted to DHLA in various tissues. -As a pair, ALA and DHLA neutralize superoxide, hydroxyl, peroxyl, and hypochlorus radicals. -ALA and DHLA form stable complexes with metal ions such as iron, manganese, copper and zinc ions. -ALA and DHLA scavenge free radicals in fatty environments and watery environments. -DHLA recycles other important antioxidants. DHLA-regenerates vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione Within the cell, antioxidants work as a team to keep free radicals from damaging cell structures. In order to neutralize a free radical, an antioxidant such as vitamin C must give up an electron, which mean it becomes oxidized. Before it can function as an antioxidant once again, it must be regenerated back to its "reduced" form, by gaining an electron to replace the donated electron. For this, it needs the help of other antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione are key antioxidants that can be generated by cycling between their oxidized and reduce forms. This is necessary to maintain the balance between oxidation and its reversethe neutralization of free radicals by antioxidants. DHLA is an essential component in the interaction between these antioxidants.4 Studies show that addition of alpha-lipoic acid to liver tissues results in increased vitamin C levels. It has been found that DHLA is responsible for regenerating vitamin C, which in turn regenerates vitamin E.3 DHLA also converts glutathione from its oxidized form back into its free radical scavenging reduced form.3,5 The ALA/DHLA pair is thus vital for prevention of "oxidative stress," which occurs which the balance is tipped in favor of oxidation in cells.4 DHLA helps preserve antioxidants in both the watery cell interior and the fatty structure of cell membranes.6 Evidence from animal studies suggests that DHLA protects the brain against free radical damage.7 Alpha-lipoic Acid and Blood Sugar Alpha-lipoic acid is a key factor in the cellular process that metabolizes glucose to produce energy for cellular functions. The importance of ALAs role in blood sugar metabolism is evidenced in studies on ALA and type-2 diabetes. In a small pilot study, 13 people with type-2 diabetes showed improved utilization of glucose in muscle tissue in response to intravenous administration of ALA.8 In a four week controlled multicenter trial, 74 people with type-2 diabetes took ALA in oral doses of 600, 1200 or 1800 mg per day. After 4 weeks, the normal lowering of blood sugar levels in response to insulin improved.9 In vitro studies have shown that ALA has a positive effect on insulin-stimulated uptake of glucose by muscle cells.10 Safety Suggested Adult Use: One to six capsules daily with food. Alpha-lipoic acid is considered safe, and no adverse effects have been seen with long-term supplementation.1
The statements included above have not been evaluated by the FDA or Total Health. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.