Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant made by the body. Found in the mitochondria of every cell, it helps turn glucose into energy. Other antioxidants (such as vitamin C), work only in water or fatty in tissues (such as vitamin E). But alpha-lipoic acid is unique in that it is both fat and water soluble. Evidence suggests that ALA may help to regenerate these other antioxidants and make them active again.
Some foods that contain ALA include spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, yams, beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, yeast (particulary brewer’s yeast), and red meat (particularly organ meat such as liver and kidney). They have very low amounts of ALA though. Eating these foods as well as taking supplements can increase the amount of ALA in your body. These supplements are available in the form of capsules, or you can even take injections.
Benefits of Alpha-Lipoic Acid
ALA is beneficial in many ways. While it is made naturally in the body and creates energy in the cells, taking ALA supplements can also offer some great benefits. Studies suggest that this antioxidant helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It can also have a protective effect on the brain and nerve tissue since it can easily pass into the brain. ALA can also help in the treatment of glaucoma. It may also play a role in managing conditions such as erectile dysfunction and cancer.
ALA is also seen as an anti-aging compound since it can reverse some of the oxidant damage related to the effects of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. Long-term use of alpha-lipoic acid might also help with the symptoms of dementia. A word of caution though, ALA has not been studied in children, so pediatric use is not recommended. It is also prohibited for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women due to safety concerns.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss
Research has also shown that ALA supplements can help with weight loss. In conjunction with a low-calorie diet, and regular exercise, you can reach your weight loss goals with ALA supplements. Remember, this is not a miracle supplement; having a healthy lifestyle along with taking ALA is important to see weight loss results. With the weight loss program by VIP Medical Weight Loss, the results can be even more amazing. Our program includes nutritional counseling and education as well as the use of pharmaceutical appetite suppressants and injections that aid with the weight loss process.
By taking our alpha-lipoic acid supplements, more GLUT4 receptors will be created in your body. As a result, your body will use more sugars from foods you eat, leaving a lesser amount to be stored as fat. High doses (1,800mg) of ALA may have a body weight reducing effect in obese persons. Be sure to speak with one of our doctors to use ALA in a safe manner and to successfully lose weight. We provide you with a custom plan made just for you by our physicians and medical staff. Check out our website for more information and to see reviews of satisfied clients.
Precautions and Possible Interactions
Even though ALA is naturally produced by the body, and taking supplements can have a wide range of benefits, it can still have side effects and interactions with other medications that you may be taking. Therefore, it is best to use supplements only under the supervision of a medical professional. Especially if you are being treated with the following medications, you should most certainly avoid taking ALA-
- Thyroid medications
- Vitamin B1
- Chemotherapy medications
- Diabetes medications
The good news is that the side effects of taking ALA supplements are generally rare and may include insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, and skin rash. While the dosage of supplements can also vary depending on the needs of individuals, generally speaking, 50 to 100 mg is sufficient for antioxidant purposes and 600 mg daily is the best dose for neuropathy.
With so many benefits of this naturally produced antioxidant and rare side effects, a serious look into using it for weight loss might be a great idea for many. Especially in those for whom diet and exercise does not show much effect, alpha-lipoic acid may do the trick!