Friday, October 31, 2008

Alpha Lipoic Acid- The Anti Aging Antioxidant

By: GiGi Konwin

The best line of defense in your anti aging program is a powerful antioxidant. Alpha Lipoic Acid is the newcomer in the field, but promises to be one of the most important contenders. We need antioxidants to fight off the effects of stress, pollution and bad diets.

Although Alpha lipoic acid has been known since the 1950s, it was originally thought to be a vitamin and wasn't classified as an antioxidant until 1988.

All antioxidants basically work the same - they are chemicals that get rid of free radicals -- destructive chemicals produced by the body and thought to contribute to aging and ailments ranging from heart disease to stroke.

What's Different About Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic Acid is the only antioxidant that is soluble in water AND fat. It can go into all cell parts. It's the only antioxidant that can reach the brain.

It is a metabolic antioxidant, which means it is important for cell metabolism or the energy of the cell.

The body actually makes enough alpha-lipoic acid for cell metabolism, however it acts as an antioxidant only when there is an excess of it and it is in the "free" state in the cells. There is little free alpha-lipoic acid circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements.

When taken orally, it is quickly absorbed. It then changes to it's most potent form, dihydrolipoic acid.

What Are The Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid?

*It is currently utilized in Europe to treat peripheral nerve degeneration (neuropathy) resulting from diabetes. *It helps make Vitamin C and Vitamin E work better. *It is used to treat and detox the liver. *Protects and repairs cells. *Scientists are discovering it may be helpful in treating or preventing cataracts, atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks, and memory and brain function.

What's the Best Form of Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Actually, there are two forms of Alpha Lipoic Acid and if you're not vigilant, you could be taking the wrong form. Most supplements are selling a type of Lipoic Acid that consists of BOTH forms of the antioxidant, called S and R. You should be looking for R - Lipoic Acid which is the only form of lipoic acid that your body synthesizes and can safely metabolize. The label should state that it is ONLY R-Lipoic Acid. Otherwise, you are probably getting the blend, which is only 50% of the R type.

Are there Any Side Effects?

Alpha Lipoic Acid seems to have very few side effects. The recommended dosage is between 50 - 100 mg per day. Higher doses can result in nausea and upset stomach.

Alpha lipoic acid may benefit blood sugar control, so people with diabetes who are taking medication to lower blood sugar should only take it under their physician's supervision.

Animal studies indicate that alpha lipoic acid may alter thyroid hormone levels, so it could theoretically have the same effect in humans. People taking thyroid medications such as levothyroxine should be monitored by their healthcare provider.

Of course, you should consult with your doctor before taking supplements. It is wise to be tested for hormone and vitamin deficiencies first.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is the first in the Anti Aging Supplements articles. To receive updates and the free book Healthy Aging, click on

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