It was in the 1950’s that scientists discovered alpha-lipoic’s importance, however in 1988 they finally recognized it as an antioxidant. In order to produce energy the body needs alpha-lipoic, because it plays a crucial role in energy producing cell structures. Their is enough alpha-lipoic made by the body for this basic function. It acts as an antioxidant, but only if there is excess amounts alpha-lipoic in the ‘free’ state of the cells. There is only a small portion of free alpha-lipoic acid that courses through your body without taking supplements or injections. Alpha-lipoic acid is a multitalented antioxidant; it helps inactivate an unexpectedly wide range of cell-harming free radicals in several bodily systems.
We use ALA to help our body collect nutrients and energy taken from food we eat. Without it out bodies would be unable to recreate energy. ALA can also play a essential role in the production of mitochondria, the power house of the cell. There is enough ALA in our bodies to maintain this metabolic task, but when there is excess ALA it will act as an antioxidant. This however is only when a supplement is take or ALA is injected, because food contains only small amounts. While acting as an antioxidant it will aid in finding and destroying large amounts of cell-harming free redials that will harm a body.
You can obtain ALA through a diet consisting of vegetables and and meats, however spinach and beef kidneys contain the highest amounts of ALA. Smaller amounts can be found inside brussel sprouts, peas, and rice brain.
Alpha-lipoic acid helps to treat or prevent many age related diseases, this ranges from heart disease, stroke, to diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. It also aids in energy depletion, brain functions, immunity, and muscle strength. ALA is also being currently studied for multiple sclerosis and HIV disease
ALA can upsurge levels of intracellular glutathione. Glutathione is a vital water-soluble antioxidant which is unified by the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. The rate of glutathione determines cysteine’s availability.
Recommendations for the use of ALA as an antioxidant can range from 50 mg/day to 400 mg/day.
ALA can be rapidly metabolized, suggesting it is taken in well divided doses several times a day, verses a single dose daily. The recommended use for ALA ranges around 50 mg/day to 400 mg/day
Thankfully there are no documented side effects from ALA. However extreme doses will cause an upset stomach. there have been no conducted studies involving the effects of supplementing ALA over a long period of time.