Alpha Lipoic Acid: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Unlike Vitamin C, which is water soluble and Vitamin E, which is fat soluble, Alpha Lipoic Acid is a unique antioxidant that is both water and fat soluble, which allows it to enter all parts of the cell to neutralize free radicals. Alpha Lipoic Acid contributes to and is important for the production of energy inside the cell by utilizing sugar to produce energy contributing to mental and physical stamina, reducing muscle fatigue and neutralizes free radicals. Alpha Lipoic Acid recycles and enhances the effects of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Scientists first discovered the importance of alpha lipoic acid in the 1950s, and recognized it as an antioxidant in 1988. It has been the subject of research around the world, some being done at UC Berkeley by Dr. Lester Packer, a leading expert in the area of antioxidants and a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He believes that Alpha Lipoic Acid could have far-reaching consequences in the search for prevention and therapy of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Because it is the only antioxidant that can easily get into the brain, it could be useful in preventing oxidative stress and damage from a stroke. .
Alpha Lipoic Acid is easily absorbed when taken orally and once inside cells is quickly converted to its most potent form, dihydrolipoic acid. Because both Alpha Lipoic Acid and dihydrolipoic acid are antioxidants, their combined actions give them greater antioxidant potency than any natural antioxidant now known. This also makes it important for regulating aspects of the immune system, in particular, T-lymphocytes. .
The incidence of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis increases with age. Free radicals promote inflammatory reactions, which antioxidants have been successful at diminishing.
Scientists recently stimulated the inflammatory response of white blood cells, resulting in an increase of Intracellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1), which encourages white blood cells to stick to other cells, thereby inflaming tissues. Alpha-lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant, was then added to the mix. Researchers said the acid reduced the activity of ICAM-1 to levels in normal, un-stimulated cells in a dose-dependent manner. It also lowered the activity of NFkB. According to the study, these changes suggest that alpha-lipoic acid may help reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases such a rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. .
Suggested dosage for Alpha Lipoic Acid is 100-200 mg in divided doses daily.
SIDE EFFECTS: with alpha lipoic acid are rare but can include:
- Skin rash and the potential of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients.
- People who may be deficient in vitamin B1 (such as alcoholics) should take vitamin B1 along with alpha lipoic acid supplements.
- Chronic administration of alpha lipoic acid in animals has interfered with the actions of the vitamin, biotin. Whether this has significance for humans remains unknown.11A.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
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