Antioxidants are becoming a vital part of any healthy diet. With the increase in the toxins in our environment, the increase in preservatives and chemicals in our food, and the increase in pollution in the environment, your body is being exposed to far more toxins that ever before, and it is important to ensure your diet contains the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that can mitigate the damage
that can be caused by free radicals. It should be noted that many of these
Free radicals are also produced by the body as a natural consequence of the chemical reactions that take place. When your cells produce energy and the other compounds needed for survival, the loss of electrons in these reactions result in the production of free radicals.
Once free radicals have formed, they pose a potential threat to the cells, tissues, and structures of the body. Free radicals can result in cellular damage, DNA damage, and even cell death.
There are a number of antioxidants that can help to eliminate free radicals and that can help to provide protection for the body. One of the most important antioxidants is alpha-lipoic acid.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a natural antioxidant that is produced by your body. You find alpha-lipoic acid in every cell of the body where it serves as an antioxidant that eliminates free radicals and protects the structures within the cells.
Unlike most antioxidants that are either water soluble or fat soluble, alpha-lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble, and it is this quality that makes alpha-lipoic acid one of the most important antioxidants in the body. Research also suggests that alpha-lipoic acid may have the ability to regenerate other antioxidants, and this is another reason why alpha-lipoic acid is so powerful as an antioxidant.
It is important to note that alpha-lipoic acid is not the same compound as alpha-linoleic acid. Alpha-linoleic acid – omega 3 fatty acids – plays a different role in the body, and yet both compounds are often abbreviated to ALA, which often leads to confusion.
In this article, ALA will be used to refer to alpha-lipoic acid.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Diabetes
Oxidants can cause damage to the nerves, arteries, and other structures in the body. Diabetics often suffer from a condition called peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes symptoms that include an itching or burning sensation in the limbs. Other symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include itching and a tingling sensation, and these symptoms are often accompanied by numbness in the arms and legs. Nerve damage is the biggest underlying cause of diabetic neuropathy.
that ALA may help to reduce blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are one of the key symptoms of diabetes and one of the most important underlying causes of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can also damage the body. A powerful antioxidant like alpha-lipoic acid can therefore be helpful for certain diabetic patients, and it may help to eliminate the free radicals that are partially responsible for nerve damage.
ALA has been used for many years to help to reduce and treat diabetic neuropathy in Germany, although the ALA administered in Germany is given intravenously. Studies have yet to confirm that an ALA supplement taken orally has the same benefits.
Neuropathy does not only affect the limbs, but can also affect various other internal organs. In a study on cardiac autonomic neuropathy, patients who received supplementation of ALA had fewer symptoms than the patients who received the placebo in the study. ALA may therefore also offer protection from the internal nerve damage responsible for autonomic neuropathy.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Brain Health
Alpha-lipoic acid is not only fat and water soluble, but is also one of the few compounds that can pass through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. The blood-brain barrier acts as protection for the brain, and stops toxins and pathogens from entering the brain; however, it also stops certain vitamins from reaching brain tissue.
The brain produces phenomenal amounts of energy, and it therefore also produces a large number of free radicals. These free radicals can damage brain cells and nerve cells within the brain, and this can be disastrous for brain health. Conditions like dementia can be caused by, and exacerbated by, additional free radicals and the damage they cause.
Although studies have not shown supplementation with ALA to be beneficial for conditions like dementia, researchers assume that the additional antioxidant protection offered by ALA may be helpful for individuals who suffer from these conditions.
A supplement like the Alpha Lipoic Acid vegetarian capsules by Pure Encapsulations
offer you a simple and convenient way to ensure you get sufficient ALA on a daily basis to ensure health.