Free radicals are unwelcome byproducts of cellular respiration. We can’t survive without oxygen. The oxygen that keeps us alive also creates free radicals that could damage the cells of our bodies. To protect itself from the destructive activities of free radicals, our bodies produce a substance known as alpha-lipoic acid or ALA. It is an antioxidant, which shields the cells from the respiratory byproducts of the body. A healthy body could produce sufficient ALA that could minimize the activities of free radicals. However, a diseased body might fail to produce adequate ALA.
Moreover, mounting level of environmental pollution has increased the requirement for antioxidants, not all of which might be met by the amount of ALA produced in the body.
To prevent ALA deficit, you can consider taking foods rich in this antioxidant substance such as organ meat, potatoes, spinach, yeast and broccoli. ALA supplements could also help to meet your antioxidant requirement. However, studies have shown than not more than 40 percent of ALA present in dietary supplements could be absorbed by the human body.
To augment the ability of the digestive tract to absorb ALA from supplements, these antioxidant supplements should be taken on empty stomach.
ALA for diabetics
ALA supplements might be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid could reduce insulin resistance by increasing the ability to absorb the insulin secreted by the pancreatic cells of the body. ALA supplements could prevent nerve damage in diabetics. They can be used for treating symptoms of diabetic neuropathy including nerve pain, tingling sensation and numbness of hands and feet. 600 mg of ALA per day could be taken by diabetics to improve the condition of their health.
ALA for weight loss
Some health experts suggest that ALA supplements might boost weight loss.
ALA for other health disorders
The powerful antioxidant property of alpha lipoic acid could protect the organs of the body from the destructive action of free radicals. It can prevent age related destruction of the brain cells. Strokes and Alzheimer’s disease might be prevented with the help of this antioxidant supplement. ALA is good for the liver. It might improve the quality of life of AIDS patients.