Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): is an antioxidant that is manufactured in the human body. Antioxidants are substances that work by attacking “free radicals,” waste products created when the body turns food into energy. There are also many sources of free radicals in the environment such as ultraviolet rays, radiation, and toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and pesticides. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. As a result a person becomes more susceptible to long term diseases such as diabetes and liver damage.


Alpha Lipoic Acid is fat and water soluble. Once lipoic acid crosses the cell membrane, it is broken down into dihydrofolic acid, which is also an antioxidant. Alpha lipoic acid also recycles other key antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione.

Diabetic neuropathy is the most common neuropathy and it is associated with a wide range of physical manifestations. The vast majority of patients with clinical diabetic neuropathy have sensory and autonomic conditions. Patients experience pain, trophic changes in the feet, and autonomic disturbances. Occasionally, patients with diabetes can develop focal and multifocal neuropathies that include cranial nerve involvement and limb and truncal neuropathies. This neuropathic pattern tends to occur after 50 years of age, and mostly in patients with long-standing diabetes mellitus.  Alpha Lipoic Acid has been shown to protect tissues thereby slowing the degenerative process. 

ALA has been used intravenously in Germany for the last 30 years for patients with Adult onset Diabetes.  Research has shown that when used regularly Alpha-Lipoic Acid Reduces Insulin Resistance and increase cellular utilization of glucose by more than 50%.


Alpha-lipoic acid may prove useful in the treatment of chronic hepatitis because it relieves stress on the liver and helps rid the body of toxins.


Because ALA can pass easily into the brain, it has protective effects on brain and nerve tissue and shows promise as a treatment for stroke and other brain disorders involving free radical damage. Animals treated with alpha-lipoic acid, for example, suffered less brain damage and had a four times greater survival rate after a stroke than the animals who did not receive this supplement.


Evidence shows strong therapeutic value for Alpha Lipoic Acid in treatment of ocular disorders namely Cataracts and Glaucoma.  A majority of elderly citizens in the US have experienced cataracts and have had surgery to remove them.  What about prevention?  ALA can be used to prevent the return of the cataracts after surgery.  For those who have Glaucoma, Alpha Lipoic Acid can be used during their treatment process to further enhance the treatment of the disease. 


Ask your Physician how Alpha Lipoic Acid can help you in your recovery process!

References:                                                                                                                                         1. AlphaLipoic Acid Improves Symptomatic Diabetic Polyneuropathy Alphalipoic acid (ALA) given orally improves symptoms in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy, according to a report in the November issue of Diabetes Care. News, Reuters Health Information, November 2006                                                                                                                                                                                   2. Androne L, Gavan NA, Veresiu IA, Orasan R. In vivo effect of lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In Vivo . 2000;14(2):327-330                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Berkson BM. A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the treatment of hepatitis C. Combination of alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: three case histories. Med Klin . 1999;94 Suppl 3:84-89.                                                                                                                                                                                   4. Clark WM, Rinker LG, Lessov NS, Lowery SL, Cipolla MJ. Efficacy of antioxidant therapies in transient focal ischemia in mice. Stroke . 2001;32(4):1000-1004.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5. Conlon BJ, Aran JM, Erre JP, et al. Attenuation of aminoglycoside-induced cochlear damage with the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. Hear Res . 1999;128:40-44.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     6. Faust A, Burkart V, Ulrich H, et al. Effect of lipoic acid on cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes and insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Int J Immunopharmacol . 1994;16:61-66.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7. Head KA. Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma. Altern Med Rev . 2001;6(2):141-166.                                                                             8. Hruby K, Csomos G, Fuhrmann M, Thaler H. Chemotherapy of Amanita phalloides poisoning with intravenous silibinin. Hum Exp Toxicol . 1983;2(2):183-195.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9. Lynch MA. Lipoic acid confers protection against oxidative injury in non-neuronal and neuronal tissue. Nutr Neurosci . 2001;4(6):419-438.                                     10. Melhem MF, Craven PA, Derubertis FR. Effects of dietary supplementation of alpha-lipoic acid on early glomerular injury in diabetes mellitus. J Am Soc Nephrol . 2001;12:124-133.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11. Monograph:Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Altern Med Rev . 1998;3(4):308-311.                                                                                                                                                                     12. Nagamatsu M, Nickander KK, Schmelzer JD,et al. Lipoic acid improves nerve blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, and improves distal nerve conduction in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care . 1995;18:1160-1167.                                                                                                                                                                               13. Packer L, Kraemer K, Rimbach G. Molecular aspects of lipoic acid in the prevention of diabetes complications. Nutrition . 2001;17(10):888-895.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        14. Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K. Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha-linoic acis. Free Radic Biol Med . 1997;22:359–378.                                            15. Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant. Free Rad Bio Med . 1995;19(2):227-250.                                                                                16. Panigrahi M, Sadguna Y, Shivakumar BR, Kolluri SV, Roy S, Packer L, Ravindranath V. Alpha-Lipoic acid protects against reperfusion injury following cerebral ischemia in rats. Brain Res . 1996;717(1-2):184-188.                                                                                                                                                                                                    17.  Rybak LP, Husain K, Whitworth C, et al. Dose dependent protection by lipoic acid against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in rats: antioxidant defense system. Toxicol Sci. 1999;47:195-202.                                                                                                                                                                            18. Segermann J, Hotze A, Ulrich H, et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on the peripheral conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine and on serum lipid-, protein- and glucose levels. Arzneimittelforschung . 1991;41:1294-1298.                                                                                                                  19. Ziegler D, Gries FA. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic peripheral and cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Diabetes . 1997;46 (suppl 2):S62–66.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            20. Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1999; 107:421-430.


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