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WHAT IS ALFA LIPOIK ASID?

Alpha-lipoic acid: Everything you need to know

Alpha-lipoic acid is an organic compound in the body that acts as a potent antioxidant. It may have several health benefits.

While the body produces alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) naturally, a person can boost their levels by making suitable dietary choices, taking supplements, or both.

Supplementing with ALA is becoming increasingly popular, as some people believe that it may help with weight loss, diabetes, memory loss, skin health, and other health conditions.

In this article, learn about its effectiveness, possible benefits, and side effects.

What is ALA?

ALA is present within mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cells.

ALA is crucial for digestion, absorption, and the creation of energy. It helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. It also has antioxidant properties.

Since humans can only produce ALA in small amounts, many people turn to supplements to increase their intake.

Uses and benefits

ALA may have an impact on the following:

Weight loss

Some claim that ALA may help people lose weight. For example, one study on an animal model found that ALA could improve skeletal muscle energy metabolism, possibly increasing how many calories the body can burn.

Diabetes

Some research suggests that ALA may help the body control blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol levels.

Research has also shown that it could reduce nerve damage symptoms that are common in people with diabetes, such as numbness, pain, and paralysis.

Inflammation

According to one 2018 analysis, ALA can significantly lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.

CRP is an inflammation marker that may indicate chronic inflammation linked to harmful diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Heart disease

According to some research, ALA, because it is a potent antioxidant, may help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the primary causes of heart disease.

A review of several randomized controlled trials also found that ALA could lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, another risk factor for heart disease.

Memory loss

Oxidative stress occurs naturally with age. As well as playing a role in the development of heart disease, it also plays a critical role in brain health and memory loss.

According to a study in participants with Alzheimer’s disease, ALA may slow the progression of the condition.

The researchers suggested that this might be due to ALA’s positive effects on insulin resistance and blood sugar metabolism, as diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Possible side effects

Doctors consider ALA to be safe for most people, with little to no risk of side effects. Mild effects may include nausea, rashes, and itching if a person takes high doses.

According to researchers, adults may take it up to 2,400 milligrams without serious side effects. There is not enough research and evidence on the extra benefits and potential side effects of taking higher doses, so medical professionals do not recommend it.

There is not enough evidence on its safety for use in children, however, so adults should always keep ALA in a safe place.

It is essential for people considering taking ALA supplements to talk to their doctor to see if it is right for them.

SUMMARY

ALA is an organic compound that acts as an antioxidant and has a variety of other effects on the body. While the body makes it naturally, some people also choose to take ALA supplements.

Research suggests that ALA may help with weight loss, diabetes, memory loss, and some other health conditions

ALA is generally safe for adults, but it is best to speak with a doctor before taking any new supplements.

  • Pharmacy / Pharmacist
  • Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine

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References

  • Akbari, M., Ostamohammadi, V., Lankarani, K. B., Tabrizi, R., Kolahdooz, F., Khatibi, S. R., & Asemi, Z. (2018, October). The effects of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation on glucose control and lipid profiles among patients with metabolic diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [Abstract]. Metabolism, 87, 56–69
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29990473
  • Cremer, D. R., Rabeler, R., Roberts, A., & Lynch, B. (2006, October). Safety evaluation of α-lipoic acid (ALA) [Abstract]. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 46(1), 29–41
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230006001140
  • Fava, A., Pirritano, D., Plastino, M., Cristiano, D., Puccio, G., Colica, C., … Bosco, D. (2013, March 30). The effect of lipoic acid therapy on cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases, 2013
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4437336/
  • Golbidi S., Badram, M., & Laher, I. (2011, November 17). Diabetes and alpha lipoic acid. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2(69)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221300/
  • Gorąca, A., Huk-Kolega, H., Piechota, A., Kleniewska, P., Ciejka, E., & Skibska, B. (2011, July–August). Lipoic acid – biological activity and therapeutic potential. Pharmacological Reports, 63(4), 849–858
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1734114011706004
  • Karaarslan, U., İşgüder, R., Bağ, O., Kışla, M., Ağın, H., & Ünal, N. (2013). Alpha lipoic acid intoxication, treatment and outcome. Clinical Toxicology51(6), 522
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/15563650.2013.801983
  • Nazani, N., Larijani, B., & Azadbakht, L. (2018, April). Alpha-lipoic acid supplement in obesity treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials [Abstract]. Clinical Nutrition, 37(2), 419–428
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28629898
  • Packer, L., & Cadenas, E. (2011, January). Lipoic acid: Energy metabolism and redox regulation of transcription and cell signaling. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 48(1), 26–32
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022059/
  • Papanas, N., & Zieger, D. (2014, December). Efficacy of α-lipoic acid in diabetic neuropathy. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 15(18),2721–2731
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25381809
  • Skibska, B., & Gorąca, A. (2015, April 8). The protective effect of lipoic acid on selected cardiovascular diseases caused by age-related oxidative stress. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2015
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4407629/
  • Wang, Y., Li, X., Guo, Y., Chan, L., & Guan, X. (2010, July). Alpha-lipoic acid increases energy expenditure by enhancing AMPK-PGC-1α signalling in the skeletal muscle of aged mice. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental59(7), 967–976
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882509/
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