January 4, 2018

Alpha Lipoic Acid: Important Facts You Should Know

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an anti-oxidant, which works like other more familiar anti-oxidants such as Vitamins E and C. The difference is that Alpha Lipoic Acid is even more powerful because it dissolves in both the body’s water-based fluids (like blood) and in fatty tissues (like the brain and nervous system). That’s why Alpha Lipoic Acid is called a “universal anti-oxidant”, because it can function throughout the body. In addition, Alpha Lipoic Acid helps recycle other anti-oxidants and helps boost the product of L-Glutathione, another very powerful anti-oxidant used throughout the body.

Like all anti-oxidants, Alpha Lipoic Acid prevents free radical damage that occurs when we breathe, eat, and exercise, meaning we need free radical protection every minute we live. A really, really simple way to explain free radicals is that they are unpaired electrons that go around the body looking for somebody to pair with and thus create a lot of damage stealing electrons. They’re kind of like single guys up to no good, and everyone hopes they’ll get hooked up with some good woman who will get them out of circulation. Without a good supply of anti-oxidants to mop up free radicals, our bodies age faster, run out of energy, and we can’t detoxify toxins very well. If we are sick, free radicals are created at an even faster rate.

This is where Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), with its powerful anti-oxidant and other capabilities, comes to the rescue, helping especially in diseases like:

• Peripheral Neuropathy, which is a disease of the nerves often accompanied by pain and burning, later numbness, in the affected area. If you’ve ever seen a person walking who looks like every step is agony, chances are they have peripheral neuropathy in their feet. One of our lovely patients whose history I happened to take had neuropathy not only in her feet but throughout her body. She cried throughout the history-taking process because she had so much constant, burning nerve pain. Alpha Lipoic Acid was prescribed at the rate of 300 mg 3 times per day (1 tablet 3 times daily with meals), which is a normal dose large enough to be effective, and within 2 weeks it didn’t hurt her to walk anymore. She was thrilled.

• Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, since ALA helps convert blood glucose or blood sugar into energy. In fact ALA is so helpful in converting blood sugar into energy that diabetics may need to have their diabetes medications changed as the blood sugar reduces. Normal individuals without diabetes have to be sure to always take ALA (whether in supplement or intravenous form) with food so as to not get hypoglycemia.

• Diseases where Detoxification is needed, including Chronic Fatigue and Anti-Aging Programs: Alpha Lipoic Acid is one of the few substances that is capable of crossing the brain-blood barrier and removing heavy metals from the brain, especially mercury. It also helps remove toxins from fatty tissues of the body and Dr. Lieberman has used it for many years in the Biodetoxification Program for that reason. Whenever the body’s main organ of detoxification, the liver, is diseased or sluggish, ALA is often supplemented.

Cautions: Increase Vitamin B1 when large doses of ALA are used; monitor thyroid function, especially if supplemental thyroid hormone is already needed. Diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels.