Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Definition: ALA is a powerful antioxidant compound which has recently emerged as even more effective than other antioxidants due to its water and fat solubility and its ability to greatly potentiate the action of vitamin E and glutathione. ALA can be defined as an antioxidant compound which is synthesized in the body in extremely small amounts, although it must also be supplied from food or supplement sources to augment intrinsic supplies. It is a vitamin-like substance which contains sulphur and plays a vital role in energy reactions in mitochondrial electron transport. This function is intrinsically related to the metabolism of glucose into energy (ATP).
Applications: Aging, AIDS, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, Bell's palsy, cataracts, cancer prevention, cirrhosis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, radiation sickness or exposure, memory/Alzheimer's disease, senile dementia, stroke, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and heavy metal poisoning.
Recommendations: Generally speaking, taking between 40 to 50 mg of ALA is considered a therapeutic dose for maintaining health, while doses in the 100 mg range are used for chronic conditions. Diabetics can take between 200 and 300 mg per day and even more if their physician feels it is necessary. AIDS patients can exceed this dose but must do so under the supervision of their physician. ALA therapy is a long-term treatment and is usually not associated with short-term results.