ALA is the only antioxidant that is both fat
and water soluble. This is important because this allows it access to all
parts of the cell which gives it tremendous ability to trap free radicals
wherever they may be. An antioxidant is any chemical, natural or
synthetic, that neutralizes toxins or free radicals, thus protecting our
cells from damage.
ALA is one of the very few substances that
can actually cross the blood/brain barrier to enter the brain and protect
the cells directly where needed the most. It has been demonstrated that
not only does ALA enter the brain, ALA supplementation causes increased
levels of Glutathione in the brain. This is important as glutathione
protects the brain from free radical damage, and low levels of glutathione
in the brain are associated with brain disorders such as stroke, dementia,
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Normally once an antioxidant has eliminated
a free radical, it is lost forever. Lipoic acid is the only antioxidant
with the unique ability to regenerate/recycle itself, and other
antioxidants such as vitamins C & E, so that they can continue
destroying free radicals. Alpha Lipoic Acid speeds the removal of glucose
(sugar) from the blood which accounts for the profound benefits seen by
diabetics as well as its reputation for fat loss.
ALA is also crucial for energy production.
It helps break down sugar for the production of ATP, the fuel used by
cells to keep the body running. Biotin aids the use of B vitamins
and supports the growth and development of nerve tissue.
ALL ALAs ARE NOT
There are two types of ALA, R-ALA and S-ALA. R-ALA contains the “R” form of Alpha
Lipoic Acid, the form found naturally occurring in the body. S-ALA
"S" form of ALA which is a synthetic that can actually interfere with the
action of R-ALA, according to studies.
The standard ALA sold today is a mixture of 50%
S-ALA and 50% R-ALA, mostly because the process used to create pure R-ALA
is more complicated and expensive. A number of researchers have stated
that R-ALA is up to 12 times as effective as standard ALA.
While R-ALA may initially appear to be more
expensive than standard ALA, upon closer examination R-ALA is a much