If you are looking for proper nutrition or just want to naturally boost your cognitive functions, then Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is the first and ultimate nootropic supplement solution. This powerful antioxidant prevents cellular damage caused by free radicals while promoting brain health, enhanced energy levels, and acting as the anti-aging agent at the same time.
Though it can be consumed with other nootropics, ALA can be used alone for acquiring the much-needed chemical balance in the body.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Lipoic Acid & Natural Ingredients
- 3 How Does Alpha-Lipoic Work?
- 4 Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits and Effects
- 5 Alpha-Lipoic Side Effects
- 6 Alpha-Lipoic Dosage
- 7 Where to Buy Alpha-Lipoic
- 8 Conclusion
Alpha-Lipoic Acid, also known as Thioctic acid and Lipoic Acid (LA), is a fatty acid that naturally occurs in our body. This chemical compound is a vital part of every human cell and a crucial component in an array of different bodily processes. Given that ALA is present in mitochondria, it’s highly involved in the energy production through blood sugar (glucose) into energy conversion.
As previously implied, Lipoic Acid is synthesized in the body, but it can also come through specific food consumption such as meat, vegetables, and fruits. However, backing up the amount of ALA within our system via quality supplementation can rejuvenate the mind and body.
In fact, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is both a water and fat soluble, so-called “universal antioxidant”. Which means it can support and help heal the whole body and brain functions, including:
· Free radical protection inside and outside of the cells
· Strong regenerating abilities of essential vitamins (such as A, C, K, D, and E)
· Improved mitochondrial functions (Alpha-Lipoic Acid is an essential cofactor for mitochondrial respiratory enzymes)
· Anti-inflammatory properties, apart from antioxidant properties
· Scavenging oxidative stress
· Improved metabolism and sugar levels
· Increased blood flow
For some time, LA has been used as a verified treatment for diabetic neuropathy in Europe. The studies have shown that Lipoic Acid can help improve insulin sensitivity and significantly contribute to the reduction of neuropathic symptoms.
On the other hand, insufficient levels of Alpha-Lipoic Acid can lead to several medical conditions. Thus, although our body contains and produces this unique element, ALA supplementation can make a difference for those with high risks of developing diabetes, heart disease, liver disorders, and cognitive decline associated with aging.
Therefore, Lipoic Acid consumption is not an obligation, yet a smart nootropic nutritional choice.
Lipoic Acid & Natural Ingredients
There are many natural food sources that can provide healthy ALA benefits. The trick is, however, that the amount of Lipoic Acid created from these resources is quite low. Nevertheless, you can get Alpha-Lipoic Acid by consuming foods such as:
· Red meat
· Rice Bran
· Brussels Sprouts
How Does Alpha-Lipoic Work?
Weather taken through food, meat, or supplementation, Alpha-Lipoic Acid’s primary function is to fight off the effects of free radicals. What are free radicals? They are dangerous derivatives from chemical reactions in the body that form during the course of oxidation.
While oxidation normally occurs in the body over time, we are also left exposed to environmental toxins, some of which can be very harmful to cells. As a result, this can cause cells to multiply and grow, as well as to slow down their critical functions.
In order to protect us from this common cellular reaction, Lipoic Acid is converted into Dihydrolipoic Acid. Since it’s an antioxidant, ALA can slow down the deterioration of cells known to be the trigger of multiple diseases and disorders, including cancer. Let’s not forget that LA helps the body restore important vitamins, besides assisting the body in turning glucose into fuel.
That being said, there are still a couple of more functions Lipoic Acid can help with. Apart from its key role in the mitochondrial enzymes, research suggests ALA has the power to bind metals (toxic elements) in the body. Metals like mercury, iron, copper, and others represent a form of free radicals that enter the body through food, air, water, chemical products, and the general environment.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits and Effects
Due to the oxidative stress and energy boost, Alpha-Lipoic Acid can improve blood flow, cognitive operations, and protect the functions of organs such as the heart and liver. To put it simply, ALA can prolong your lifespan, especially if the supplement version is added to your diet, as the natural production of Lipoic Acid decreases with age.
Contrary to other supplements, LA is a natural healing agent that can help to support and prevent over 20 lifestyle threatening conditions, including the following.
Due to the oxidative stress and energy boost, Alpha-Lipoic Acid can improve blood flow, cognitive operations, and protect the functions of organs such as the heart and liver
Inflammations & Abnormal Inflammatory Responses
No matter the cause, inflammations can often lead to a variety of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis (MS). The anti-inflammatory support of ALA has been shown to have positive effects on MS patients, diabetics, and those struggling with inflammations in the metabolic system.
Moreover, Lipoic Acid can reduce inflammatory markers while decreasing early kidney dysfunction in organ transplant patients. Plus, it can contribute to a significant reduction of chronic inflammation found in overweight women.
ALA is already applied in Europe for diabetic neuropathy treatments. This condition causes severe nerve damage in diabetics due to elevated levels of blood sugar. However, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is capable of enhancing insulin sensitivity and reducing these symptoms by improving microcirculation.
According to a number of studies, “the sensory symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy are improved with alpha-lipoic acid.” The research successfully concluded that Lipoic Acid improves nerve damage frequently accompanied by pain and burning sensations. It can efficiently reduce neuropathic pain symptoms over a 5-week period.
Furthermore, a scientific evaluation of efficiency and safety of Lipoic Acid in the treatment of aged type 2 diabetes subjects with acute cerebral infarction complications revealed that Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a safe and
highly effective treatment for reducing the patient’s blood glucose, lipid levels, and oxidative damages, in addition to being able to improve islet function.
This means that the cardiovascular events that lead to type 2 diabetes complications can be prevented or at least drastically slowed down. However, its protective cardiovascular effects can be also noted in the cardiovascular health and age-related oxidative stress study. ALA effectively prevents heart cell death and improves heart function.
Being a potent of an antioxidant as it is, Lipoic Acid also acts as a brain protectant. Actually, not only does LA promote regeneration of neurons, but it also helps to combat neurodegenerative disorders.
When Alpha-Lipoic Acid treatment was introduced to rats after a stroke, the results indicated that ALA can be useful for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke due to its neuroprotective and neurorestorative
advantages that assist in long-term efficient recovery.
These study findings complement another study performed on rats that showed Lipoic Acid dramatically reduced the mortality rate from 78% to 26%, only 24 hours after the treatment. This natural antioxidant effectively improves brain survival and protects the brain against injuries.
What is more interesting, ALA has the power to stabilize cognitive functions. This claim was proven on Alzheimer’s patients whose c
ommon biochemical characteristics are depletion of neuronal energy and oxidative stress.
Similarly, when combined with omega 3-fatty acids, Lipoic Acid can significantly slow down cognitive decline.
Better Eye Vision
Oxidative stress, aging, and other health disorders can rapidly deteriorate our sight. From classic to other eye symptoms caused by diabetes to the inherited eye diseases and age-related macular degeneration, Lipoic Acid can improve the quality of eye vision.
For instance, 45 patients with poor vision affected by glaucoma type I and II were administered Lipoic Acid daily. The evident improvement was attained in 47.5% of examined eyes, particularly in those subjects with type II glaucoma. “The effect of lipoic acid may be explained by its antioxidant properties and direct influence on ocular tissue metabolism.”
Another ALA healthy impact is reflected in muscle regeneration. The reason why Alpha-Lipoic Acid is commonly used as an exercise supplement is that it can protect DNA, muscles, and cells from oxidative damages that happen during workouts.
The study findings claim a short-term Lipoic Acid supplementation can selectively protect DNA whereas another similar trial suggests that it can help rejuvenate injured muscles. And the best news for sports enthusiasts is that Lipoic Acid can improve the creatine content in the muscles to help efficiently achieve muscle mass goals.
Other Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits
There are plenty of things Lipoic Acid can improve and help return to normal. Among reviewed benefits, there’s still others to take into consideration, such as:
· Lowering risks of pregnancy and improving health conditions for both mother and fetus
· Lipoic Acid protects from ulcers caused by alcohol abuse and treats colon lining injuries
· Reduces side effects of antipsychotics and cholesterol levels caused by these treatments
· Takes care of migraines by reducing their frequency, intensity, and duration
· Natural pain alleviator, especially beneficial for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome
· Reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol and increases “good” HDL cholesterol.
· Help to reduce excessive weight
· Increases total sperm count, concentration, and motility
· Prevents bone loss in osteopenic women and bone loss in inflammatory conditions
· Promotes faster wound healing and supports a healthy-looking skin
· Prolongs lifespan and combats lung and breast cancer
· Reverses the aging process
· Reduces liver and lung (nicotine) damage
· May help improve osteoarthritis
Alpha-Lipoic Side Effects
Speaking in general, there are no particular side effects with Alpha-Lipoic Acid consumption. Although mild and quite rare side effects may include a rash, dizziness, and nausea. Therefore, it’s important and highly recommended to use the accepted dose range, depending on the purpose of use.
Speaking in general, there are no particular side effects with Alpha-Lipoic Acid consumption
Warning: If you have problems with diabetes, thyroid, anorexia, or other diagnosed conditions and/or are currently taking medications, be sure to consult with your physician before ALA supplementation. Only a professional can determine if you need it and in which amount. The same applies to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When it comes to a proper Alpha-Lipoic Acid dosage, the range is somewhere between 200 mg and 600 mg per day. A slightly larger dose of 1,200 mg daily is commonly prescribed for patients with diabetes and neuropathy, but over-the-counter dosages mainly include capsules and pills in a range of 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, and 600 mg per capsule.
If you wish to reap the antioxidant perks of Lipoic Acid, then consider a much lower dose of 25-100 mg. Also, it’s best to start with a small dosage and then gradually increase the supplementation as the body gets accustomed to effects. For larger doses, please consult with a doctor.
Where to Buy Alpha-Lipoic
The market is packed with Alpha-Lipoic Acid products, some of which might be synthetic. So if you want to try something pure, effective, organic, vegan, and GMO/Gluten Free, but still affordable, you can take a peek at Amazon.
So far, some of the best available products with high user ratings are Nutricost Alpha Lipoic Acid (240 capsules, 600 mg per serving) and Superior Labs Alpha Lipoic Acid – Pure NonGMO ALA (600 mg, 120 Vegetable Caps).
The first ALA supplementation is an ideal nutritional supplement for daily enhancement of your body and mind functions. Then again, the second can also nourish nerve functions, blood sugar, tingling sensations, and unleash full antioxidant potential. So the choice is only on you and what effects you want.
Instead of letting free radicals win in the cell-damaging game, ALA promises a good head start. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a natural part of our system, so taking a bit of extra Lipoic Acid would simply mean giving a helping hand to our aging body and mind. After all, according to countless studies, La seems to have potent rejuvenating effects on our cells.
And the best part is that Alpha-Lipoic Acid works well when stacked with other nootropics. Hence, you can include Racetams and Choline sources for maximizing the nootropic effects and cognitive functions. Either way, be sure to consult a doctor before use or to slowly increase the Lipoic Acid dosage.