Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a very important vitamin-like antioxidant that was not discovered until 1988. It is not a true vitamin however because it can actually be made by your body and it is not considered to be a critical element in the human diet. However, many would argue that it is critical as a supplement for its role in protecting human health! In fact it is often called ‘the king of free radical fighters’ because it is currently the only known antioxidant that is both fat and water soluble. Free radicals are highly reactive and very unstable molecules that can damage our body tissues. Free radicals are produced by or found in environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, medications, alcohol, illness and stress. The need for powerful antioxidants in our day to day lives is therefore extremely important as we are constantly exposed to very large amounts of free radicals. This is where ALA comes in.
ALA is an interesting antioxidant because it is easily absorbed through the walls of our cell membranes and is thus able to protect against free radical oxidative damage to the proteins and DNA structures inside our cells. Most antioxidants are unable to cross the cell wall and can only provide external cellular protection. Once inside the cell, ALA breaks down further to a complicated sounding type of antioxidant called dihydrolipoic acid. This new form of ALA is able to wipe out damaging superoxide, hydroperoxy and hydroxyl radicals. Why are these oxides are so dangerous? Because they’re what we encounter every day through exposure to cigarette smoke, car exhaust, pollution and alcohol for example. We even unknowingly create other damaging oxides on our own when we breathe, metabolize food or get sick.
As we get older we produce less of our own antioxidants and we are less and less able to make and recycle key antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C and co-enzyme Q-10. ALA is really unique because it actually regenerates these and other antioxidants, helping them to stay longer in the body and continue their work neutralizing free radicals. ALA improves nerve conduction and blood flow and it reduces oxidative stress. ALA has been studied with respect to heavy metal detoxification, blood sugar control, liver ailments and more.
Some argue that Alpha Lipoic Acid is the most important antioxidant ever discovered. Sounds like something we should all take note of!
CanPrev’s Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 provides a therapeutic 600 mg dose of a safe and stable form of ALA. The formula is supported with thiamine and biotin, as these nutrients in particular can either be deficient or compete with each other for absorption into cells. Studies show that those with thiamine deficiencies (such as those with digestive disorders or heavy alcohol use) can experience toxic side effects if high doses of ALA are taken without the support of thiamine. A biotin deficiency can occur due to high dosing with ALA as they both seem to compete with each other to get across the cell wall. ALA usually wins out and a deficiency can occur unless extra biotin is taken. Combining them into one formula ensures they work as equal partners instead of contenders.