Recent studies have shown alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an even more powerful antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory agent than previously thought; however, therapeutic amounts can only be obtained from supplements, because it is almost non-existent in foods.
ALA be praised
Alpha lipoic acid is unique among antioxidants because it is soluble in both fat and water. This gives it the ability to penetrate the lipid or fat soluble portions of the cell, such as the cell’s first line of defense, the cell plasma membrane. In addition, it can also penetrate the watery portions of the cell, known as the cytosol. Because ALA can protect both the fat- and water-soluble parts of the cell, scientists have named it the “universal antioxidant.” ALA is found as part of an enzyme complex in the mitochondria that converts food to energy, it is also known as the “metabolic antioxidant.” Diseases of aging are caused by the damage and inflammation that result from free radical damage to the cells. Since ALA can protect all portions of the cell, it is ideally suited to help prevent the diseases of aging and the signs of aging in the skin.
A stitch in time saves nine
When taken orally as a supplement, ALA can concentrate in both the cell and mitochondrial lipid membranes, where it protects both from free radical damage, thus preventing the commencement of an inflammatory cascade.
Good for diabetics
ALA is especially protective to the mitochondria in nerve cells, and can therefore help prevent degeneration of the brain seen with aging and age-related diseases of the central nervous system. In addition, ALA has been used successfully to treat patients with diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage).
Understanding which supplements and topicals are important to take on a daily basis is a great way to keep all of your organ systems, including the skin, functioning at optimum levels.