Alpha Lipoic Acid: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Unlike Vitamin C, which is water soluble and Vitamin E, which is fat soluble,
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a unique antioxidant that is both water and fat soluble,
which allows it to enter all parts of the cell to neutralize free radicals.
Alpha Lipoic Acid contributes to and is important for the production of energy
inside the cell by utilizing sugar to produce energy contributing to mental and
physical stamina, reducing muscle fatigue and neutralizes free radicals. Alpha
Lipoic Acid recycles and enhances the effects of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Scientists first discovered the importance of alpha lipoic acid in the 1950s,
and recognized it as an antioxidant in 1988. It has been the subject of research
around the world, some being done at UC Berkeley by Dr. Lester Packer, a leading
expert in the area of antioxidants and a professor of molecular and cell biology
at the University of California at Berkeley. He believes that Alpha Lipoic Acid
could have far-reaching consequences in the search for prevention and therapy of
chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Because it's the only antioxidant that can easily get into the brain, it could
be useful in preventing oxidative stress and damage from a stroke. .
Alpha Lipoic Acid is easily absorbed when taken orally and once inside cells is
quickly converted to its most potent form, dihydrolipoic acid. Because both
Alpha Lipoic Acid and dihydrolipoic acid are antioxidants, their combined
actions give them greater antioxidant potency than any natural antioxidant now
known. This also makes it important for regulating aspects of the immune system,
in particular, T-lymphocytes. .
The incidence of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis increases with age.
Free radicals promote inflammatory reactions, which antioxidants have been
successful at diminishing.
Scientists recently stimulated the inflammatory response of white blood cells,
resulting in an increase of Intracellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1), which
encourages white blood cells to stick to other cells, thereby inflaming tissues.
Alpha-lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant, was then added to the mix. Researchers
said the acid reduced the activity of ICAM-1 to levels in normal, un-stimulated
cells in a dose-dependent manner. It also lowered the activity of NFkB.
According to the study, these changes suggest that alpha-lipoic acid may help
reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases such a rheumatoid arthritis and
Suggested dosage for Alpha Lipoic Acid is 100-200 mg in divided doses daily.
SIDE EFFECTS: with alpha lipoic acid are rare but can include:
• Skin rash and the potential of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients.
• People who may be deficient in vitamin B1 (such as alcoholics) should take
vitamin B1 along with alpha lipoic acid supplements.
• Chronic administration of alpha lipoic acid in animals has interfered with the
actions of the vitamin, biotin. Whether this has significance for humans remains
Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac