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food filled with alpha lipoic acid

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid Used For?

Before we discuss what alpha lipoic is used for, let’s cover some basics.

For several years, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has increased in popularity due to its ability to act as an antioxidant. Since it is both water and fat soluble, it is considered more powerful than Vitamins that are only water soluble, like Vitamin C, or only fat soluble like Vitamin E. This is why it’s often called the “universal antioxidant.”

Your body naturally produces ALA in the mitochondria where it helps turn nutrients into energy, but it’s also found in some foods including spinach, yams, carrots and red meat, albeit in small amounts.

While additional studies are needed, the research we do have on ALA shows some significant health benefits for weight, heart, blood sugar and more.  

In this Healthy Insight:

alpha lipoic acid

Why do we need alpha lipoic acid? 

Found in every cell in your body, ALA has two important roles:

  • Helping to turn food into energy
  • Fighting free radicals

Free radicals attack your cells, leading to premature aging, heart issues and other health concerns. Although toxins and chemicals in the air, food and water can trigger free radicals, they also occur via everyday processes such as eating, drinking and moving.

As an antioxidant, ALA works to combat damage caused by free radicals. ALA also helps your body create and recycle other important antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Co-Enzyme Q-10.

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What is alpha lipoic used for in the body?

  • As an antioxidant, ALA may protect your heart and brain from free radical damage due to aging.
  • May support weight loss by affecting the number of calories you burn. Animal studies show a positive effect, but human studies show mixed results.
  • Supports blood sugar levels already in the normal range.
  • When applied topically in a cream or lotion, it eases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and roughness, giving you a more youthful look.
  • Promotes healthy nerve function, which is especially important for individuals concerned about blood sugar.
  • Fosters muscle recovery after vigorous exercise. Oftentimes muscles will stay sore several days after a strenuous workout. A small study showed alpha lipoic may shorten the duration of this.

As you see, Alpha Lipoic Acid – the “universal antioxidant,” plays an important role in supporting the major functions of your body to keep you healthy. If you have to choose only one antioxidant, few can match Alpha Lipoic Acid.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.

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