Alpha Lipoic Acid benefit – What are alpha lipoic acid benefits for diabetes and antioxidant benefit?
January 2 2017

Alpha lipoic acid, also known as lipoic acid (you can buy this powerful supplement and receive a free wellness and healing research newsletter), is a natural antioxidant becoming recognized as having benefit in the therapy and prevention of a broad range of diseases. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid benefits the body in the use of glucose, hence alpha lipoic acid’s potential role in improving blood sugar control. Alpha lipoic acid reduces complications from a high sugar diet. Lipoic acid is readily absorbed from the diet or as a supplement. Alpha lipoic Acid has a variety of benefits, particularly for diabetics.
One mistake people make when taking antioxidant pills such as alpha lipoic acid, is that they think the more they take the healthier they will be. However, the benefits of alpha lipoic acid supplement may be counteracted by the side effects when high dosages are taken.

Side effects, safety, heart problems, heart rhythm disturbance
The most common alpha lipoic acid side effects is insomnia. A more serious side effect is heart rhythm disturbances. We are not sure why heart rhythm is influenced by this supplement, but we have had quite a number of emails from users of this natural product reporting heart rhythm disturbances when dosages exceeded 100 mg.

R Alpha Lipoic Acid product 50 mg capsule, 90 Tablets
Buy Alpha Lipoic acid discount, Mind Power Rx, Eyesight Rx, Passion Rx, Diet Rx, or to sign up to a FREE newsletter at Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Physician Formulas uses the highest quality R-Alpha Lipoic Acid. R-ALA is much more potent (2 times on average) than commonly sold synthetic lipoic acid which contains both the R and S forms of lipoic acid. The S form is chemically the mirror image of the R form of lipoic acid and is not useful to the body.

R Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplement Facts
R Alpha Lipoic Acid capsule – 50 mg *

The two types of Alpha Lipoic acid
If you’re taking a conventional lipoic acid supplement, you’re likely only getting half or less of the benefit of natural lipoic acid. The reason for this is that most alpha lipoic acid products on the market have both forms of lipoic acid: the synthetic S form, and the natural R form. R-Lipoic acid is much more potent (2 times on average) than commonly sold synthetic lipoic acid which contains both the R and S forms of lipoic acid. The S form is chemically the mirror image of the R form of lipoic acid and cannot be used by the body, hence it is useless. Thus, 50 mg of R-Lipoic Acid is equivalent to 100 mg of synthetic lipoic acid. 
Animal research has shown that R alpha lipic acid acid can more efficiently than other forms of lipoic acid increase or maintain levels of other antioxidants including COQ 10, vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione, which often declines with age.
Dosage of Alpha Lipoic Acid, how much to take
As we found out recently about vitamin E, high doses of antioxidant supplements may not lead to more benefits. In fact, there comes a point where a supplement, no matter how benign, can become unhealthy if the doses are too high. For this reason I do not recommend more than 10 to 50 mg of alpha lipoic a day. There are products out there that have 300 mg of alpha lipoic per capsule. I am not convinced they are healthy to take, except perhaps to treat an existing medical condition for a specific period of time.

Alpha Lipoic Acid benefit as an Antioxidant
Lipoic acid can regenerate vitamin C from its oxidized form, dehydroascorbic acid. Lipoic acid can also potentially regenerate other antioxidants. Lipoic acid increases the levels of glutathione, a very important antioxidant normally found in our cells and responsible for mopping up all types of toxins and free radicals. Glutathione supplements, however, are not helpful since glutathione does not have the ability to cross cell membranes. Fortunately, both laboratory and animal studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid can stimulate the production of this antioxidant. This is particularly important during periods of excessive stress or exposure to radiation or toxic substances. Lipoic acid also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain and is likely to protect brain cells from toxins.

Alpha Lipoic acid benefit for medical conditions
Research in humans with lipoic acid is still incomplete. However, alpha lipoic may theoretically be worthwhile to explore in a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects, adverse reactions, safety
There are no indications that low doses of lipoic acid, such as 5 to 20 mg, have side effects. Higher doses could cause nausea or stomach upset, along with over-stimulation, fatigue, and insomnia. High doses could also potentially lower blood sugar. This is often beneficial to patients who have diabetes, but it requires close monitoring of blood sugar levels. We have had one report of 300 mg of alpha lipoic acid taken 3 times a day for three weeks led to atrial fibrillation. Another person emailed that a 50 mg dose of R lipoic acid made him feel his heart racing, he took it at the same time as his thyroid medication Levothyroid. Those with thyroid problems may consider taking half a capsule of a 50 mg R alpha lipoic acid dose.

Summary, review
Until long-term studies with alpha lipoic acid are published on humans regarding alpha lipoic acid benefit and risks, we do not recommend that you take more than 10 to 50 mg a day unless you’re being treated for a particular condition under medical supervision. Since alpha lipoic acid helps restore antioxidants, you may need less vitamins C and E and other antioxidants when you take them along with alpha lipoic acid.

Alpha Lipoic acid benefit for Diabetes
Lipoic acid is helpful in diabetes, particularly for those with diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy. Oxidative stress plays a central role in the cause and progression of late microangiopathic (small vessel) complications in diabetes mellitus. Treatment of diabetic patients with the antioxidant lipoic acid reduce oxidative stress and urinary albumin excretion, and slows the progression of endothelial cell damage. Alpha lipoic acid may also may tissues more sensitive to insulin.
Diabetics are prone to kidney disease and oxidative stress may play a major role in the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Previous studies have suggested that treatment of diabetic patients with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid reduces oxidative stress and urinary protein excretion. In this study completed at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the effect of alpha lipoic acid on the progression of kidney cell damage and the course of diabetic nephropathy was evaluated in 84 patients with diabetes over 18 months. Forty-nine patients had no antioxidant treatment and served as a control group. Thirty-five patients were treated with 600 mg alpha-lipoic acid per day. After 18 months of follow up, those on lipoic acid had a slower progression of the disease than the control group as shown by a decrease in the amount of protein lost in urine. Previous studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid may be helpful for diabetic neuropathy, the loss of sensation often first noticed in feet. Laboratory studies have also indicated that lipoic acid reverses the age-associated decline in the proper functioning of mitochondria. Mitochondria are enclosures located within each cell. They are primarily responsible for energy production.

Alpha Lipoic acid benefit for Diabetic neuropathy
High blood sugar levels for prolonged periods can be toxic to nerves in the body. Diabetics who don’t control their blood sugar eventually start losing sensation in their feet. Other problems follow resulting from damage to various nerves that supply internal organs. Even impotence can result due to loss of nerve sensation in genital organs. However high blood sugar may not be the only culprit. Diabetics are usually under high oxidative stress and this probably contributes to their neurological problems.
Several studies indicate that alpha lipoic acid has beneficial effects on diabetic neuropathy, party due to its actions as an antioxidant, and also by improving the circulation to tiny blood vessels supplying nerve tissue.

Alpha Lipoic Acid benefit for Memory and mental function
Feeding lipoic acid and acetyl-l-carnitine to old rats improves performance on memory tasks by lowering oxidative damage and improving mitochondrial function.

Alpha Lipoic acid benefit for Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has features of a neuropathy and could be related to the production of the toxic free radicals that are released in stress situations. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant able to increase the levels of intracellular glutathione and eliminate free radicals. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid in the therapy of BMS. Method: This was a double blind, controlled study conducted for two months on 60 patients with constant BMS. Comparing alpha-lipoic acid (test) with cellulose starch (placebo).
Results and Conclusions: Following treatment with alpha lipoic acid, there was a significant symptomatic improvement, compared with placebo, with the majority showing at least some improvement after 2 months, thus supporting the hypothesis that burning mouth syndrome is a neuropathy. This improvement was maintained in over 70% of patients at the 1 year follow-up.

Loss of Smell (Olfactory)
Alpha Lipoic acid may help regenerate loss of smell after a cold.

Alpha Lipoic acid benefit for retinal pigment cells
R alpha lipoic acid protects retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative damage.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005. Voloboueva LA, Liu J, Suh JH, Ames BN, Miller SS.
Biophysics Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, USA.
To determine whether R alpha lipoic acid protects cultured human fetal retinal pigment epithelial (hfRPE) cells against oxidative injury and identify the pathways that may mediate protection. Cultured hfRPE cells were pretreated with various concentrations of R alpha lipoic acid for 14 to 16 hours followed by treatment with a chemical oxidant, tert-butylhydroperoxide. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and cell viability were measured. Pretreatment of hfRPE cells with R alpha lipoic acid significantly reduced the levels of t-BuOOH-induced intracellular ROS, by 23% and 49%, respectively. R alpha lipoic acid prevented oxidant-induced cell death and apoptosis and also increased the viability of oxidant-treated hfRPE cells from 38% to 90% of control. The present study suggests that the protective effect of R alpha lipoic acid involves multiple pathways and that R alpha lipoic acid could be effective against age-associated increase in oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in RPE cells.

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