Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is involved in energy-producing reactions in the body. ALA is both fat and water soluble, allowing it to be used at the cell membrane level and inside the cell. ALA helps the body recycle CoQ10, glutathione, vitamins C and E.
With its potent antioxidant properties, research has shown ALA strongly supports the neurovascular system, as well as overall circulatory and blood vessel health. Orally supplemented ALA readily crosses the blood brain barrier after absorption in the small intestine. It then undergoes distribution via systemic circulation. Once inside the tissues, ALA can exert its antioxidant benefits both inside and outside the cells, including the cellular powerhouse, the mitochondria, where it functions as a coenzyme in several different biochemical pathways. ALA also serves as a sulfur donor, which allows it to support detoxification pathways that require this nutrient.
Its unique chemical properties allow ALA to support blood sugar balance already within normal levels. One of the many health benefits of lipoic acid is its ability to support insulin sensitivity by preventing oxidative damage resulting from dips in blood sugar. ALA is also required for the cellular breakdown of carbohydrates and fatty acids. It supports blood vessel and circulatory health via its role in antioxidant regeneration. On the molecular level, ALA supports blood sugar balance by activating a protein called adenosine mono-phosphate kinase (AMPK), a regulator of cellular energy. AMPK coordinates both long-term and short-term metabolic changes, improving energy production and reducing energy storage.
Lipoic acid has also been used to support eye health.
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