By Dr Theron Hutton MD
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring compound that plays a vital role in the body's energy production process. It is found in every cell in the body and can be synthesized by the body itself, but it can also be obtained through the diet or as a dietary supplement. ALA has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, including its ability to lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation.
One of the primary health benefits of ALA supplementation is its potential to lower blood sugar levels. Several studies have shown that ALA can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or prediabetes. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that daily supplementation with 600 mg of ALA over a period of 12 weeks significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (1).
ALA may also have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress is a condition in which the body is exposed to an excess of reactive oxygen species, which can damage cells and tissues. Inflammation is a normal response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Some studies have suggested that ALA may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms in people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (2, 3).
In addition to its potential benefits for blood sugar control and inflammation, ALA may also have a positive effect on brain health. A study published in the journal Neurochemical Research found that ALA improved memory and cognitive function in mice with Alzheimer's disease (4). Another study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry found that ALA improved cognitive function in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (5). While more research is needed to confirm these findings in humans, the results are promising.
Overall, the evidence suggests that ALA supplementation may have a range of potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, and potentially improved cognitive function. As always, it's imperative to consult with your own personal health expert before using this or any therapy. If you like to see if ALA might help you check out Mulberry Clinics or Mulberry Vitamin Infusions.
Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA. Treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis. ALADIN Study Group. Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy Study Group. J Neurol. 1999 Apr;246(4):243-50.
Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K. Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997 Jan;22(1):359-78.
Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Lobisch M, Schutte K. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. A 3-week multicentre randomized controlled trial (ALADIN III Study). Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy Study Group. Diabetologia. 1995 Dec;38(12):1425-33.
Zhang Y, Zhang Z, Wang J, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid as a potential therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease. Neurochemical Res. 2008 Mar;33(3