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Lipoic Acid Benefits



Until just lately alpha-lipoic acid (also called thioctic acid) had not been placed in my own suggested list of nutritional supplements for the reason that it was a supplement more for diabetic issues and blood glucose levels than anything more. The more deeply one researches lipoic acid, the more clear it becomes that everybody above the age of forty really should include this in their dietary supplement strategy.  It is a very powerful antioxidant and prevents or improves a wide range of maladies including high blood pressure, neuropathy, fibromyalgia and cancer.

Most of us get almost no lipoic acid in our daily diet. This occurs as lipolylysine instead of true lipoic acid alone. You may never have any reasonable quantity of cuisine such as broccoli (one of the most useful sources). As an example, broccoli has a miniscule 100 micrograms for every 100 gram portion. Therefore a person would need to consume more than 2 pounds of broccoli to acquire a single milligram of lipolylysine to transform directly into alpha lipoic acid. This will then be changed into dihydrolipoic acid in the course of digestion. This takes place as the R form, whilst the lipoic acid of commerce takes place as the racemic (that contains the two isomers) S- as well as R- forms (these are definitely mirror images). A number of web promotions say you can purchase their particular expensive R only variety and that also the commercial lipoic acid will be in some manner inadequate. When you evaluate the scientific studies virtually every single one of these studies utilizes standard, commercial, synthesized racemic lipoic acid. Yes it's true; virtually all the scientific studies utilize ordinary, common lipoic acid. Please do not acquire your medical knowledge from online commercials regardless of how medically astute they appear to be at first glance. The more deeply you peer into the actual scientific studies on lipoic acid the more valuable you discover it really is. It is a highly effective antioxidant to battle free radicals. It is an extremely powerful and verified free radical scavenger and free radicals increase significantly as we get older. Lipoic acid doesn't just serve to take control of diabetes but additionally insulin resistance. You should read about insulin resistance because it is, today, pandemic for Americans above forty years old. It indicates our cells will no longer respond very well to ordinary levels of insulin and levels of insulin climb drastically in order to make up for this. And you simply really don't know you happen to be insulin resistant. This is certainly a precursor to diabetes that currently is affecting in excess of sixteen million Americans.

The publication Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology volume 182 (2002) released a review performed at UCLA in California complete with 78 citations. It is a highly technical piece and difficult to read and review. Nevertheless, the final point here is that there are a great number of established health benefits to lipoic acid supplements besides simply blood glucose levels and insulin metabolism. The antioxidant effects are astonishing and greatly enhance the metabolic processes associated with our three principal antioxidant enzymes SOD, glutathione and catalase. You will discover hundreds of these kinds of studies proving the highly effective properties of lipoic acid in not merely test animals, but actual men and women. Insulin resistance is currently a crisis in America. Free radicals are the principal cause of aging. Lipoic acid benefits both of these conditions.

While the studies listed below are for blood sugar disorders, lipoic acid has been shown in numerous other studies to reduce degenerative conditions of all types including those caused by other diseases such as neuritis, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, kidney problems and failure, glycoma, macular degeneration, cancer and so on.  Persons suffering from diabetes experience considerably fewer complications when taking lipoic acid supplements.

Add lipoic acid to your supplemental regimen today.

Studies on Lipoic Acid and Blood Sugar Disorders including Diabetes

At Eberhard-Karls University in Germany (BioFactors 10, 1993) a study, Thioctic Acid-Effects on Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose-Metabolism” was done. They pointed out that, “Thioctic acid is a co-factor of key mitochondrial enzymes, involved in the regulation of glucose oxidation, such as the pyruvate dehydrogenase and the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, both enzyme complexes which are known to be diminished in diabetes.” In plain words, this means lipoic acid works with our bodies enzymes to prevent glucose from being oxidized. Their conclusion was, “The clinical and experimental date indicate that this compound has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, correcting several metabolic pathways known to be altered in type 2 diabetes, such as insulin stimulated glucose uptake, glucose oxidation, and glycogen synthesis.” The authors quote two human studies published in Diabetologica 1995 and Arzneimittelforschung 1995. Here insulin sensitivity was increased 27 to 51% in merely 10 days! This is nothing less than incredible! No toxic prescription drugs can even start to approach results like that.

At the University of Southern California (Nutrition 17, 2001) “Molecular Aspects of Lipoic Acid in the Prevention of Diabetes Complications” was published. People with diabetes suffer from an endless list of complications eventually ending in premature death. These include vascular (heart and artery) disease, cataracts, retinopathy (vision loss), neuropathy (nerve deterioration) and nephropathy (loss of kidney function). “Available data strongly suggest that LA, because of its antioxidant properties, is particularly suited to the prevention and/or treatment of diabetic complications….. In addition to its antioxidant properties, LA increases glucose uptake…..Further, recent trials have demonstrated that LA improves glucose disposal in patients with type 2 diabetes. In experimental and clinical studies, LA markedly reduced the symptoms of diabetic pathologies, including cataract formation, vascular damage and polyneuropathy.” Rather powerful statements.

A most impressive seventeen page, heavily documented review, “The Pharmacology of the Antioxidant Lipoic Acid”, from Vrije University in Amsterdam (General Pharmacology v. 29, 1997) leaves no doubt about its effectiveness. Here they prove that the R- and S- isomers equally convert to DHLA in humans. This review is about the antioxidant properties of LA for general health rather than the benefits for diabetes specifically. The language here is highly technical and refers to reactive oxygen species (ROS), NADH, chelation, oxidative stress, and other such topics. In plain English, they show LA supplements to be a most powerful and proven antioxidant that has many benefits as we age.

At the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands (Oxidative Stress and Disease v. 6, 2001) an excellent review was done on the antioxidant properties and therapeutic potential of lipoic acid. “LA can be used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and has been shown to increase cellular glucose uptake and utilization.” They point out that both the reduced (DHLA) and oxidized (LA) forms have powerful antioxidant properties.

At the University of Arizona (Oxidative Stress and Disease v. 8, 2002) a long, well documented review was done on hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. They strongly suggest using LA as a therapy for both conditions. Further they discuss the underlying mechanisms for using LA in diabetic and pre-diabetic conditions so we can better understand how it is so effective.

At Oregon State University (Current Medicinal Chemistry v. 11, 2004) a review was done showing the power of LA to help ameliorate the pathophysiologies of many chronic diseases, and not just diabetes and other forms of blood sugar dysmetabolism. Diabetic neuropathy (aka polyneuropathy) is caused by the peroxidation of nervous tissues. Many studies show this can be strongly mitigated by lipoic acid supplements alone. For example, at the Diabetes Center in Romania lipoic acid was given to diabetics for 70 days. They found antioxidant therapy with LA improved and may prevent diabetic neuropathy. This improvement was associated with a reduction in indexes of lipid peroxidation.

 Again in Romania young type 1 diabetics (mean age of 38) were given lipoic acid for 60 days. Their results demonstrated that LA appeared to be an effective drug in the treatment of different forms of autonomic diabetic neuropathy. There was also a dramatic decrease in systolic blood pressure with no other treatment than the LA.

At Goethe University in Germany both type 1 and type 2 diabetics were given lipoic acid for only 3 weeks. Their results demonstrated that therapy with LA had a positive influence on the impaired neurovascular reflex arc in patients with diabetic neuropathy.

At the Diabetic Research Institute in Germany an extensive review with 38 references was done on treating people with diabetic polyneuropathy and cardiac autonomic neuropathy with lipoic acid. At Heine University in Germany diabetics were given lipoic acid for only 3 weeks. Their NIS scores improved greatly. The results of their meta-analysis provided evidence that treatment with lipoic acid over 3 weeks was safe and significantly improved both positive neuropathic symptoms and neuropathic deficits to a clinically meaningful degree in diabetic patients with symptomatic polyneuropathy. Also at Heine an extensive, heavily referenced 17 page review was published. Here they showed that lipoic acid is the single most effective supplement for treating oxidative stress in diabetics.

At the Royal Pharmacy in England another good review was done. Lipoic acid is now used in Germany for the treatment of diabetic naturopathy and definitive evidence of efficacy should arise from surveillance studies. Lipoic acid may be more effective as a long-term dietary supplement aimed at the prophylactic protection of diabetics from complications.

The Medical Research Institute in California published a study on oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes and lipoic acid. Studies with antioxidants such as vitamin E, lipoic acid, and N-acetyl cysteine are new strategies now available to treat such conditions.

At the University of Medicine in Italy diabetics with “burning mouth syndrome” were successfully treated with lipoic acid. Burning mouth syndrome is one common form of neuropathy. Improvement was found in only 60 days and was maintained in over 70% of the patients after one year.

At the University of Heidelberg in Germany diabetic patients were given lipoic acid for 3 months. This data provided evidence that treatment with LA improves significantly the imbalance between increased oxidative stress and depleted antioxidant defense even in patients with poor glycemic control and albuminuria. Later at the same university both type 1 and 2 diabetics we given long term lipoic acid for eighteen months. The results were very good as always with thrombomodulin and urinary albumin concentrations falling impressively with no other treatments. Both of these are important markers for diagnosis of diabetic states.

At Oregon State University a 12 page review with extensive references found that lipoic acid therapy was helpful not only for diabetes, but also other diseases associated with oxidative stress. LA was found to be an effective agent to ameliorate certain pathophysiologies of many chronic diseases. A similar review was also done at Oregon State where the evidence was examined for the effectiveness of lipoic acid against such diverse age-related disorders as unwarranted apoptosis (programmed cell death), cardiovascular disease, and cataract formation. The famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota did a most impressive 16 page review complete with 77 references on lipoic acid that leaves no doubt as to the proven effectiveness on any disease associated with oxidative stress including blood sugar disorders generally.

At the University of California in Berkeley another good review with 34 references was done on the properties of lipoic acid in relation to oxidative stress and disease.

At the University of California in Los Angeles a sophist- icated review with an impressive 78 citations was done on the general antioxidant and prooxidant properties of lipoic acid. They showed both lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid exhibit direct free radical scavenging properties.

Other studies provide evidence that lipoic acid supplementation has pro-oxidant properties, decreases oxidative stress, and restores reduced levels of other antioxidants in real people.

At City Hospital in Germany type 1 diabetics were given lipoic acid in order to improve insulin sensitivity. They found oral administration of LA resulted in a significant increase of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in NIDDM. Better glucose disposal is a clear marker of improvement in blood sugar dysmetabolism.

An article in a 1998 issue of Alternative Medicine review found lipoic acid has the potential to prevent diabetes, influence glucose control, and prevent chronic hyperglycemia associated with complications such as neuropathy and cataracts.

At Aston University in England diabetics were given vitamin E, vitamin C and lipoic acid. After only six weeks they found the total antioxidant status (TAS) measurement indicated that diabetic blood plasma antioxidant capacity was improved from mere dietary antioxidant supplementation. When you take a variety of proven antioxidants like this they all work synergistically in concert together and the total effectiveness is greatly increased.

There are many other published human studies from around the world on the benefits of oral lipoic acid supplementation for blood sugar and insulin metabolism. Make this a part of your supplement program.

This article on lipoic acid was adapted from an article written by Roger Mason a research chemist .  Roger’s company youngagain.com sells a high quality lipoic acid supplement in capsules at a very good price.  Also, be sure to sign up for Roger’s newsletter.


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