Found in each cell of the body – just like glutatione – alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that helps your cells transform sugars into energy. Different from antioxidants like Vitamin C which is only water soluble or vitamin E which is fat soluble , ALA works in both water and fat. It operates anyplace in your body. Like other antioxidants, ALA neutralizes free radicals -metabolic waste – from your cells before they turn out to be crowded and toxic from a build up of waste. Unlike most other antioxidants, Alpha lipoic Acid is able to help to regenerate other antioxidants once they have collected the odd electrons and renders them ready to continue to neutralize more free radicals.
ALA is also used as a short form for Alpha Linolenic Acid which is an omega-3 fatty acid, associated with heart health, but this is a different substance from Alpha lipoic acid – also referred to as Lipoic Acid.
Many studies have demonstrated that ALA might be able to help lower levels of blood sugar and combined with it’s antioxidant properties, ALA might be useful to people suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy, minimizing some of the discomfort caused by nerve damage.
Scientists are studying alpha lipoic acid to establish its effectiveness against glaucoma but they are yet to accumulate sufficient data, but due to the fact it can pass easily to the brain, it is possible that ALA may well be useful as a protection against brain and nerve tissue damage. It is presently being looked at as a potential treatment for stroke and other brain problems with root causes based on free radical damage. Dementia is one such condition.