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Alpha Lipoic Acid For Diabetes

By on June 20, 2013

alpha lipoic acid in spinachAlpha lipoic acid for diabetes (ALA) has become a very popular subject. But, what are the alpha lipoic acid dangers, benefits and research behind this miracle supplement? Moreover, what is the proper alpha lipoic acid dosage?

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

ALA is a fatty acid that is present in your cells. It is naturally occurring, meaning the body produces it on its own. The substance provides multiple functions, but is most commonly known for helping convert glucose into energy and as an antioxidant.

As you may recall, an antioxidant kills free radicals which attack cells. The unique aspect of ALA as an antioxidant is that it also replenishes or rejuvenates other antioxidants, such as vitamin C. Additionally, the substance operates in both fat and water based environments. This last tidbit is important, as discussed below.

BENEFITS

ALA has many uses and benefits. Alpha lipoic acid for diabetes is mainly thought to help lower or maintain blood glucose levels. The substance effectively aids in the processing of glucose into energy at the cellular level.

ALA is one of the most powerful antioxidants in existence. Antioxidants both stop and repair cell damage caused by oxidation. Oxidation occurs as a natural process of living, however, poor diet and lifestyle habits (smoking, drinking, etc.) can increase oxidation. ALA combats this problem and has even been viewed as slowing down the anti-aging process.

ALA is also popular as a supplement for heart disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and other neuropathic diseases. As mentioned above, ALA is works in both fatty and water based tissue, effectively surrounding the cell and protecting it from free radical damage. This property is thought to be the main effectiveness for treating neuropathic issues.

RESEARCH

alpha-lipoic-acid
While not underwhelming, the alpha lipoic acid for diabetes research is not overwhelming either. For diabetes, there are multiple studies that support the substance as a glucose lowering aid. However, human studies are not prevalent and at least one of the studies requires you to exercise in order to reap the benefits. The same is true for studies related to its treatment for diabetic neuropathies. Treatment for diabetic neuropathy is thought to be improved with ALA.

There are a tremendous amount of ongoing studies to confirm the anti-aging and other neuropathic treatment qualities of ALA. While the research is not concluded, the positive takeaway from this activity is that the mainstream scientific community in the United States is focusing a tremendous amount of effort on the subject.

This last statement may seem trivial, but it is not. There are many so called “miracle treatments” for diabetes, but few are actively being studied or have been resoundingly debunked. The ALA story, however, is continuing to evolve.

DANGERS

The alpha lipoic dangers or side effects are also not well documented. Some reported side effects are:

  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Cramps

Additionally, ALA is often taken as a way to lower blood glucose levels. If someone is taking prescription medications to do this as well, you should closely monitor your blood sugar to make sure it does not get too low.

Because ALA is so popular, yet large human studies have not been performed, it is advisable that pregnant women and children be cautious about taking an ALA supplement. Regardless of your condition, it is best to consult with your doctor before starting to use ALA.

DOSAGE

Normal alpha lipoic acid for diabetes dosage is around 100mg to 200mg a day. However,

some studies have used upward to 600 mg a day or more. It is best to consult a doctor if you have any questions about what is right for you.

FOOD SOURCES

While ALA is naturally occurring, it is also found in certain foods, namely:

  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Chard
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Rice Bran
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Brewer’s Yeast