Alpha Lipoic Acid In 1999 we looked at a relatively new antioxidant supplement called alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and concluded that it might one day prove to be very important, but that it was too early to recommend it. Since then more studies on it have been done. Is the evidence today strong enough to support its use? The body needs ALA to produce energy. It plays a crucial role in the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in cells. The body actually makes enough ALA for these basic metabolic functions. This compound acts as an antioxidant, however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the "free" state in the cells. But there is little free ALA circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements or get it injected. Foods contain only tiny amounts of it. What makes ALA special as an antioxidant is its versatility—it helps deactivate an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems. In particular, ALA helps protect the mitochondria and the genetic material, DNA. As we age, mitochondrial function is impaired, and it’s theorized that this may be an important contributor to some of the adverse effects of aging. ALA also works closely with vitamin C and E and some other antioxidants, "recycling" them and thus making them much more effective. ALA is being studied in animals and in humans as a preventive and/or treatment for many age-related diseases. These range from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as declines in energy, muscle strength, brain function, and immunity. It is also being studied for HIV disease and multiple sclerosis. In Germany, in particular, it is already prescribed to treat long-term complications of diabetes, such as nerve damage, thought to result in part from free-radical damage; there is also evidence that it can help decrease insulin resistance and thus help control blood sugar. Many studies have yielded promising results; others are still underway. Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits Alpha Lipoic Acid has many benefits, and all types of people will benefit from taking ALA. ALA will be even more beneficial for individuals with some of the following conditions: Diabetes or higher than normal blood sugar levels Have high cholesterol levels Are affected by cataracts (in early stages) Cardiovascular problems such as hardening of arteries There is a long list of benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid, some have even gone as far to call it the "ideal antioxidant". Below are some benefits of taking alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid helps make vitamin C and E work better ALA is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals It's easily absorbed either from food eaten or from supplements Alpha lipoic acid helps increase glutathione which helps with detoxification It helps protect the lens and retina of your eyes from degeneration, and also helps alleviate glaucoma Alpha lipoic acid is used to treat and detox the liver Obviously, the 2 biggest benefits from supplementing Alpha lipoic acid is its powerful antioxidant properties, and its ability to help increase Glutathione levels which plays a big role in dissolving toxic substances in the liver.