Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements
Alpha lipoic acid supplements are choices that a diabetic can have in the arsenal against the many side effects that diabetes can bring to a sufferer. In the world of natural supplements, ALA is one of those that has been shown to be at least somewhat helpful in this effort. Because the body actually manufactures at least a modicum of this substance, ALA is considered a fairly safe supplement to take, but the problem comes in the lack of studies regarding how much of alpha lipoic acid supplements should be taken daily. ALA, manufactured in the human body is an anti-oxidant, fighting off the bad guy free radicals that roam in the air and in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that try and steal electrons from other molecules. Ultraviolet rays, radiation, car exhaust pesticides, cigarette smoke and other sources can all enter the bloodstream and stir up harmful effects including cancer in various forms.
Alpha lipoic acid supplements are sometimes suggested by doctors as a general antioxidant but there is no real evidence that using them as a supplement has any clear benefit. In general, if the ALA supplements are suggested by a physician as a daily regimen, the dosage is typically about twenty to fifty milligrams. But because ALA is available through certain foods, there may not be a need for daily supplements for the average American. Broccoli, spinach, beef, yeast, kidney and heart contain discernable amounts of ALA, and this may preclude the need for actual alpha lipoic acid supplements. "I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalm 139:14)
For the person who is suffering from glaucoma, one hundred and fifty milligrams per day is usually prescribed by an eye specialist. Some studies have shown that glaucoma patients have had improved sight with larger doses of alpha lipoic acid supplements. In addition gingko has also been shown to help in glaucoma impaired sight. Glaucoma, which is pressure inside the eye, has also been shown in very small studies to have been helped with high doses of vitamin-C, melatonin and omega three fatty acids. But nothing should be taken with the thought that one's glaucoma will be cured or treated with these natural substances until talking with an ophthalmologist first.
Without a doubt, the arena in which alpha lipoic acid supplements have been found to be the most helpful is the disease of diabetes. Actually, while the American medical community is just beginning to recognize ALA's abilities to relieve certain diabetic symptoms, ALA has been used for many years in Europe and especially Germany for the same purpose. The description of the suffering that diabetic patients often experience in the extremities of the body including feet and hands can often be described as stabbing pain and intense burning. In fact, for some diabetics, even sheets are painful to the touch on the foot. This pain in the extremities is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It is a result of the damage that diabetes can do to nerves throughout the body including those that are a part of internal organs.
It has been medically proven that ALA can lower blood sugar levels and while the studies do show that taking ALA intravenously can make a big difference in the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, there is also some evidence to prove that taking ALA supplements in pill form has little value in the lessening of pain. On the other hand, autonomic neuropathy, which affects nerves to the heart, seems to have gotten in better in a small test where ALA in pill form was administered. The problem really lies in the yet very small body of testing that has been done to verify ALA in both intravenous and oral form for various bodily ailments. This is why it is very important for patients to be their own health advocates. With so much new exploration in drug and natural supplement regimens, a physician cannot necessarily keep up with all the progress or may not have seen the latest studies, so going to a doctor's visit armed with one's own information can be a good idea.
Many people who are into taking alpha lipoic acid supplements do it because of its so called ability to fight aging. Again, no one really knows whether or not ALA can really make a difference in stopping the effects of aging, but very small and incomplete medical studies hint at the possibility. No woman should take ALA if she is pregnant or breast feeding and because ALA is seen as a powerful part of bodily function, taking the alpha lipoic acid supplements without one's physician knowing about the regimen is not a good idea. There may be the chance that ALA could interfere with a drug one is already using on a regular basis. There are some very specific medications that absolutely should not be used with alpha lipoic acid that include insulin and other drugs that lower blood sugar and thyroid regulating medication. In the months and years to come, there will no doubt be a number of new studies clearly validating or disproving the claims that are made right now regarding the abilities of ALA to curb aging. In the meantime, ALA seems to be a standard natural supplement that even physicians agree can help in the ongoing fight against the ravages of diabetes.
Alpha Lipoic Acid BenefitsAlpha lipoic acid benefits people with diabetes and heart disease by helping to prevent cell damage throughout the body. Other health conditions that respond to this antioxidant are high blood pressure, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. Alpha lipoic acid is a natural antioxidant which attacks free radicals that cause damage to the cells in the body. Alpha lipoic acid supplements help to rid the body of harmful substances from the environment. Harmful substances may include cigarette smoke, car exhaust, pesticides, and household cleaning products, among others. A physician should be consulted before taking supplements since they can interact with medications and some can be toxic when taken in excessive amounts.
Diabetes is a condition that can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves. Because of this damage a person may suffer from kidney disease, nerve disease, heart disease, and blindness. Alpha lipoic acid benefits include helping to move the glucose that accumulates in the blood to the cells. When this happens blood sugar levels go down and cells receive the nutrients needed to function. Alpha lipoic acid supplements can help to prevent damage caused by high glucose levels. This powerful antioxidant can help the body use insulin more effectively and prevent some of the damage caused from the disease. Diabetic neuropathy can be also be improved with this power antioxidant as it helps to minimize the pain and burning associated with the condition. Symptoms of diabetes include but are not limited to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increased thirst and urination, fatigue, numbness, blurred vision, yeast infections, and when left untreated can cause coma.
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that crosses the blood brain barrier and should not be taken in excess. Alpha lipoic acid supplements can be found on the Internet and at most health food stores. Side effects of the antioxidant may include headache, muscle cramps, and a tingling feeling all over the body. When experiencing side effects from taking the antioxidant discontinue use and see a physician. A person may have fewer side effects if daily amounts are reduced. This powerful antioxidant can be found naturally in some foods such as spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas, and rice bran. People who suffer with acute illnesses may want to consider taking supplements in addition to eating healthy. Acute conditions can cause depression and a feeling of hopelessness. Putting one's hope in God can bring comfort and joy in the midst of uncontrollable circumstances. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11)
People with inflammation in the arteries, joints, and muscles should talk to a physician about adding supplements to treatment. Inflammation can lead to hardening of the arteries, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Alpha lipoic acid benefits those with inflammation and can provide positive results with any and all inflammatory conditions. Other supplements that can have a positive effect on inflammatory conditions include omega 3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, and turmeric. Inflammatory conditions that will benefit from taking antioxidants are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lyme's disease, other connective tissue disorders, and asthma.
Improved blood flow will strengthen the heart muscle and the arteries helping to prevent and treat heart disease. Alpha lipoic acid benefits patients with hypertension as it helps to improve blood flow and circulation. High blood pressure that goes untreated can eventually cause enlargement of the heart and damage to the lungs. Other supplements that may help with hypertension include calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Eating a diet low in saturated fat and low in sodium will help to lower blood pressure. When taking medications to lower blood pressure a physician should be consulted before taking supplements. Some antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and herbs can interact with alpha lipoic acid.
People suffering with Parkinson's disease may benefit from taking alpha lipoic acid because of the increase in communication of nerve cells. The symptoms of Parkinson's include tremors, stiff muscles, and problems with walking. The first noticeable symptom is usually tremors that may start on one side of the body. Because all muscles can be affected by the disease a person may eventually have trouble with swallowing, speaking, and digestion.
Alzheimer's is a condition that affects memory. Alpha lipoic acid supplements help to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain so brain function becomes enhanced. When brain function becomes enhanced memory may also be enhanced. Some of the things that can make the disease worse are alcohol, smoking, eating processed foods, and exposure to metals such as mercury and aluminum. In addition, eating foods high in fat and being overweight can make the condition worse. Other supplements that may benefit the disease are ginkgo biloba, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Substances that will help with the symptoms of Alzheimer's include fish oil and foods high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Harmful substances in the environment can have a damaging effect on the cells in the body. Some of these substances are in the air, in cosmetics, in water, and on surfaces such as paint or drywall. Cigarette smoke has over 4000 chemicals and is considered one of the most harmful substances to the body. Chlorine bleach and household cleaners contain toxic compounds that can be inhaled and absorbed into the skin. Antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid can help to diminish these effects and prevent additional damage to the body's cells and nerves.