Small quantities of the fatty acid alpha lipoic acid (ALA) reside in every cell in the human body. ALA is a powerful antioxidant that fights cell damage and inflammation. Aging, disease, oxidation, and inflammation are closely related, and ALA’s potency delivers a number of benefits to the body.
Some of these benefits include:
- Improved memory
- Cognitive function
- Increased metabolism
- Enhanced insulin sensitivity
This article will discuss some of the organs that receive the benefits of alpha lipoic acid:
ALA, a potent antioxidant, protects skin at the cellular level.
Oxidation, a chemical reaction, transfers electrons from one substance to another. Oxidation produces free radicals, unstable molecules with a missing electron. Free radicals, once produced, can then set off a chain reaction as each consecutive molecule attempts to stabilize, resulting in broken molecules that devitalize cells. Antioxidants remove free radicals and interfere with oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves.
In relation to the eyes, both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMC) are linked to oxidation. The continual exposure of both the lens and the retina to light and oxygen causes oxidation and free radical production.
Free radicals hinder proteins in the eye and cause them to clump. Even worse, they damage the enzymes that remove damaged proteins. This results in the formation of cataracts. Free radicals also impair vision because oxidation in the retina leads to the death of photoreceptor cells.
Some behaviors worsen oxidation in the eyes. Especially avoid smoking and excessive sunlight exposure.
Every part of the body is susceptible to oxidative stress, especially tender structures like the eyes. Nutritional supplementation for eye health is growing in popularity, and antioxidants are vital for vision and eye health. Studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid may protect against cataracts and improve vision for glaucoma sufferers. ALA works well in conjunction with other antioxidants, like lutein and astaxanthin, to improve eye health.
Inflammation is the body’s defense against infection. While it is a vital defense that destroys harmful pathogens, it has also been shown to contribute to aging and degenerative disease, because it involves increased blood flow, release of free radicals, tissue destruction, and scar tissue.
Inflammation is meant to clear the infection and then cease, allowing normal tissue to be rebuilt. However, inflammation can linger because of infection or environmental stressors, such as poor diet, that the body views as an attacker.
Chronic inflammation is especially damaging to the cardiovascular system. In the 1990s, an inflammatory protein called CRP was found to be an incredibly accurate predictor of future heart attacks.
ALA has been shown to combat inflammatory responses, and therefore, plays a large role in protecting against heart disease.
Free radical damage and inflammation, as described above, wreak particular havoc on skin. The amount of Alpha Lipoic Acid made naturally in the body is insufficient for significant antioxidant protection; other sources include foods, topical products, and supplements.
Foods with high levels of ALA include :
- 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised beef and lamb (e.g. lean red meat)
- Green vegetables (e.g. brocolli, spinach, romaine lettuce)
- Organ meats (e.g. liver)
- Yeast (e.g. Brewer’s yeast)
A number of Perricone MD’s anti-aging topical products are formulated with Alpha Lipoic Acid.
In these products, Alpha Lipoic Acid works to:
- Refine skin texture
- Reduce pores and wrinkles
- Increase radiance
The easiest way to ensure consumption of alpha lipoic acid is with a daily supplement. This method allows the strong antioxidant to work from the inside out to protect the skin, eyes, brain, and heart.
Perricone Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements specifically target the signs of aging, maintain cells’ metabolic function, and extend the benefits of other antioxidants.