With diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders reaching epidemic proportions, natural remedies that combat these health concerns are in high demand. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can help with these pressing issues and more. This formidable antioxidant has also shown promise in curbing osteoporosis, reducing the damage caused by stroke, as well as preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.
A broad-spectrum wonder
In “Nutraceutical Update: Lipoic Acid,” Mark A. Mitchell, M.D., lists the following benefits of ALA:
- Reduces oxidative stress in the body via powerful antioxidant activity
- Improves several components of the metabolic syndrome – a combination of risk factors that increases one’s risk for diabetes
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Improves the lipid profile
- Reduces weight
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Improves diabetic neuropathy
- Protects against cataract formation
- Improves visual function in glaucoma
- Helps prevents retinal cell death when combined with vitamin E in retinitis pigmentosa
- Reduces brain damage after a stroke
- Prevents bone loss, possibly through an anti-inflammatory effect
- Reduces frequency and intensity of migraines
- Improves skin texture
And this study found that supplementing with ALA can help reduce inflammatory reactions associated with multiple sclerosis. Additionally, lipoic acid helps to safeguard against heavy metal toxicity. Chelating arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, ALA renders the metals inactive and safely expels them from the body. An animal study in Toxicology also found that ALA shielded the liver against arsenic exposure.  Likewise, research has verified the protective properties of lipoic acid against mercury poisoning. 
Please note: before attempting a heavy metal detox with ALA or any other substance, it’s important to consult with a qualified practitioner to avoid potential side effects.
Dosage and use
The most potent form of lipoic acid is R-dihydrolipoic acid. The recommended dosage ranges from 300 to 1,800 mg per day. Taken with a B-complex vitamin, the bioavailability of ALA is given a significant boost.
Dr. Mitchell concludes, “[l]ipoic acid offers broad-spectrum protection against some of society’s troublesome health conditions, ranging from painful neuropathy and migraine headaches to disabling cataracts and neurodegenerative conditions. You can begin optimizing your body’s levels of protective antioxidants today using supplements of lipoic acid or its high-potency cousin, R-dihydrolipoic acid.”
Sources for this article include:
Muller L. Protective effects of DL-alpha-lipoic acid on cadmium-induced deterioration of rat hepatocytes. Toxicology. 1989 Oct 2;58(2):175-85
Anuradha B, Varalakshmi P. Protective role of DL-alpha-lipoic acid against mercury-induced neural lipid peroxidation. Pharmacol Res. 1999 Jan;39(1):67-80
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The mission of the Integrative Medicine is to search for the most effective treatments for patients by combining both conventional and alternative approaches that address all aspects of health and wellness – biological, psychological, social and spiritual. Biological Medicine is a big part of my work and so is Dark field Microscopy, what I use in my daily practice and what I teach more then 15 years in Asia and around the world: Live Blood Analysis in dark field based on Haematology.
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Heavy metal poisoning
Heavy metal poisoning is much more common than most people realize, and if you’re thinking that it doesn’t apply to you because you haven’t been exposed to any, think again. If you’ve eaten fish regularly, had amalgam fillings, received vaccinations, drank contaminated water, or done industrial or agricultural work or pharmaceutical manufacturing, there’s a good chance that you have a fair amount of toxic metals in your system..
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