Alpha-Lipoic Acid from Douglas Laboratories may be a beneficial dietary supplement for those concerned about a more complete antioxidant defense system and maintaining proper glucose metabolism.
This nutritional coenzyme is involved in
- Energy metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats
- Physiological functions in blood glucose disposal
- Scavenging free radicals
As part of several multi-enzyme complexes located in the mitochondria, alpha-lipoic acid is essential for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and for the conversion of their energy so it can be used by the body.
Basically, it is needed by the body to produce the energy for its normal functions. It does this by converting glucose, or blood sugar, into energy.
However, the nutritional coenzyme is also known as the universal antioxidant because of its ability to attack harmful chemicals, known as free radicals, just about anywhere in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid can do this because of its unique ability to function in water and fat.
Body cells and tissues are threatened continuously by damage caused by toxic free radicals and reactive oxygen produced during normal oxygen metabolism, as well as by toxic agents in the environment. Free radicals, once formed, are capable of disrupting metabolic activity and cell structure. When this occurs, additional free radicals are produced which, in turn, can result in more extensive damage to cells and tissues.
The uncontrolled production of free radicals is thought to be a major contributing factor to many degenerative diseases.
Besides being a universal free radical scavenger, alpha-lipoic acid can also recharge other antioxidant systems throughout the body. For example, it seems to be able to recycle antioxidants, such as vitamin C and glutathione, after they have been used up. Glutathione is an essential antioxidant that assists the body in eliminating potentially harmful substances.
Alpha-lipoic acid is also capable of suppressing the generation of free radicals in the first place, by removing heavy metals, such as iron and copper, from the bloodstream.