While I love the idea of getting all my nutrients from natural sources, I have come to believe that our food is so nutrient-deficient (watch the movie food, inc) that worthwhile supplements should be considered for optimal health…that is, until I buy a farm! Those who are actively working out should specifically consider the gaps in their nutrition because of the increased demand on their bodies. Store bought food is often lacking in nutritional content because of the soil it was grown in, early picking, poor shipping quality, etc. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a well studied supplement I have grown to love and feel we should consider.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) stands out above many supplements in its ability to promote health, energy and body composition by being a powerful anti-oxidant. In other words, damage to the cells is thought to be responsible for some cancers, aging effects, and injuries and ALA helps stop these really effectively. Unlike some, ALA is capable of being dissolved in both fat and water which means it can get to every part of the cell!
R-form Alpha Lipoic Acid is also an anti-inflammatory with studies showing its many benefits for cell sugar absorption, nerve damage, and detoxifying the body of metals. It’s important to note that R-form is the naturally occurring and more effective while S-form is synthetic. Bottles that don’t specify R or S are often a blend of both.
Other studies are showing ALA benefits weight loss. A 2011 study published in the “American Journal of Medicine” showed that obese people taking 1800 mg a day lost significantly more weight than a placebo group. Another 2010 study showed an eight to nine percent body weight drop in participants taking 800 mg over four months!
Increase drive of sugar to your cells (less of your food gets stored as fat),more fuel for your muscles, decreases in oxidative stress and aging, decrease in inflammation and weight loss all have me convinced that ALA is a must-have for fitness. I don’t like to play games with quality so I get mine from a pharmaceutical grade source like Douglas Labs or Thorne. Check back on wednesday for a link to Douglas Labs R-form ALA.
American Journal of Medicine; Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid on Body Weight in obese subjects
E.H. Koh, et al; 2011
Current Pharmaceutical Design; Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplementation: A Tool for Obesity Theraoy; M.G Carbonelli, et al.;2010
“Lipoic acid improves nerve blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, and improves distal nerve conduction in experimental diabetic neuropathy,” Nagamatsu, M., et al., Diabetes Care, 18(8) (August 1995): 1160-67