What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid (aka ALA, lipoate, thioctic acid) is utilized as an antioxidant and co-factor in glycolysis. Glycolysis is the initial process in most of the body's pathways to breakdown glucose into useful forms of energy. Though critical to life, ALA is not a vitamin because it can be synthesized from essential fatty acids and the amino acid L-cysteine. However, no food is rich enough to serve as a good source.
Chemically, ALA has two juxtaposed sulfur atoms. When oxidized, the two sulfurs bond together (disulfide form). When reduced to dihydrolipoic acid, the active antioxidant form, each sulfur atom attaches to hydrogen (thiol form). ALA's antioxidant chemistry is similar to glutathione, another sulfur-containing molecule and the most abundant antioxidant inside cells.
The Universal Antioxidant
ALA is reduced to its active form, dihydrolipoic acid, inside cells as the body needs it and is able to do so. The enzyme responsible for this, dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (LipHD), preferentially reduces the R-enantiomer of lipoic acid; this is why the R form is often considered the only biologically relevant form. However this may not be entirely accurate. Like vitamin C, ALA functions in water-based phases such as blood. However, like vitamin E, it also protects fatty tissues and membranes. ALA quenches free radicals--like hydroxyl, singlet-oxygen, and peroxynitrite--in both water and lipid phases, and protects against lipid peroxidation. It deactivates an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems.*
Recycler Built for Two
ALA also enhances the potency of other antioxidants in both water-based (blood, cytosol) and lipid (membrane, blood lipid) compartments. It recycles vitamin C directly and vitamin E indirectly in a unique and significant capacity, often preventing the symptoms of deficiency of these two critical vitamins.*
Importantly, ALA increases glutathione levels in cells, in part by facilitating L-cysteine availability. It maintains the ratio of reduced-to-oxidized coenzyme Q10, which impacts mitochondrial health and energy production.*
Blood Sugar Metabolism and Muscular Energy
Perhaps the most significant function of ALA is its important role in energy production from carbohydrates, participating in the multi-enzyme process on many levels. ALA stimulates insulin activity and enhances glucose burning in overweight laboratory animals. Similarly, glucose utilization was supported in humans.* This also has implications for athletes and the overweight since muscle activity requires efficient sugar metabolism.
Alpha-lipoic acid is currently being studied for many age-related conditions, including heart and vascular health, sugar balance, neurological function, immune function, as well as fatigue and muscle strength. There is much protective promise in this powerful, broad-spectrum antioxidant.*
Special Delivery Requirements--Maximum Benefits
Jarrow Formulas Alpha Lipoic Sustain 300 is a bi-layer Quick Release/Sustained Release ALA formulation. It helps sustain blood levels while minimizing gastric irritation and blood sugar fluctuations.* One-third of the ALA releases rapidly and two-thirds releases slowly over time. This raises blood levels quickly while sustaining them.* ALA does not accumulate in tissues, so it has no known toxicity in suggested amounts. With wide distribution throughout the body, it is used in many ways. ALA finds particular utility in the eyes and brain, with neuroprotective and possibly cognitive-enhancing effects, especially in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine.* It also has potential to reduce mercury retention.*
Protection is highly dependent upon the usage regimen. ALA is rapidly cleared from blood by the liver, so it is best supplemented in multiple, divided servings. Clinical studies typically employ 300 mg taken twice daily. Alpha Lipoic Sustain 300 keeps ALA in circulation for much longer periods than the usual tablet or capsule delivery. Sustained release may also help avoid stomach irritation experienced by sensitive individuals.
The Importance of Biotin
Since biotin and ALA have similarities in structure and are transported by the same mechanism, elevated dietary ALA can interfere with biotin absorption and coenzyme functions. To protect against biotin deficiency, Alpha Lipoic Sustain 300 contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance for biotin.
Note: If you have a medical condition (especially diabetes or being treated for glucose control), are pregnant, lactating, or trying to conceive, are under the age of 18, or are taking medications (especially for glucose control), consult your health care practitioner before using this product.
No serious side effects are associated with ALA. Very rare side effects include allergic skin reactions, and possible hypoglycemia in diabetics from improved glucose utilization.
Warning: Pregnant/lactating women and those with diabetes or using glucose control medication, should consult a health care professional before using this product.
About Jarrow Formulas
Jarrow Formulas' complete line of over 350 nutritional products includes vitamins, minerals, probiotics, standardized herbal concentrates, amino acids, enzymes and enteral nutrition products. Customers can be assured of purity, value and potency when choosing these products.
What's in the Box
Jarrow Formulas Alpha Lipoic Sustain 300, 300mg, 120 Bilayer Tablets.