Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as ALA, is a very important antioxidant for our body.
We just have to think about how its chemical structure allows it to protect cells from free radicals both inside and out, to understand how important its range of functions is. Furthermore, it also acts indirectly, regenerating other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and glutathione, which today is considered the most powerful antioxidant produced by the body.
Alpha-lipoic acid is essential for athletes who practice strenuous physical activity. In fact, its unique properties protect the muscles from oxidative damage from free radicals that are produced.
ALA is also used in diets to improve the utilization of carbohydrates and keep your blood sugar levels stable. In fact, it is able to optimize the metabolism of sugars, consequently influencing the Krebs cycle, which is the process that the body uses to convert carbohydrates into energy.
Its effect on blood sugar is also very important in sports, seeing as ALA is used for its ability to stimulate protein synthesis, improve recovery and increase muscle mass.
We also mustn’t forget the protection it offers on a cardiovascular level as it inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, molecules that increase the risk of forming atherosclerotic plaques.
ALA is able to bind to heavy metals like mercury and lead and then remove them from the body, thus carrying out a detoxifying function. In a clinical setting, ALA has proven to be effective in cases of diabetes, dyslipidemia, ischemia, and even neurodegenerative diseases.
Its unique chemical structure is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (the barrier that prevents substances in the blood from reaching the brain) and reach the central nervous system, where it can protect brain cells. For this reason, it is thought to have a beneficial effect in fighting Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Finally, ALA is able to protect peripheral nerves. It has been proven that ALA is able to do this by reducing glycosylation, a reaction that leads to cellular degeneration and aging of tissues.