Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a Nootropic supplement that is promoted as a powerful anti-oxidant that may also increase mental energy.
What Is Alpha-Lipoic Acid?
Alpha-Lipoic Acid, also called ALA supplements, are thought to provide heightened levels of mental energy andenhancing brain performance.
ALA, is a fatty acid and an anti-oxidant made in the body. It is found in every cell and turns glucose (blood sugar) into energy.
It is needed by the body to turn food (carbohydrates) into energy and give the organs energy. Most of all, it is thought to be an anti-oxidant, preventing cells from being damaged by getting rid of waste in the body called free radicals.
This is an important process for disease prevention and the promotion of healthy longevity. It is also a crucial factor in fighting infections and preventing damage to the organs and tissues (oxidative stress).
For brain health, it is supplement commonly taken to potentially slow down the process of an ageing brain caused by natural free radical damage. It is able to penetrate the brain easily and may improve mental energy capacity and enhance cognitive performance.
Research is still ongoing whether ALA can restore neuronal cells. This may be beneficial in reversing damage in the brain caused by alcoholism, thyroid issues and injury.
It is also thought that taking ALA prior to having conditions, might reduce the potential risk. Alpha Lipoic Acid is considered to be one of the best supplements for life extension.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid Effects
Alpha-Lipoic Acids’ main function involves energy metabolism and is also considered a powerful and potent anti-oxidant that may increase enzymes that attack free radicals.
Free radicals are formed when oxygen connects to certain molecules which than starts a chain reaction. Much damage can occur if they connect to the cellular membrane or to DNA. This may cause cellular, organ and tissue damage and is known to be one of the main pathways for ageing and many diseases including cancer.
Anti-oxidants terminate this chain reaction and may prevent these molecules from being damaged before this happens. The main vitamins that kill free radicals are Vitamin C, E and beta carotene which the body cannot produce on its own and has to come from food or supplementation.
Although ALA is already made by the body to fight free radicals, it is thought that the body uses up this resource quickly and supplementation is thought to revive the function of these vitamins.
ALA’s “job” in the body is to turn glucose (sugar) into energy and to get rid of waste when food turns into energy. It is during this process, that the body creates free radicals.
By supplementing with ALA, this may rectify the imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to cleanse them. This a huge factor associated with Diabetes.
Also, Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplements may still act as an anti-oxidant even if there is already an excess of ALA production in the body. Most antioxidants only work throughout the body in fatty tissue or in water. ALA uniquely works throughout the body in both.
Benefits of Alpha-Lipoic Acid
As we age, production of ALA decreases which is brought on by oxidative damage. Although more research needs to be done, this supplement may potentially slow down the ageing process of the brain, increasing fluidity of the neurons and reducing toxins.
Ageing of the body is noticeable to us but the brain ages as well and it is common that we don’t notice or know that we may be able to potentially prevent damage that may occur over time. Over usage of alcohol, injury, thyroid issues and poor diet are just some of the factors.
ALA is believed to protect the brain from damage and may even reverse it, however evidence strongly suggests that it is more effective as a preventative, taken before damage occurs than it is after.
It is also thought to improve communication between the neurons. This supplement is able to enter the central nervous system and reach the brain.
ALA supplements are thought to be the most versatile, potent and long acting anti-oxidants.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid Uses
Taking Alpha-Lipoic supplements can potentially;
- Protect your brain cells from damage
- Neutralize free radicals
- Speed up your brain cognition
- Improve communication in the neuronal cells
- Improve mental energy
Alpha-Lipoic Acid Side Effects
Alpha-Lipoic is considered to be a generally safe supplement with no reported cases of excessive use causing toxicity.
Clear potential side effects with long term use of ALA have not been claimed. A few mild side effects that have been reported include;
- skin rashes
When starting on any new Nootropic supplement, it is recommended to always take the lowest dose. This will help you determine how the Nootropic supplement will effect and/or benefit you and what dosage will work best for you.
Using ALA only as an antioxidant, the dosage should be between 50mg-100mg.
The accepted dosage ranges between 200mg-600mg a day depending on what you are taking for.
In addition, many users find that taking Alpha-Lipoic along with a high quality choline supplement or a Racetam can potentially enhance the effects and benefits each Nootropic provides.
These are just guidelines, please consult your doctor if you have any concerns.