We live in a toxic environment and our daily lives generate toxins too. These toxins come from food, water, air or our beauty products. With our foods now being genetically modified – too fatty and greasy; too sweet and spicy; too many ingredients, additives and chemicals or too hard to digest, toxins are bound. Needless to add that many people who have replaced taking water with other drinks like alcoholic beverages, sodas or commercial juices are bound to have a high rate of toxic overload. Contamination of drinking water with ammonia, bleach and excess chlorine, to say the least, generates toxins too. Lack of exercise results in sluggish system and also generates lots of waste that may clog the body. Many of our beauty products, like shampoos, creams, make-up and lotions contain harsh chemicals, which really do not help matters with toxic overloads. What of self-medications and drug abuse? These create side effects on the long run and deplete vitamins and minerals and the body’s PH. Also our household cleaning products, gases and chemicals released into the atmosphere generate lots of toxins detrimental to the body.
Consequently, your entire body, including your DNA is under endless assault from these toxins. Think of your cells, including your brain cells, each getting hit by free radicals thousands of time a day. This violent process is called “oxidation,” which damages your cells. There is therefore a possibility of the breakdown of the body’s natural detoxification mechanism on a daily basis. And as a result toxins accumulate in the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin. Because these natural elimination organs are overwhelmed, the toxic burden spreads in the entire body sapping its energy as well as sabotaging the wellness, thereby leading to premature aging, inflammation and ultimately diseases –in fact, everything from depression to illness and even cancer. Nowadays, more and more chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants are being discovered in people’s blood, kidneys, and liver even in newborns’ umbilical cord.
To be free from all these toxins, anti oxidants make sense for many of us. And one antioxidant getting a lot of attention on the free radical fighting scene is ALA. Its primary role is to fight the toxins and keep them from setting off chain reactions of cell mutation that can lead to chronic diseases. Our bodies produce Alpha lipoic acid in minute quantities but most of it comes from your diet. Some good natural sources of ALA include brewer’s yeast, broccoli, potatoes, peas and spinach. Alpha lipoic acid serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production. As long as you are healthy, the body can produce all the ALA it needs for these purposes. However, there has been a lot of recent interest in using ALA supplements.
Alpha lipoic acid supplements have been used to treat HIV, liver problems, hepatitis, strokes, vascular disease, diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma etc. It is even believed that ALA can e slow the aging process.
The benefits of ALA can appear near miraculous for people with diabetes. In a study, investigators revealed dramatic effects of administering ALA in improving insulin sensitivity in overweight adults suffering from type ll diabetes. Within a short time frame of supplementation, alpha lipoic acid produced significant improvement. It has also been found effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs as a result of the toxic effects on high glucose levels on the nervous system in diabetes.
ALA also offers great potentials in supporting optimal visual health. As adults grow older, they become more vulnerable to developing cataracts (opacities of the lens that cloud sight). A key problem involved in cataract is oxidative stress in the lens of the eye. Alpha lipoic acid is said to offer notable protection against cataract formation.
Clinically, ALA seems to be useful for people with bone loss that accompanies osteoporosis and other degenerative bone conditions. This powerful anti oxidant may help preserve bone health by stopping the oxidative stress that threatens to degrade healthy bone density.
It is one powerful anti oxidant that may also protect the body against toxic metal contaminants found in the environment and food supply. Alpha lipoic acid works by chelating these dangerous agents such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic and rendering them inactive so that they can be removed from the body.
If you have hypertension or a build-up of plaque in your arteries from elevated cholesterol, ALA may be useful for you. Clinically, Alpha lipoic acid is used as a treatment for various forms of hepatitis, helping victims recover full liver function.
Apart from the fact that alpha lipoic acid is one of the most effective free radical scavengers, it also has the ability to regenerate other anti oxidants such as vitamins C, E and glutathione. That is to say that when your body has used up these anti oxidants, if there is ALA available, it helps regenerate them.
If you suffer from any of the conditions listed above, it would certainly seem like a useful supplement to consider. You can also begin optimising your body’s level of protective antioxidants today by increasing your intake of foods that contain Alpha lipoic acid.