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Weight Loss, Other Advantages, and Side Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Weight Loss, Other Advantages, and Side Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about alpha-lipoic acid. It is an organic compound that functions as a potent antioxidant in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid is produced naturally by your body, but it can also be found in a variety of foods and as a dietary supplement. It may play a role in weight loss, diabetes, and other health conditions, according to research. Many people, however, question whether it is effective. This article discusses the benefits, side effects, and recommended dosage of alpha-lipoic acid.

What exactly is alpha-lipoic acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound found in all human cells. It is produced inside the mitochondrion, also known as the cell's powerhouse, where it aids enzymes in converting nutrients into energy. Furthermore, it has potent antioxidant properties. Because alpha-lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble, it can work in every cell and tissue in the body. In the meantime, the majority of other antioxidants are either water- or fat-soluble.

Vitamin C, for example, is only water-soluble, whereas vitamin E is only fat-soluble.

Alpha-lipoic acid's antioxidant properties have been linked to a variety of benefits, including lower blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed skin aging, and improved nerve function.

Alpha-lipoic acid is only produced in trace amounts by humans. As a result, many people turn to specific foods or supplements to maximize their intake. Alpha-lipoic acid is abundant in animal products such as red meat and organ meats, but it is also found in plant foods such as broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. However, supplements can contain up to 1,000 times the amount of alpha-lipoic acid found in food.

Weight loss and alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown in studies to help with weight loss in a variety of ways.

It has been shown in animal studies to reduce the activity of the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is found in your brain's hypothalamus. When AMPK is activated, it may cause feelings of hunger to increase.

Suppressing AMPK activity, on the other hand, may increase the number of calories your body burns at rest. Animals given alpha-lipoic acid burned more calories as a result. Human studies, on the other hand, show that alpha-lipoic acid has only a minor effect on weight loss.

An analysis of 12 studies found that people who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lost 1.52 pounds (0.69 kg) more than those who took a placebo over a 14-week period.

In the same study, alpha-lipoic acid had no effect on waist circumference. Another study found that people who took alpha-lipoic acid lost 2.8 pounds (1.27 kg) more than those who took a placebo over a 23-week period. In short, it appears that alpha-lipoic acid has only a minor effect on human weight loss.

Diabetes and alpha-lipoic acid

Diabetes affects over 400 million adults globally. High blood sugar levels are a key feature of uncontrolled diabetes. If left untreated, this can lead to vision loss, heart disease, and kidney failure, among other things.

Because it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in both animals and humans, alpha-lipoic acid has gained popularity as a potential diabetes treatment. In animal studies, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels by up to 64%.

Other research in adults with metabolic syndrome has found that it may reduce insulin resistance, as well as fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels. Scientists believe that alpha-lipoic acid lowers blood sugar by promoting processes that remove fat that has accumulated in muscle cells, which would otherwise be stored as glycogen.

Furthermore, alpha-lipoic acid may reduce the risk of diabetic complications. It has been shown to alleviate nerve damage symptoms and lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy (eye damage) associated with uncontrolled diabetes.

This effect is thought to be due to alpha-lipoic acid's powerful antioxidant properties. Although alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to help with blood sugar control, it is not considered a complete diabetes treatment. If you have diabetes and want to try alpha-lipoic acid, consult your doctor first because it may interact with your medications.

Other health advantages

A variety of other health benefits have been linked to alpha-lipoic acid.

Skin Aging May Be Reduced

According to research, alpha-lipoic acid may help fight the signs of skin aging.

In one human study, researchers discovered that applying an alpha-lipoic acid cream to the skin reduced fine lines, wrinkles, and skin roughness with no side effects. When alpha-lipoic acid is applied to the skin, it absorbs into the skin's inner layers and provides antioxidant protection against the sun's harmful UV rays.

Furthermore, alpha-lipoic acid increases the levels of other antioxidants like glutathione, which helps protect against skin damage and may reduce signs of aging.

Memory loss may be slowed.

Memory loss is a common concern among senior citizens. It is thought that oxidative stress damage plays a significant role in memory loss. Because alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant, researchers have looked into its ability to slow the progression of memory-loss disorders like Alzheimer's.

Alpha-lipoic acid appears to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by neutralizing free radicals and suppressing inflammation in both human and laboratory studies. Alpha-lipoic acid has also been shown in studies to alleviate the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve pain caused by uncontrolled diabetes.

It lowers inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer and diabetes, among other diseases. Several inflammatory markers have been shown to be reduced by alpha-lipoic acid.

In a review of 11 studies, alpha-lipoic acid significantly reduced levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) in adults with high CRP levels.

In vitro, alpha-lipoic acid reduced inflammation markers such as NF-kB, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, and IL-6.

It is possible that it will reduce the risk factors for heart disease.

One in every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. The antioxidant properties of alpha-lipoic acid have been discovered to reduce several risk factors for heart disease in a combination of lab, animal, and human studies.

For starters, alpha-lipoic acid's antioxidant properties allow it to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, both of which have been linked to damage that raises the risk of heart disease.Second, it has been shown to improve endothelial dysfunction — a condition in which blood vessels are unable to dilate properly, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, a meta-analysis of studies found that adults with metabolic disease who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement had lower triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Adverse effects

Alpha-lipoic acid is thought to be relatively safe, with few to no negative side effects. In some cases, mild symptoms such as nausea, rashes, or itching may occur.

Adults, on the other hand, have been shown to be able to take up to 2,400 mg without experiencing any negative side effects. Because there is no evidence that higher doses provide additional benefits, they are not recommended. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that high doses of alpha-lipoic acid promote oxidation, alter liver enzymes, and stress liver and breast tissue.

Only a few studies on the safety of alpha-lipoic acid in children and pregnant women have been conducted. These people should only take it if their healthcare provider recommends it. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking alpha-lipoic acid because it may interact with other medications that help lower blood sugar levels.

How should alpha-lipoic acid be consumed?

Alpha-lipoic acid is found in a wide range of foods. Alpha-lipoic acid can be found in the following foods:

  • red meats organ meats such as liver, heart, kidney, and so on
  • broccoli\sspinach\stomatoes
  • Potatoes with Brussels sprouts
  • rice bran green peas

Alpha-lipoic acid is also sold as a supplement, which can be found in health food stores and on the internet. Supplements can contain up to 1,000 times the amount of alpha-lipoic acid found in foods.

Alpha-lipoic acid supplements should be taken on an empty stomach because certain foods can reduce the acid's bioavailability.

Although no standard dosage exists, the majority of evidence suggests that 300–600 mg is sufficient and safe. You can also follow the directions on the back of the bottle. More alpha-lipoic acid may be required by people with diabetic complications or cognitive disorders. In such cases, it's best to speak with your doctor about the appropriate dosage.

Last Word 

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant-rich organic compound. It is produced in small quantities by your body, but it is also found in foods and as a supplement. Diabetes, skin aging, memory, heart health, and weight loss may all benefit from it. Doses of 300–600 mg appear to be effective and safe, with no serious side effects.

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