Most alpha-lipoic acid supplements include equal amounts of the (R) and (S) forms. However, only RALA is found naturally in the body. RALA is a unique cofactor in energy production and helps regulate glucose and lipid metabolism. RALA promotes the synthesis of glutathione and the induction of Phase II liver detoxification enzymes.
What is Alpha R-Lipoic Acid and how does it differ from other forms of Lipoic Acid?
Lipoic Acid exists in three forms: Alpha R-Lipoic Acid, Alpha S-Lipoic Acid andAlpha RS-Lipoic Acid. Some facts about these forms include:
- Alpha S-Lipoic Acid and Alpha RS-Lipoic Acid are synthetics that were created by chemical synthesis in the 1950s and are more commonly known and sold as Alpha Lipoic Acid.
- Alpha R-Lipoic Acid is the natural, “fully active” form of Lipoic Acid, the only version that exists in nature, produced in the body and synthesized by both plants and animals.
- Research indicates that Alpha R-Lipoic Acid is the proper, structural fit for membrane receptors and enzymes; therefore, it is metabolized more efficiently and with much greater potency than the synthetic “unnatural forms.“
What does Alpha R-Lipoic Acid do?
Alpha R-Lipoic Acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals.
A free radical is an atom or molecule with at least one unpaired electron. The free radical attacks neighboring molecules in an effort to “steal” an electron in order to return it to its natural state. In this process, it turns the neighboring molecule into a free radical which, in turn, sets off a chain reaction that wreaks havoc on cells.
Alpha R-Lipoic Acid does everything an antioxidant should do – and more!
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is produced by every cell in the body. Even though R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is created naturally, there is good evidence that our bodies can lose the ability to synthesize enough when we need it most. Therefore, it is included in many practitioner’s recommended health regimens, because it is known to protect – and even restore – the integrity of cells throughout the body. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid water soluble is high absorption and more potent than the standard S form by a factor of 10. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid was found to reach higher plasma levels than the S form.
In Addition, R -Alpha Lipoic Acid protects the liver for a variety of reasons:
- Solubility – ;Unlike other antioxidants, it is both fat and water-soluble.
- Regeneration – It may help to regenerate other antioxidants so they can function once again.
- Boosts Glutathione – A primary function of R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is to increase the body’s production of glutathione, which helps dissolve toxic substances in the liver.
- Reduces Liver Enzymes – According to research by Drs. Fredrick C. Bartter and Burton M. Berkson, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid restores liver enzyme levels back to normal.
Early on, while embarking on his medical career treating out-patients with liver disease at his clinic Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dr Berkson observed an unexpected finding in his patients who coincidentally had cancer. Pancreatic and hepatic cancer patients went into remission after IV alpha lipoic acid treatment. (3) The alpha lipoic acid had a beneficial effect, selectively killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
Lipoic Acid can (1) reduce cancer cell viability/proliferation, (2) reduce uptake of glucose ([18F]-FDG) (3) reduce lactate production and (4) increase apoptosis in all investigated cancer cell lines.
Cancer cells use the Warburg Effect, preferentially metabolizing carbon via anaerobic pathways that produce lactic acid. Although this pathway is inefficient, it shunts much needed carbons into building materials for rapid cell replication. Left image courtesy of Burton Berkson MD.
Normal cells use the PDC Pyruvate Dehydrogenase enzyme to direct pyruvate (carbon) into the more efficient mitochondrial electron transport chain, producing large amounts of energy per carbon atom. Operating this electron transport chain produces damaging oxidative byproducts called ROS reactive oxygen species. This is no problem for the normal cell which has anti-oxidant protection. The cancer cell, on the other hand, has little protection from this oxidative onslaught, making the cancer cell susceptible to oxidative therapies such as alpha lipoic acid. (source)
Shunting Carbon Into Mitochondrial Electron Transport
As mentioned above, the central metabolic feature of the cancer cell is the inhibition of the PDC which blocks entry of carbon into the electron transport chain. If we could find some way to force the Cancer Cell to use the mitochondrial electron transport chain, this would overwhelm the mitochondria which would then “burn up” and trigger apoptosis, i.e. programmed cell death. This is exactly what alpha lipoic acid does at the molecular level.
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is also emerging as a powerful antioxidant that can improve mitochondrial function, and aid in supporting and maintaining eye, brain and cardiovascular health – which are all key components to healthy aging.
Supplementation is recommended and can produce profound therapeutic benefits.
Caution on Amalgam Fillings: As a precaution, Alpha Lipoic Acid should not be used if you have amalgam dental fillings due to it’s strong mercury chelation abilities. Also be careful about rushing to have them removed if you are not in good health, this can be quite hazardous. Please seek professional advice on this if contemplating amalgam removal. Additionally if you have had them removed, wait up to 1 week before using Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Suggested Usage: Take 1-2 capsules a day with food or as directed by your health professional..
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