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ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (ALA): A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT

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ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (ALA): A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT

Post by pmmutiti on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:45 pm



Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant used in Europe to restore liver
health. It confers protective benefits against oxidative processes
involved in degenerative diseases. It is more potent than vitamins C, E,
and Co-Q10, and according to Dr. Ester Packer, professor of molecular
biology at UC Berkley, alpha-lipoic acid may be the most important
antioxidant ever discovered:

Vitamins C, E and glutathione work together to deactivate and prevent
free radicals from causing uncontrolled damage in the body. But at this
stage we run into a limiting factor regarding availability of
glutathione, which is an important free-radical deactivator offering
protection against cataract formation, as well as immune enhancement,
liver protection, cancer protection, and heavy-metal detoxification.

When taken orally like Vitamins C and E, glutathione is broken down in
the stomach before it reaches the bloodstream. What does end up being
absorbed can raise serum levels, but the effect inside of the cells is
minimal.

Alpha-lipoic acid is the missing link. Not only is ALA a powerful
antioxidant in its own right, but it also regenerates glutathione,
giving cells a double dose of antioxidant protection. In addition, it is
easily absorbed when taken orally, and once inside cells it is quickly
converted to its most potent form, dihydrolipoic acid, which is an even
more potent free-radical neutralizer than ALA. Because both alpha-lipoic
acid and dihydrolipoic acid are antioxidants, their combined actions
give them greater antioxidant potency than any other natural antioxidant
now known.

Scientists have also found that lipoic acid can inhibit replication of
HIV-1 and other viruses through its ability to bind directly to DNA.
(47)

Dr. Packer and Chandan K. Sen, a researcher from Finland, have described
how alpha-lipoic acid regulates aspects of the immune system, and in
particular, immune cells called T-lymphocytes. These two researchers,
along with other scientists, have reported how alpha-lipoic acid may
help people with HIV: ALA inhibits growth of HIV more effectively than
NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) ….alpha-lipoic acid completely inhibited
activation of a gene in the AIDS virus that allows it to reproduce.

A very small segment
of health care professionals - including naturopaths, acupuncturists,
chiropractors, and other kinds of holistic healers - have also learned
things beyond what the FDA allows.

Alpha-lipoic acid occurs naturally in potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots,
yams, and red meat. I take additional alpha-lipoic acid every day, and
know it has been vital in my battle and success with hepatitis C.

Two 100 mg. lipoic acid capsules two times per day.
Today, I suggest taking one 200 mg. lipoic acid capsule three times per day.
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pmmutiti
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Peter Mwaura Mutiti : Teaching old blood cells new tricks:
When you hear someone mention circulation you probably think of the heart and major arteries—and for good reason. Circulatory disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

But there’s more to it than that. With all the attention on the heart and arteries, it’s easy to overlook serious health problems affecting the smallest components of the circulatory system—microscopic blood vessels called microcapillaries, where the critical exchange of oxygen and nutrients actually takes place. If blood isn’t flowing through this web properly, it can trigger all sorts of health problems, many of which may not seem related to circulation at all.

A number of factors contribute to poor circulation as we age. Arteries and veins become stiff and congested as cholesterol and calcium plaques accumulate and restrict blood flow. Spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the circulatory arteries and veins can also choke off circulation. These same processes also occur in our microcapillaries, reducing microcirculation and impairing the critical exchange of nutrients and gases in tissues and major organs.

This problem only gets worse as we get older because of changes in the composition and structure of blood cells. As you reach middle age, the blood starts to thicken and congeal as platelets and blood proteins make cells sticky. Plus, the spleen—the organ that removes old, damaged blood cells from circulation—begins to slow down with age, which means new, healthy blood cells are replaced at a sharply reduced rate. And to make matters even worse, as blood cells age, they become stiff and no longer appear round and evenly shaped. This makes it harder for them to pass smoothly through the capillaries. In fact, the angular, jagged shape of the old cells can damage the fragile microcapillaries even further.

Eventually, these age-related changes take their toll on the microcapillaries, reducing circulation to the tissues and blocking the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Removal of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste products is also hindered. This leads to a slow buildup of metabolic garbage that can gradually bury the cells in their own waste products. In time, the cells, poisoned by their own metabolic byproducts, begin to waste away and ultimately cease to function altogether.

The combined effect of poor circulation and old blood contributes to a host of symptoms, including deep fatigue, fuzzy thinking, frequent infections, and lowered sex drive—all conditions usually considered just “normal parts of aging.”

If circulation doesn’t improve, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. But giving your body a fresh supply of healthy blood may target all of these problems and more.
Ann Njoki : Forum assistant
Registration date : 2008-01-10

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