Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a compound that is actually already produced within the body in small quantities. it has a lot of various uses within the body such as energy production and energy metabolism, however, supplementing with it can have a lot of other benefits, especially for the active individual. It is not one of those popular, quick-fix magic pills but supplementation of ALA has been known to yield some very interesting results.
The most well-known benefit of Alpha-Lipoic Acid is its ability to fight free radicals within the body, therefore it is quite popular as an anti-oxidant. ALA also helps the body generate its own anti-oxidants which further help to improve overall health and boost the immune system.
Anti-oxidants, as we all know are very important for good health and longevity and ALA is a great supplement for this. 300-900mg daily of ALA is an effective dose for use as an anti-oxidant.
Another, little known, but incredibly useful fact about ALA is that it is also a great tool in utilizing glucose for energy and for improving insulin sensitivity. The more sensitive your body is to insulin, the better it becomes at fat loss and building muscle.
It has been studied for its ability to help diabetics and obese individuals control their blood sugar levels and control weight gain and the results showed that it enhanced the body’s ability to use its own insulin to lower blood sugar levels in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid helps with nutrient partitioning, ensuring that the excess carbs are more efficiently used to replace glycogen within the muscles and the liver rather than be stored as fat.
The recommended dose for blood sugar control is from 600-1200mg daily and although it has not been studied particularly for its effects on body recomposition, users of Alpha-Lipoic Acid have reported 2000-3000mg daily to be an incredibly effective dose for its fat-loss and muscle sparing abilities. Make sure to take ALA with your high-carb meals.
Some studies have also shown ALA to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as well as in providing relief to those with nerve damage. The research on these is, however, very limited and I don’t recommend using just ALA to cure them. It is always best to consult with your doctor.
Side-effects wise, ALA has been shown to be safe, even at the higher end of the dosing spectrum but I do not recommend exceeding 3000mg daily for more than 4-6 weeks. Some minor side effects such as thiamin deficiency (at higher doses), itching, headaches and/or muscle cramps have been reported and vary by individuals.
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