Discover the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid- with Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell where it helps turn glucose into energy.    Antioxidants attack and neutralize “free radicals.” Free radicals are waste bi-products created when the body turns food into energy. When they are not properly and fully evacuated, free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body.  Overtime, they can also damage organs and tissues.

Most antioxidants are only water soluble, meaning they dissolve and become active only in the water medium (such as Vitamin C); others are only fat or lipid soluble, they are only active in the fatty tissues (such as Vitamin E). However, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is both fat- and water-soluble, so it is active and effective throughout the body. Antioxidants in the body get used up as they attack and neutralize free radicals, but ALA can help regenerate these spent antioxidants and make them active again!

ALA can be naturally obtained from foods (especially spinach and broccoli), and the body also produces it naturally, but as we age, our bodies produce less and less of it.

Here are some common benefits and uses of lipoic acid:

1. ALA has been shown to reduce some harmful side effects of chemotherapy.  Some chemotherapy drugs can damage nerve cells in the body, which can lead to a condition called peripheral neuropathy, in which patients feel pain or other abnormal sensations, usually in the hands or feet.  In a study from Austria, 8 of 15 patients who received lipoic acid after taking their chemotherapy reported  improved symptoms.

2. One study suggests that ALA might help reduce heart muscle damage caused by some chemotherapy drugs.

3. A 2006 article reported that a combination of ALA and other antioxidants helped people with advanced cancer regain appetite and weight.

4. ALA has been shown to prevent accumulation of excess copper and iron in the cells due to its chelating (binding) capabilities.

5. Several studies suggest it may increase glutathione synthesis. Glutathione is the major detoxifying antioxidant.  Other researchers have found that the numerous immunizations children receive damage the glutathione system, which can increase the risk of autism.

6. ALA has been shown to increase vasodilation of the blood vessels due to its effects on the inner lining (endothelium) of the vascular system.  High levels of cortisol released from the adrenal glands under stress can create the opposite:  vasoconstriction, where the blood vessels can tighten up, creating high blood pressure, both systemically and in the eyes, causing glaucoma.  Thus, ALA shows promise for reducing the pressure in patients with both high blood pressure and glaucoma.

7. ALA fed to mice with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has been found to slow the progression of the disease.

8. Another study showed ALA to be highly effective in reducing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.  The inner lining of the cells (endothelium) in the brain are very tightly bound preventing toxins from entering the brain.  This is nature’s way of protecting the brain from harm.  Much research has now been done on the immunizations children receive – the aluminum adjuvant and formaldehyde used as preservatives in the shots weaken the endothelial cells, thus loosening the blood-brain barrier, making it easier for these toxins to enter the brain creating autism.

 

9. Overwhelming evidence in numerous studies now suggests that lipoic acid may be critical for not only maintaining optimal blood sugar levels by helping the body to use glucose, but also for supporting insulin sensitivity and key aspects of cardiovascular health, such as endothelial function.  It can even help lower cholesterol.

10. ALA can amplify the positive effects of other important antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and Coenzyme Q10 – two essential compounds in the fight against aging and disease.

11. ALA protects the mitochondria, the energy-producing factories of cells, from being damaged by oxidative stress, thus ensuring that energy production in the body remains efficient.

12. ALA promotes better eye health by increasing levels of essential antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, which will help prevent cataracts, glaucoma and retinal cell death.

13. ALA is able to pass readily into the brain and reach all parts of a nerve cell. Studies have shown that ALA reduced brain damage after a stroke, and that those animals who received ALA had a survival rate 3x greater than those that did not.

14. New evidence also suggests that lipoic acid may help guard against one of the most dreaded conditions associated with aging – Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers have identified a series of mechanisms through which lipoic acid may work in helping prevent or manage Alzheimer’s disease.  Scientists believe that lipoic acid may increase the production of acetylcholine, an essential nervous system messenger that is deficient in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease victims.

15. ALA appears to prevent migraines, due to its effects on dilating the blood vessels.

16. ALA suppresses the formation of osteoclast cells (they break down the bone) and thus prevent the loss of bone known as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Clinically, have been using Vaidya Mishra’s ALA products for the past 9 months and I have been very pleased with the results. I have been prescribing it for a wide panoply of ailments to young and old alike with great success.

In many ways, this is a very unique SVA formulation to help address problems arising from toxic load in the body. In the SVA tradition, Vaidya and his ancestors pay a lot of attention to the detox pathways or micro and macro channels. In the presence of acidic toxins, the channels tend to shrink and hinder effective and safe detox. Vaidya has made many formulas that can dilate the channels, for example, his Sancharan transdermal Cream, which creates vasodilation by warming up and dilating the channels.

However, it is ideal to have a cooling, not heating or warming formulation, to support the dilation of channels. Sometimes if the accumulated toxins are too hot, one has to be very careful specially when using heating ingredients that are necessary for vasodilation.

With his ALA formulations, Vaidya has now made a vasodilator that can dilate channels and cools things down, without freezing them.

The  SVA ALA products and remedies have become indispensable to my practice – from minor circulatory problems to chronic conditions: I even have our glaucoma patients apply it around the eyes and they get instant relief in their eye pressure; it helps my MS patients by dilating their channels so the nerve regenerating herbs like Sensitive plant and Laksha can penetrate deeper into the cells for healing.

The capsules are a great daily addition to anyone’s diet, as they are also alkalizing since Vaidya has added coral calcium to the formula.

 

References to Alpha Lipoic Acid Article

1. Androne, L., Gavan, NA, Veresiu IA, Orasan R.  In vivo effect of lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetic  neuropathy.  In Vivo. 2000; 14(2):327-330.

2. Clark WM< Rinker LG, Lessv NS, Lowery SL, Ciplla MJ.  Efficacy of antioxidant therapies in transient focal ischemia in mice. Stroke. 2001; 32(4):1000-1004.

3. Faust A, Burkart V, Ulrich H, et al. Effect of lipoic acid on cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes and insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1994; 16:61-66.

4. Head KA. Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma. Alternative Medicine Review. 2001;6(2):141-166.

5. Lynch MA. Lipoic acid confers protection against oxidative injury  in non-neuronal and neuronal tissue.  Nutr. Neuroscience. 2001:4(6):419-438.

6. Melhem MF, Craven PA, Derubertis FR.  Effects of dietary supplementation of alpha lipoic acid on early glomerular injury in diabetes mellitus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001;12:124-133.

7. Nagamatsu M, Nickander KK, Schmelzer JD, et al. Lipoic acid improves nerve blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, and improves distal nerve conduction in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care. 1995;18:1160-1167.

8. Packer L, Kraemer K, Rimbach G.  Molecular aspects of lipoic acid in the prevention of diabetes complications. Nutrition. 2001;17(10):888-895.

9. Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K.  Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha lipoic acid. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22:359-37.

10. Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ.  Alpha lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant.  Free Rad Bio Med. 1995;19(2):227-250.

11. Panigrahi M, Sadguna Y, Shivakumar BR, Kolluri SV, Roy S, Packer L, Ravindranath V.  Alpha lipoic acid protects against reperfusion injury following cerebral ischemia in rats.  Brain Res. 1996;717(1-2):184-188.

12. Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA.  Alpha lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials.Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1999;107:421-430.

13. Pershadsingh HA. Alpha lipoic acid: physiologic mechanism and indications for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Mar; 16(3)291-302.

14. McMackin CJ, Widland=sky ME, HamburgNM, et al.Effect of combined treatment with l=alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine on vascular function and blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease.J Clin Hypertens. (Greenwich.). 2007 Apr; 9(4):249-55.

15. Maitra I, Serbinova E, Trischler H, Packer L. Alpha lipoic acid prevents buthionine sulfoximine-induced cataract formation in newborn rats. Free Radic Biol Med. 199a5 Apr; 18(4):823-9.

16. Filina AA, Davydova NG, Endrikhovskii SN< Shamshinova AM. Lipoic aid as a means of metabolic therapy of open-angle glaucoma.Vestn Oftalmol. 1995 Oct; 111(4);6-8.

17. Komeima K, Rogers BS, Lu L, Campochiaro PA. Antioxidants reduce cone cell death in a model of retinitis pigmentosa. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2006 Jul 25; 103(30); 11300-5.

18. Holmquist L, Stuchbury G, Berbaum K, et al.Lipoic acid as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jan; 113(1):154-64.

19. Shinto, L, Quinn, J, Montine, T, Dodge, HH, Woodward, W, Baldauf-Wagner, S, Waichunas, D, Bumgarner, L, Bourdette, D. et al. (2014). A Ranndomized placebo-controlled pilot trial of m=omega-e fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid in Alzheimer’s disease.J.Alzheimers Dis 38:111-120.

ALA in SVA- from science to sutra

 Vaidya Mishra: “As and when the need arises, from time to time, I adopt safe and effective nutritional substances that have been researched and confirmed by modern science. For example, I have added the transdermal use of Magnesium, or Vit D3 to our SVA protocols and products. These things help our SVA followers and seekers of optimal health, as well as all the SVA experts and physicians helping out patients at large.   

A year ago i heard about Alpha Lipoic Acid from a friend in the medical profession successfully using it to treat patients with neuropathy. Af

ter researching it thoroughly I decided to add it to our SVA protocols for many reasons. In general, I use the ayurvedic plants Sensitive Plant and Lakcha to nourish nerves, but there is not a specific ingredient that could help increase the supply of blood to the nerves. ALA, used in conjunction to the ayurvedic herbs have shown to magnify and optimize the results.

Most of the formulas I have made for addressing the health of the micro

and macro channels are thermogenic, they help increase and support circulation of detox and other pathways. However, they can be heating and have to be used in a balanced manner.  So it can be challenging, for myself as well as all the other SVA experts and practitioners, to increase the blood supply to the different areas of the body when there is amavisha and garavisha accumulation. You will be familiar that in these situations, the body does not tolerate heating products or any thermogenic herbs or formulas. This is because the body is already acidic and hot and the channels or nerves and bone tissue are affected by the heating acidic toxicity. Alpha Lipoc Acid supports the supply of blood to those areas without further warming things up.

 

In light of these 2 primary factors, I adopted Alpha Lipoic Acid in the SVA protocols. I made capsules with ALA by adding ayurvedic coral calcium (praval pisti) to further help alkalize things, and support the bone and nerves. The ALA massage oil for whole body massage supports the whole molecular level of the body as ALA is both water and lipid soluble. The ALA transdermal cream also with lipid shea butter can be used to be applied on specific areas like on the joints, to support detox in the fat tissue that may be affecting and inflaming the joints. The water based ALA cream I formulated in order to supply the water soluble efficiency when applying on sensitive areas, for example around the eyes or on the temples to increase blood supply to these areas.
In general, my SVA teaching and protocols proceed from sutra to science, as I take Ayurveda as the basis from which healing emanates. However, modern science also has much to offer, as consciousness of health and the body grows, and scientific tools are used to support our physiologies in preventative ways. The discovery of ALA is one of those instances. And that is why, I have adopted it in our ayurvedic SVA protocols, going from science to sutra, in this case! Thank you!”