Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid that takes part in carbohydrate metabolism in the body

. In terms of biological value, it is on a par with vitamins and minerals and can be used as a medicinal product. You can also find another name for the acid — thioctic, vitamin N or simply lipoic. It is produced in the form of a yellowish crystalline powder, which has a specific smell and bitter taste.

For what Alpha-lipoic acid?

The properties of lipoic acid and its effects on the body are extensive. This acid is best known for its antioxidant effect. Scientists from Moscow State University have proved that alpha-lipoic acid can increase the resistance of nerve cells to neurodegenerative disorders. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.1 Its results may help in the creation of drugs for the treatment of diseases associated with disorders of the nervous tissue.

In the course of some studies, the effect of lipoic acid on increased blood circulation has been confirmed.2

Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid that takes part in carbohydrate metabolism in the body

As for weight loss, in the course of experiments conducted among obese people, weight loss was observed in those who took 1800 mg of lipoic acid,3 however, in order to confidently assert that this supplement contributes to weight loss, additional research is necessary. It slows down the accumulation of fat deposits, but you need to understand that if you want to lose weight, you can not rely only on supplements. This drug can only be considered as an addition to exercise and diet.

It is also used for prevention and protection against infections and viruses. It takes part in many biochemical processes occurring in the body: regulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism, promotes detoxification of the body after taking alcohol, from toxic substances and heavy metals.

It is often prescribed as an additional means to reduce the side effects of the main drugs in the treatment of various diseases.

The supplement has a positive effect on the nervous system, reduces emotional stress.

This acid plays a crucial role in the process of converting glucose into energy.

Alpha-lipoic acid is a universal antioxidant, as it dissolves not only in water, but also in fat. Due to this property, it copes well with intracellular protection. In addition, it perfectly combines with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, glutathione, vitamin E, enhancing their effects. Also, science has proven the effectiveness of lipoic acid in memory problems.

Benefits for weight loss

Alpha-lipoic acid has a remarkable property that will be useful to anyone who seeks to reduce body fat and reduce their weight. It participates in the process of fat burning and promotes more active splitting of fat cells during physical exertion. In addition, getting into the body, lipoic acid enhances protein metabolism, due to which a person receives the necessary amount of energy. At the same time, however, it is necessary to follow a strict diet.

For weight loss, lipoic acid should be consumed in the morning before the first meal, after a workout or at dinner. It is good to combine a portion of the supplement with carbohydrate food.

To achieve maximum effect, you should strictly monitor your basic diet. It should be balanced and fully meet your daily needs for proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Avoid the growing feeling of hunger.

Helps to maintain muscle mass during a diet

Another potential benefit of CLA is its ability to maintain muscle mass while dieting. The best way to maintain muscle mass during a long calorie-restricted diet is to consume a sufficient amount of protein (1.6 g/kg+), provided that you exercise regularly with weights. However, supplements with CLA can help improve your results.

The study, which lasted two years, studied the body composition of overweight adults. Those who received 4.5 g of CLA showed a decrease in fat mass and preservation of muscle mass.4 However, it is worth noting that this two-year period did not include monitoring of diet and exercise. And when it comes to maintaining muscle while losing weight, these factors are important.

Supplement for athletes

Every athlete knows that in the process of training, one of the main tasks in building a beautiful body is proper muscle recovery. Lipoic acid acts as an antioxidant and enhances human potential. When it is used, the production of heavy radicals decreases as a result of intensive training in the gym. This allows the body to fully rest and grow. Regular use of lipoic acid will increase physical activity, while not losing performance. It also acts as an anti-catabolic, that is, it does not allow proteins to break down, which will favorably affect the effectiveness of your training process.

Application in cosmetology

Lipoic acid is actively used externally as a cosmetic. In most formulations of anti-aging creams, it is in the first place. Lipoic acid gives the skin a healthy appearance, helps to maintain its tone and reduces the negative effects of long exposure to the sun. It can be useful for skin diseases: dandruff and acne, as it narrows the pores well and reduces inflammatory processes. A double-blind study conducted among forty participants revealed a marked decrease in signs of skin aging after six months of taking the supplement.5

The main sources of lipoic acid are animal products — heart, kidneys and liver. It is also found in large quantities in various legumes: lentils, peas, beans. A small portion of acid can be obtained from bananas, mushrooms, yeast, rice, spinach, cabbage and dairy products.

Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid that takes part in carbohydrate metabolism in the body

The human body is able to produce lipoic acid on its own. But even considering the amount that can be obtained from food, the level of its content will be insufficient for the healthy functioning of the body. Therefore, doctors advise to pay attention to the additional intake of alpha-lipoic acid in the form of an additive. It is available in several types: in the form of capsules, powder and ampoules for intravenous injections.

Natural sources of CLA

Grass-fed beef — 433 mg per serving
Cheese from grass-fed cows — 180-270 mg
Whole milk from grass-fed cows – 160-240 mg
Mutton — 148 mg
Whole milk – 44 mg
Plain yogurt – 43 mg
Butter – 54 mg
Cottage cheese – 22 mg
2% milk — 20 mg

How to take it correctly?

Like other vitamin-like substances, lipoic acid has its own consumption rates. They will be different depending on the age. Children under 15 years of age are recommended to take 12-25 mg per day, in adulthood – about 25-50 mg. During a period of intense physical or emotional stress, it is worth increasing the consumption of lipoic acid to 75 mg. If lipoic acid is included in the program of complex treatment of any disease, then its dosages can increase significantly.

It should be noted that during the intake of lipoic acid, it is necessary to refrain from drinking alcohol.

Contraindications

Lipoic acid should not be used for children under 6 years of age and people with hypersensitivity to the drug. With caution, it is necessary to approach its reception during pregnancy or lactation. In the latter case, it is better to consult a specialist.

Side effects

When studying the effects of lipoic acid on the human body, no significant negative consequences were revealed. Even if it is combined with other antioxidants: vitamins A or C, L-carnitine or green tea extract. However, if the recommended dosages are excessively exceeded, side effects may occur. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Conclusion

Alpha-lipoic acid is a universal antioxidant that fights antioxidants and slows down the aging process. It enhances the effect of many vitamins, helping to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health, regulates metabolism. For athletes, it may be of particular interest, as it helps to maintain muscle mass and increase physical performance when losing weight. It also prevents the destruction of proteins. Taking alpha-lipoic acid will not only help to make up for the lack of substance in the body, but also affect the effectiveness of training.

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