(NaturalNews) Alpha Lipoic Acid, also sometimes known as "ALA" or "thioctic acid", has a great many useful functions in the human body. It is perhaps best known for being a powerful antioxidant, but there are other properties this compound has that may prove useful for improved and preventive health.
One of the unique properties of Alpha Lipoic Acid is its ability to "recycle" other antioxidants, extending their life in the human body. This means that you gain more benefit from the existing antioxidants you take in.
Since most water soluble antioxidants need to be continuously replenished to do what they do best - neutralize free radicals - this makes ALA particularly useful.
This brings us to another unique property of ALA that makes it highly therapeutic. This potent antioxidant happens to be soluble in both water and fat.
This is significant because it is able to neutralize free radicals in every part of the body, including the brain. The ability to dissolve in both fat and water means that this antioxidant has more "free range" to scrub your body for cell-damaging free radicals.
ALA converts glucose into energy more efficiently, and for this reason it may be used as a dietary supplementation to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Several studies have shown that ALA actually helps to keep blood sugar levels low when taken with meals. This is not the only reason it may be helpful for those with diabetes though. Nerve damage and numbness that often accompany diabetes may also benefit from ALA.
There are other bodies of research that show high ALA supplementation helped to mend damage done by strokes and even to help slow down the process of Alzheimer's. Its apparent ability to facilitate the regeneration of nerve cells has some very promising implications in brain and nerve trauma treatment.
This one-two punch may make this quite the useful addition to diabetics' health regimens. However, supervision by a health professional would be recommended if you are in fact diabetic. Since Alpha Lipoic Acid further lowers your insulin levels, it may combine with diabetes medications to excessively lower your blood sugar.
ALA supplements are commonly used to support healthy skin as well. In fact, any potent antioxidant is an excellent "internal skin cream". Antioxidants help keep your skin young, resilient and supple since they help keep healthy skin cells around longer.
They also play a role in the production and continued health of collagen, which is the supporting "foundation" of firm and youthful skin. Alpha Lipoic Acid is also used extensively in anti aging skin creams and lotions as a topical treatment.
Danna Norek is the owner and primary contributor for several natural health blogs and websites, where she frequently shares her experiences and knowledge on herbal supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle habits. You can find information on a 100% natural, chemical free deodorant here at Natural Effective Deodorant and an all natural sebum-neutralizing, SLS, paraben and chemical free Acne Soap with lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils here at All Natural Acne Soap.