Acting as a natural inflammatory agent throughout the body, alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that is available in a supplement form as well as in a topical form. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, alpha lipoic acid supplements protect body cells in numerous ways and have a natural anti-aging effect on the skin.
Cell Protection Benefits
Alpha lipoic acid is part of the natural energy-producing components of a cell. When taken in the form of a supplement, alpha lipoic acid can boost the efficiency of other vitamins. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone of "The Wrinkle Cure" alpha lipoic acid specifically protects vitamins C and E and boosts their ability to fight free radicals in the body. He explains that this is due to the fact that alpha lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble and is therefore able to enter into every part of a cell and even the space in between cells.
According to Dr. Perricone, alpha lipoic acid is especially useful for treating skin wrinkles. He explains that collagen-digesting enzymes are created when free radicals enter a skin cell, such as from UV rays. However, when alpha lipoic acid is present, Dr. Perricone says that it counteracts this reaction and creates an opposite reaction, thereby improving or actually erasing a wrinkle.
In addition, Dr. Perricone claims that alpha lipoic acid in the form of a topical cream may boost skin circulation, tighten pores, even out the complexion and give the skin a healthy glow in a matter of three to four days. He says that whether taken internally or applied externally, alpha lipoic acid may reduce the occurrence of under-eye bags and puffiness as well as helping to erase acne scars.
Benefits For Diabetics
According to Dr. Ray Sahelian, alpha lipoic acid supplements may be particularly useful for diabetics. He explains that lipoic acid helps the body use glucose, which in turn has a potential role in regulating blood sugar. Dr. Sahelian says that alpha lipoic acid reduces complications that may occur in a person who eats a lot of sugar. However, Dr. Sahelian warns that there are two types of alpha lipoic acid on the market: synthetic (S) and natural (R). He says that the synthetic form of alpha lipoic acid is useless to the body, while the natural (R) form is double the potency and easily assimilated.
Dr. Perricone states that alpha lipoic acid's anti-aging benefits come from preventing the attachment of sugar to protein. He explains that this is useful because when sugar attaches to protein, cell damage occurs as a result.
According to Phyllis Balch of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" alpha lipoic acid is useful for treating alcohol-induced liver damage. She adds that taking alpha lipoic acid supplements helps to protect the liver and pancreas from alcohol before the damage begins.