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Diabetes: Diabetes Management: ALA a universal antioxidant  Next

ALA a universal antioxidant

by: Wong Lai Teng

Question : I HAVE been told that alpha-lipoic acid is a useful supplement for diabetics. What are its benefits and why is it beneficial for diabetics?

Answer : ALPHA-LIPOIC acid (ALA) has many benefits. It is a universal antioxidant because it neutralizes free radicals in both the fatty and watery regions of the cells. ALA can recycle other antioxidants like vitamins C and E, hence extending their metabolic life and enhancing their effectiveness.

ALA also improves insulin function. Insulin is the hormone needed to regulate blood sugar. ALA also alleviates nerve damage, partly due to free-radical damage caused by elevated levels of blood sugar, resulting in pain, tingling, burning sensations and loss of feeling in the limbs. ALA increases blood flow to the nerves and enhances the conduction of nerve impulses.

ALA also prevents liver damage by protecting the liver against free radical actions, and clearing toxins from the body due to its sulphur compounds. Therefore, this may be able to treat hepatitis (viral infection), cirrhosis (inflammation of the liver) and poisoning due to heavy metals and industrial chemicals.

Not only that, ALA also helps in energy production by assisting B vitamins in converting carbohydrates, protein and fats into energy. ALA also strengthens the immune system. ALA is also useful for people who restrict meat intake and it is only found in limited food sources.

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