Health enthusiasts have often emphasized the importance of lipoic acid to the body's metabolism and how it contributes immensely to healthy living.
Lipoic acid is produced naturally by the human body to assist in the production of cellular energy and the neutralization of toxic hazards.
It is considered as a perfect antioxidant because it has the ability to outperform other antioxidants in the body.
Unlike oxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E which are either fat-soluble or water-soluble but not both, Lipoic acid has both qualities and can function effectively in all parts of the body.
It is important to note that lipoic acid exists in two different forms; Alpha lipoic acid and R-alpha lipoic acid.
To fully understand the difference between the two type, it is essential for us to give a breakdown of each form of this non-vitamin coenzyme, and explain their metabolic and antioxidant functions.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as thiotic acid, is a naturally occurring compound which plays an important role in the conversion of glucose to energy.
It is a mixture of two components - R and S. R occurs naturally in the body, but S is synthesized and not easily absorbed by the body because it has no major function.
This coenzyme acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and is synthesized by both humans and animals. As an antioxidant, it attacks toxins in the body which may damage cells and thereby lower the body's resistance to infection.
It has also been proven that alpha-lipoic acid can help to reactivate and regenerate other antioxidants. The fat-soluble and water-soluble quality of this compound enables it to function effectively in all cell types and store itself in all body tissues.
One key feature of lipoic acid is its absorbability. When it is introduced into the body as an oral supplement, it is ingested, absorbed and converted to its reduced form - dihydrolipoic acid for immediate use.
Due to its unique abilities and functions, people concerned with proper glucose metabolism and internal defense against toxic chemicals are encouraged to introduce alpha-lipoic acid to their diet.
Benefits of Alpha-Lipoic Acid
1. It Acts As An Antioxidant
This is probably the most important function of alpha-lipoic acid. It helps to destroy free agents in the body which contribute to several health problems. It can also reactivate and enhance the functions of other antioxidants in the body.
2. It Helps in Pain Relief
Alpha-lipoic acid has the ability to significantly reduce the pain, especially chronic pain as seen in individuals with arthritis, neuropathy and other similar diseases.
3. It Improves Brain Function
Studies show that alpha-lipoic acid has a significant effect on the brain as it helps to control depression and also improve memory and cognition.
4. It Protects the Cardiovascular System
It also protects heart tissue and reduces the risk of heart attacks.
R- Alpha Lipoic Acid
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is quite similar to Alpha-lipoic acid and the major difference between the two is that where Alpha-lipoic acid contains two components (R & S), R-alpha lipoic acid contains just one - R.
The R component is produced naturally in both plants and animals; hence it has similar benefits with lipoic acid. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid can be found in varying concentrations in all tissues and body organs.
It goes through the blood barrier and into the brain to help in the neutralization of hazardous toxins that cause severe damage and inhibit the brain's functions.
In addition to deactivating free agents which contribute to the development of degenerative diseases, R-alpha lipoic acid also helps to activate other antioxidants in the body to promote immune function efficiency.
1. It Improves Brain Health
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is able to effectively rid the brain of all harmful toxins, and this does not only help prevent degenerative diseases but also improves the overall health and function of the brain.
2. It Acts As A Cardio-Protector
It is effective against inflammations, stiff arteries and basically all factors which contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
3. It Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
It inhibits the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis. Popularly known as programmed cell death (PCD), this process causes the cancerous cells to stop their growth and self-destruct.
4. It Improves Nerve Function
R-Alpha lipoic acid is also effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy as it helps to improve nerve function and improve insulin levels in the body.
Alpha lipoic acid and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid are both forms of lipoic acid with almost similar functions. The major difference between the two antioxidants is found in their chemical makeup, and both compounds have a wide range of health benefits.
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