Alpha lipoic acid also boosts acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter, known for its connection to memory and overall cognitive functioning. As we grow older, acetylcholine levels decline, there is oxidative damage in our neural cells and the accumulation of heavy metal in our cells increases.
This changes in our body present real risk factors for some serious neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Not only ALA can help with slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but it can also help in other processes tied to aging.
Overall, research shows that ALA is helpful when it comes to improving memory and learning because it increases the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It works as an antioxidant and also reduces inflammation which helps to improve our cognitive functions.
Let’s see for what else it is beneficial.
1. Weight loss
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) has been demonstrated to inhibit AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the hypothalamus and can suppress appetite.
Why is the inhibition of AMPK important?
When AMPK is more active, it makes us feel more hungry. However, in humans, there should be no drastic change in our weight when taking alpha lipoic acid. Research shows that there is an only slight improvement (people on average lost 0,69 – 1,27 kg when supplementing ALA).
Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits
2. Lowers blood sugar levels – potential aid for diabetes
Researchers believe that ALA helps in reducing blood sugar levels by promoting the processes that can remove fat accumulated in muscle cells. It is also effective with diabetes patients because it lowers the risk of complications with diabetes.
All of this is believed to do, due to its antioxidant properties. However, supplementing ALA does not provide treatment for your diabetes. Also, you have to talk to your doctor before taking it, because it can interfere with your other medications.
3. Anti-aging effects
A somewhat different but still very popular is the anti-aging effect that some nootropics may have. Research has shown that alpha lipoic acid is helpful in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and skin roughness. It also provides protection against the sun’s UV radiation (this does not mean you have to stop using your sun cream when taking ALA).
Alpha lipoic acid also raises the levels of other antioxidants, resulting in reduced signs of aging.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Review
4. Beneficial for cognitive functions
Because of ALA’s antioxidant properties, research has shown it can slow down the progression of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
With neutralizing free radicals, alpha lipoic acid is also very beneficial for our overall cognitive performance (memory, focus, recall of information).
5. Helps to reduce inflammation
Serious and harmful conditions, such as cancer or diabetes is tied to chronic inflammation. Alpha lipoic acid is shown to have promising anti-inflammatory effects. It lowers several markers of inflammation.
6. Lowers heart disease risk factors
Cardiovascular diseases are the reason behind 1 in 4 death in America. Their prevalence is high not only in the USA but also worldwide.
Because of that, research that would show some effects on lowering the prevalence of heart disease should really be a priority.
As mentioned before, ALA, because of its antioxidant effects, helps to neutralize free radicals which are linked to a lower probability of heart disease. Moreover, supplementing alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to lower triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels in adults with metabolic diseases.