You may not have heard of Alpha Lipoic acid before but it’s something you want to learn more about, especially if you want better looking skin. This article will cover 4 benefits of getting more Alpha Lipoic acid into your life. But first, what is it ?
Alpha Lipoic Acid Explained
Let’s call it ALA to start with. ALA is actually an extremely powerful and versatile antioxidant. You probably know about antioxidants as they seem to be in or on all sorts of products these days. They’ve been mentioned on this blog many times.
Antioxidants help protect cells from free radical damage. They zap or neutralize these unbalanced free radicals before they can latch on to a healthy skin cell and steal an electron, consequently causing it to become unhealthy.
ALA’s are found in a few foods, notably brewers yeast, organ meat like liver, fish, chicken, broccoli and spinach. As they are good for the body, many supplements are also available.
You will even find the term mentioned in some skin care products too although it debatable how useful the ALA’s in a skincare product will be as they probably won’t get much further than the surface layer of the skin.
Benefits of ALA’s
1. As already mentioned they are a powerful and versatile antioxidant. They are more versatile than other antioxidants because they are water and oil soluble. This means they can get to parts of the body where purely water soluble antioxidants, like vitamin C for instance, can’t.
2. ALA’s also help cells take glucose out of the bloodstream and use it more efficiently as energy. This helps to prevent glycolsylation build up. Glycosylation creates a sticky gunk known as advanced glycation end-product (AGE) that ends up being stored in connective tissue. Connective tissue are things like joints and cartilage but also skin.
The build up of AGEs in the skin causes it to become inflamed and irritated. It also destabilizes collagen and elastin in the deeper skin layers. This eventually leads to lines, wrinkles and lose of structural integrity.
3. Another benefit of it’s role in reducing glucose in the bloodstream is that it helps to keep blood circulation efficient. Poor circulation is often the cause of problems with parts of the body far from the heart which includes the skin because it doesn’t get the nutrients that blood delivers.
4. ALA’s are also thought to help recycle other antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione, thus getting more out of them for the body.
The best form of ALA to take are referred to as R-Alpha Lipoic Acid meaning it is naturally formed. You get this from the food stuff mentioned above. You can also get S-Alpha Lipoic Acid which is a synthetic version. This needs to be converted into the R form by the body before it will be useful.