Alpha Lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has proven to be highly beneficial in treating numerous health issues like diabetes, memory loss, chronic fatigue, glaucoma, cataracts, lung cancer,liver diseases and also aids in HIV/Aids. Moreover, it is also widely used as a supplement to aid weight loss. Interestingly, Alpha Lipoic acid or in short referred to as ALA, is a naturally-occurring compound which can be produced in the body though in very small amounts. This antioxidant can be found in the mitochondria, better known as “powerhouses of a cell “. In simple words, mitochondria are the energy producing parts of a cell. Since Alpha Lipoic acid has mainly got to do with mitochondria, it contributes immensely towards the conversion of fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. This eventually leads to the release of more energy and hence helps in losing weight. The best part is that it is both fat and water soluble. However, since only very low amounts of Alpha Lipoic Acid is produced in our body, it is necessary to get adequate amounts of this “miracle antioxidant” from other sources.
Food Sources – Two important food sources for Alpha Lipoic Acid are green plants and animal food.
Green Plants – Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard having a higher concentration of chloroplast are said to be good sources of Alpha Lipoic Acid. Both chloroplast and mitochondria found in plant cells are involved in energy conversion. Hence, green plants having these two respective energy transformers are naturally rich in lipoic acid.
Animal Food – Red meat is another very good source of Alpha Lipoic Acid. In fact, the animal parts where the concentration of mitochondria is higher are naturally rich in this antioxidant. For example, consumption of animal tissues and organs like heart, muscle, liver and kidney will help us to ensure getting adequate amounts of ALA.
According to recent scientific studies, daily consumption of 800 mg of this potent antioxidant for a period of three to four month can result in significant weight loss. However, taking very high doses of Alpha Lipoic Acid has its own risk factors and hence it’s not advisable. High doses can contribute to deficiency in thiamine and minor side effects like mild skin irritations and muscle cramps.
Though Alpha Lipoic Acid is an excellent supplement for weight loss, it is however, highly recommended that you check with your practitioner before adding this supplement to your diet.