Alpha Lipoic acid is a neuroprotective supplement that "exhibits significant antioxidant activity protecting against oxidative damage." Bio-hackers often take antioxidant supplements to to defend brain-cells from degenerating.
Table of Contents:
- Quick Overview of Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Studies on Neuroprotection
- How to take Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Alternatives to consider
Quick Overview of Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Benefits: Replacing deficiencies of Vitamins C and E and providing antioxidants to prevent damage to brain-cells from oxidative stress.
- Actions: Antioxidants defend the brain from "free radicals" that break down cells. Alpha Lipoic acid is also rich in vitamins C and E.
- Dietary sources: Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are sources of alpha-lipoic acid.
- Who is it good for? People not currently taking an antioxidant supplement and not otherwise getting it from fruits or other dietary sources.
- Quality of studies: Over 4,776 publications on Pubmed
- Recommended dose: 200mg - 400mg per day
- Alternatives: Trans-Resveratrol, Pterostilbene
Studies on Neuroprotection
1. Lipoic acid is quickly absorbed by brain-cells, therefore offering both intracellular and extracellular protection from reactive oxygen-free radicals. This makes it "an ideal substance in the treatment of oxidative brain and neural disorders involving free radical processes." (University of California - link to study)
2. After deliberately impairing the brain's antioxidant enzymes, Alpha Lipoic Acid was seen to significantly reduce the damage, resulting in very little damage done to neurons. (International Medical University - link to study)
3. "Lipoic acid acts as a kind of "wild card" antioxidant. This means that it can substitute for other antioxidants, such as vitamins C or E. So if you're not getting enough of these substances in your diet, lipoic acid supplements can make up at least part of the deficit." (Life Enhancement - link to review of studies)
4. A review of studies concluded it "exhibits significant antioxidant activity protecting against oxidative damage" and "its use as a potential therapeutic agent is very promising." (University of Catania - link to review of studies)
How to take Alpha Lipoic Acid
1. Recommended dose: The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that "generally healthy people" take between 200mg - 400mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid per day.
2. Take it with food: Also, it's best taken without food: "Oral LA supplements are better absorbed on an empty stomach than with food" (The Linus Pauling Institute - link their article)
Alternatives to consider
1. Trans-Resveratrol - An antioxidant derived from grapes. After investigations by MIT, Trans-Resveratrol made headlines in 2003 for its links to the longevity genes called "sirtuins".
2. Pterostilbene - Trans-Resveratrol's chemical cousin, though far less researched. Pterostilbene, like Trans-Resveratrol, is also a natural antibiotic that plants create for self-defence against fungal infections.