Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an enormously powerful antioxidant - naturally occurring in our bodies - and protects most of the body’s trillions of cells from free radical attacks. (And it is soluble in both fat and water!). Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements assist the cells in converting glucose into useful energy (and stabilizes blood sugar levels), promote natural anti-inflammatory processes, support subtle detoxification and a lot more. ALA is a good samaritan and assists other antioxidants by participating in their recycling processes (e.g. naturally supports healthy levels of glutathione, Vitamin C and Vitamin E).
Oxidative stress and damage to cells is natural to some degree in the wear and tear of daily life and aging. It has also been implicated in the negative side effects of damaged nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems and thus includes the brain, arteries, vital organs and skin layers - more than any other anti-oxidant can do. Oxidative stress is part of the damage that occurs when symptoms such as poor memory, fluctuating blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol abnormalities, vision problems, skin tissue issues, etc, show up.
The major amount of our ALA is made in the liver and small amounts are manufactured in other tissues, where it participates in different enzymatic reactions (such as in the pancreas and liver). ALA exists in different forms depending on the manufacturing: the RLA and R/S-LA with the former being the more popular in the nutritional world.
Much positive research has been ongoing since the ‘50’s without too much of the results reaching us common folk for everyday healing support and certainly very little ending up in your doctor's office. (e.g. “…but not (s)-alpha lipoic acid stimulates deficient brain pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in vascular dementia, but not in Alzheimer dementia”. Journal of neural transmission…”) RLA, at higher doses, acts like plant-derived nutrients, such as curcumin and resveratrol and other nutritional substances that induce phase II detoxification enzymes and acts as an internal cell protector as well as a cofactor to many reactions including those of enzymes.
ALA is only available in synthesized substances as the amount naturally present in foods is utterly minute and negligible for use as a therapeutic nutritional helper. Oral ALA is found to be well tolerated in doses up to 600 milligrams per day in studies and in Europe 300 mg a day is used as a therapeutic adjunct in treating diabetic neuropathy. As a general antioxidant, without a very specific therapeutic mission, 50 mg daily is commonly suggested.
My inspiration for ALA came from listening to the brilliant Dr. Bruce Shelton at the Pleomorphic Naturopathic Conference in Scottsdale in 1999 and was over-the-moon when I found he had writen an article on ALA - right here below.
 

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This Article by Dr Bruce Shelton:

Liver Disease: The Shameful Culmination Of Allopathic Therapy
Having the good fortune of being asked to speak at various forums, sometimes allows for learning experiences for the speaker after imparting one’s personal knowledge on the audience.
On October 6th, 2001, as the USA Medical Director for Heel, Inc., I had the honor of addressing the Nevada Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association on the subject of Auto-Sanguis Blood Therapy. (The American FDA only allows the injection of three of Heel’s 500 combination remedies to the distinct detriment of the American patient). I have actually come up with a working alternative that allows for oral administration of these same remedies with perhaps better or at least equal clinical results.
After receiving the accolades of a grateful audience, I rejoined those seated as the next speaker made his way to the podium.
Dr. Burt Berkson, M.D., Ph.D. has devoted a good part of his esteemed career to the study of Alpha Lipoic Acid, an amazing anti-oxidant that aids in the cure of severe practically terminal liver failure. His accidental introduction into this field began in 1977, when as a medical resident in Internal Medicine, he was faced with two patients, a husband and wife. They had gone on a romantic picnic in the springtime of New Mexico and ingested a fair amount of wild mushrooms that they found growing in an open field. The mushrooms were an extremely poisonous strain and within 18 hours they were in florid liver failure. They were expected to die even though everything was being done for them in the Intensive Care unit of a top class Medical School Hospital.
Dr. Berkson had just coincidentally read an article about Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and called the NIH in Washington and had several vials of this new experimental substance shipped to him immediately. The results were almost miraculous. Within 12 hours after the administration of ALA, the two patients turned around dramatically and went on to a full and complete recovery. One would think that such a major cure would see the good doctor rewarded somehow. Instead he was reprimanded for not discussing such an experiment without consultation with his superiors. HE WAS FORBIDDEN TO USE ALA AGAIN IN THAT HOSPITAL UNTIL THE PHARMACY COMMITTEE COULD MEET AND APPROVE ITS USE.
Unfortunately it was a good season for mushrooms and the picnic lovers were flocking to the mountainsides and were tempted to eat the beautiful mushrooms. Another couple came into the hospital with almost identical symptoms the following week and now Dr. Berkson was the resident expert on the use of ALA and was forbidden to use it. He gave it anyway and like the previous patients, they started improving immediately and went on to a complete cure.
The hospital authorities were furious and would have fired the good doctor were it not for the intervention of the head man at NIH who had sent the ALA across the country, but Dr. Berkson became branded as a radical.
Dr. Berkson goes on to recount these stories in a new book that he has just written called The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough published by Prima Publishing (www.primahealth.com). The foreword of the book is written by the famous Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D. and his first two paragraphs command attention.
“When I was in Medical School in the mid 1960s, I was convinced that the medical profession was pure. I was convinced that the profession and all those in it were driven by the natural inclination to alleviate suffering and disease. I was convinced that the mere suggestion of patient benefit from therapies not commonly used, such as acupuncture, coenzyme Q 10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, chiropractic, or vitamin C, would be quickly examined in an unbiased fashion and would be incorporated if found to be helpful. I was proud of my chosen profession.
“Today, thirty years later, the profession embarrasses me. I now realize that the majority of physicians who make up the profession, particularly those in positions of power and authority, have no intention of investigating therapies other than those from pharmaceutical manufacturers. In fact, as macabre as it may seem, many physicians would rather that their patients die than be saved by an unconventional approach. That fact is obvious.”
Dr. Whitaker’s foreword goes on for another page and then leads into Dr. Berkson’s fascinating book on ALA that shows how ALA can help protect against heart disease, prevent or treat complications of diabetes, prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, protect against cancer and stroke, fight chronic liver disease, and combat the aging process. Your author definitely recommends reading this great little book and heeding its advice! On October 24th, 2001, I had the privilege of addressing a meeting of the American Liver Foundation being held at the Scottsdale, Arizona campus of the famed Mayo Clinic. I must admit that I felt humbled taking the stage at such a prestigious Institution. The Mayo Clinic was made famous by surgeons Papa Mayo and his two very talented sons who starting in the 1860s brought innovative surgical procedures to cure illness where no medical answers had previously existed.
I was one of four speakers given twenty minutes to impart to an audience of patients what treatments were available to them. The first speaker was a famous hepatologist who knew everything there was to know on all of the latest drugs used to treat chronic liver disease. Interferon now has an improved polymerized form. The second speaker was a psychologist who has developed techniques that will better help dying patients accept their disease and ultimate fate. The third speaker was one of the most talented and gifted as well as famous liver transplant surgeons in the United States. He helped develop the technique where live donors can be used. You can actually take half a liver from a healthy patient and transplant it into a dying patient whose liver has been totally removed, and both patients will grow a new liver from its remaining half.
However, one startling fact was brought to the fore. There are currently 18,000 dying patients (in the USA alone) who all need a liver for transplantation. Only 5000 of these people will actually receive one in time and the other 13,000 will die. According to those assembled, the only viable answer to this problem is to obtain more cadaverous livers from organ donors!
It was in this atmosphere that I stepped to the platform as the fourth and final speaker of the night. I had my power point slideshow that Heel’s excellent A/V staff always provides me, but I only had 20 minutes and I had just heard what I stated above. 13,000 people will die this year waiting for a liver transplant and guess what?
They aren’t receiving any of Heel’s excellent Liver Combination Formulas. They aren’t receiving Alpha Lipoic Acid. They aren’t being offered herbs. They aren’t getting high doses of vitamin C, etc. etc.
Julian Whitaker’s comments were ringing in my ears when I publicly asked for both the Mayo People and the Liver Foundation People in attendance to give Integrative Medicine a chance. If 13,000 patients were going to die anyway, why not offer these people what the readers of this Journal know is in widespread use in the Integrative Medical Community?
I gave my business cards to as many people as I could afterwards. With the exception of several grateful patients who may become patients in my private practice, as of this writing no one from a position of those in authority have given me a call.
The Good Lord works in strange and mysterious ways.

Dr. Bruce Shelton graduated from New York Medical College and has been in practice for over 40 years. When he became ill with asthma and suffered for 6 months, a homeopath treated him successfully in 3 days. He went back to school and became a homeopath in 1988. He was the National Medical Director for Heel Pharmaceuticals, which is the largest manufacturer of Homeopathic remedies. Presently he is Vice President of the Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medical Examiners; Immediate Past President Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association; Past President of the Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medical Examiners; Licensing Board 35 Year Fellow of the Arizona and American Academy of Family Physicians;
Diplomat and Fellow of the British Institute of Homeopathy; Chief Medical Adviser of Deseret Biologicals of Sandy Utah.
Dr Shelton has lectured extensively all over the USA and on three other continents.
Presently Dr Shelton practices in Phoenix, AZ - more at: http://www.drbruceshelton.com

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