lipoic acid is an antioxidant, which slow the aging process and fight
disease. Vitamins A, C, and E are more common antoxidants. Antioxidants
attack free radicals which are waste products created when our bodies
turn food into energy. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions
that can damage cells. In fact, free radical damage may be the basis for
the aging process.
The body needs Alpha
to produce energy. It plays a crucial role in the mitochondria, the energy-producing
structures in cells. The body actually makes enough Alpha
lipoic acid for these basic metabolic functions. This compound acts as an antioxidant,
however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the "free"
state in the cells. But there is little free Alpha
circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements or get it injected.
Foods contain only tiny amounts of it. What makes Alpha
lipoic acid special as an antioxidant is its versatility—it helps deactivate an unusually
wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems.