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Alpha-Lipoic Acid and EPA Help Overweight and Obese Women Lose Weight

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Results of a double-blinded randomized clinical research trial show that α-lipoic acid, separately or in combination with the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), “may help to promote weight loss in healthy overweight/obese women following energy-restricted diets.”

The study, led by researchers from the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, was published in the February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity.

In addition to its use in weight loss, α-lipoic acid (ALA) has many other purported actions:

  • Serves as a potent anti-oxidant
  • Enhances the body’s ability to use its own insulin thereby lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces symptoms of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) associated with diabetes
  • Promotes eye health
  • Protects your brain against the ravages of oxidative stress
  • Maintain healthy skin
  • Prevent migraine headaches

ALA is a naturally occurring substance made by your body. As we age, however, we produce less and less of the important nutrient. Although there are many sources of ALA such as yeast, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and organ meats, ALA from food does not seem to increase levels of free ALA in the body. As such, supplementation may be necessary to ensure adequate ALA levels.

Most of ALA’s actions occur at the cellular level and include production of energy, regulation of blood sugar, and scavenging of free radicals. In so doing, ALA offers potential benefits for many of society’s contemporary diseases of civilization: diabetic neuropathy, migraine headaches, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative disorders.

A challenge with conventional ALA supplements is the short half-life of most preparations. This means that they are cleared from your system within just a few short hours. As such, most ALA formulas must be taken several times a day. That is why we favor controlled-release formulations such as IP’s MAX ALA CR or Xymogen’s ALAmax CR designed to be taken once a day. 

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Huerta AE, Navas-Carretero S, Prieto-Hontoria PL, Martínez JA, Moreno-Aliaga MJ. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb;23(2):313-21.

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