Lipoic acid: benefits, contraindications, where it is found

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Robert Maurer
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THElipoic acid it is a vitamin classified in group B, but it cannot be considered a true vitamin. The human organism produces it in small quantities that vary according to the lifestyle and physical activity of each individual. It is both water-soluble and fat-soluble. Let's find out better. 

> What is lipoic acid used for

> Where is it

> Contraindications of lipoic acid



 

3D structure of a lipoic acid molecule

  

 

What is lipoic acid used for

The main functions of lipoic acid are:

  • coenzyme: rich in sulfur, lipoic acid plays an important role in the production of cellular energy through the oxidation processes of carbohydrates and fatty acids. It is in fact the cofactor of numerous enzymes that participate in the process of converting glucose, fatty acids and other energy sources into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, the energy “donor” of many biochemical reactions). 

Thanks to this ability to convert sugar into energy, it determines greater efficiency in the use of glucose in energy metabolisms and improves its transport within the cells. It can therefore have beneficial effects in disorders in which there is an excess of glucose such as in type 2 diabetes.

  • antioxidant: lipoic acid is in redox equilibrium with dihydrolipoic acid, so there is a transition from one form to another, depending on the oxidation state. This allows it to act as an antioxidant by removing the hydroxyl radical, hypochlorous acid and singlet oxygen (such as lipoic acid) or to act by blocking superoxide radicals and peroxy radicals (such as dihydrolipoic acid). The redox couple is part of the physiological antioxidant pool used by our body to reactivate electron-carrying enzymes, to block excess free radicals and to regenerate other antioxidant molecules such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Lipoic acid it is also able to restore intracellular levels of glutathione.

All these characteristics make it valuable in the prevention of diseases caused by free radicals, degenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases such as tumors, heart attack, arthritis, etc.



  • chelante: Lipoic acid removes excess iron and copper and toxic metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, binding to toxic metals and serving as a detoxifier for the body.

Interest in lipoic acid is growing due to its many fields of application, including: type 2 diabetes, arthrosis, diabetic retinopathies and oxidative stress.


There is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for lipoic acid.

 

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Where is lipoic acid found

Lipoic acid, in addition to being produced by the body, is found in spinach, broccoli, beef, yeast and some meat offal.

 

Controindicazioni

To date there are no contraindications.

 

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