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Health Benefits of ALA (Alpha-lipoic Acid)

What is it?
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring antioxidant in the human body.  Like all antioxidants, ALAs help attack and get rid of free radicals in the body—waste produced by the body as it converts food into energy. Free radicals can be extremely harmful to the body, damaging organs and tissues and making it harder to stave off infection. Alpha-lipoic acid also plays a key role in the breakdown of glucose into energy. This makes ALA and ALA supplementation especially useful for people who are looking to increase their exercise or workout regimens in order to gain or lose weight.

Health Benefits
Alpha-lipoic Acid and HealthAlpha-lipoic acid has proven extremely useful for diabetes management and/or control. Not only does it play an important role in lowering blood-sugar levels but its antioxidant effects help reduce the pain, tingling, or numbness related with nerve damage that can sometimes be a result of diabetes. Due to the increased glucose uptake, ALA supplements also prove useful in attaining bodybuilding and/or weight loss goals. Increased glucose uptake means that less glucose is stored in your body as fat. It also means an increase in the volume of muscle cells. Taking ALA to supplement your workout routine means faster and more effective gains in the gym.

Where do I get it? How much should I take?
ALA supplements are easy to get. They can be purchased over-the-counter at any nutrional supplement or vitamin retailer or online. Tablets come in dosages in the range of 30-100 milligrams (mg) and range from $15-$30 depending on volume. If you are looking for moderate gains in fat loss 400-1000 mg a day staggered (that is, not taken all at once) throughout the day is recommended. For serious bodybuilders looking for large muscle-gains 2000-3000 mg taken with meals is recommended.

Side effects / Warnings
ALA supplements are very safe and can be taken in large doses orally. If you are diabetic, however, be careful to closely monitor your blood-glucose levels as ALA supplements drastically alter how your body processes and maintains glucose.

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