I Have Alpha-Lipoic Acid & Vitamin C Deficiency. Being Proactive Is A Must
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Nutrient tests are important and necessary components in my quest to be proactive about my health.
I run the risk of not getting the right amount of nutrients from my diet if I am not aware how much I really need. And the most reliable way to know how much I really need is to do tests which will show the amount of these nutrients in my body. If the tests reveal that I have an optimal amount of nutrients in my body, then I do not need to adjust my diet or the amount of supplements I take. If I am unaware of my nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, I will either do nothing to address them or guess when it comes to what or how much I need to take.
I have noticed that my recent test results confirm that I am consistently low in two very important nutrients: vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid. And when it comes to vitamin C, I know my deficiency is not diet related because I consume an excessive amount of foods that are rich in Vitamin C.
You are probably quite familiar with vitamin C
Vitamin C, which you most likely associate with citrus foods such as oranges, may protect the our bodies from deficiencies that may lead to cardiovascular illnesses and other diseases. It is one of the most important nutrients needed for our survival. It is an antioxidant, which means it protects our bodies from free radicals and other harmful molecules. It is a major producer of collagen, which is the main ingredient behind the repair of bone and skin tissue, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and teeth. Vitamin C helps moisturize and nourish the skin, which may increase skin elasticity and may even restore a youthful appearance.Alpha-lipoic acid you might be less familiar with, but it's just as important
To put it simply, alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant. It is a fatty acid that is naturally produced by the body, but it can also be found in foods such as red meat, organ meats, spinach, broccoli and yeast. Alpha-lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble (vitamin C is only water soluble).
(It is important to not confuse alpha-lipoic acid with alpha-linolenic acid. The latter is an omega-3 fatty acid. Both acids are often abbreviated as ALA which is why they are commonly confused for the other ).
The potential benefits of alpha-lipoic acid are practically endless. Let’s go over a few of them:
- May help with weight loss
More research is needed, however some research has suggested that alpha-lipoic acid
may promote both body weight and fat mass reduction. It may even suppress the appetite.
- May help with chemoprotective benefits
According to the National Cancer Institute, alpha-lipoic acid is a chemoprotective agent. This means that it may help with the intense side effects that a person endures when undergoing chemotherapy. It may even help protect healthy tissues when going through chemotherapy.
- May have therapeutic effects on diseases of the central nervous system
Because alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may help those with central nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheiemer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. There are many unknowns regarding the causes of these devastating illnesses, but chronic inflammation is widely believed to be a major culprit. This is why anything that is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory is highly valued in the medical and health community. One study, published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involved mice that were modeled to have Alzheimer’s. When administered alpha-lipoic acid, the mice showed reduced oxidative stress and improved memory.
- May help with management of type 2 diabetes
More research is needed, however, “Several small studies have also shown that ALA can help to increase insulin sensitivity. It can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes,” reports the University of Rochester Medical Center. It may even help with diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration.
Why alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin C go hand-in-hand.
Essentially, alpha-lipoic acid regenerates vitamin C in the body. This is key, because our bodies do not store vitamin C. (So perhaps my vitamin C is low because my alpha-lipoic acid is low).
Like me, you too may be deficient.
Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances are so common that we can pretty much guarantee that we all have at least one. As mentioned, the only way to determine our nutrient inadequacies is by taking a comprehensive nutrient test. These tests provide me with the knowledge to address my deficiencies with alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin C before the inadequacies take a toll on my body. It also allows me wot work with my doctor to tweak my diet and take good quality supplements to address the deficiencies.
There are several other factors that can contribute to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, including older age and lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol, smoking and eating too many nutrient-void processed foods. If you follow a restrictive diet that cuts out a lot of food groups (such as a vegan diet does), it is imperative that you seek out the advice of a competent healthcare practitioner in order to help prevent nutrient imbalances and deficiencies.
Finally, you will find that there are so many nutritional supplements readily accessible to you whether you look online or walk into a health food store. It may be tempting, but I recommend not buying any of these products until you have consulted with a healthcare professional. Not all supplements are created equally, and you want to be sure that you are taking them properly (especially if you are currently taking medications and have any existing health issues.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses, and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products, and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.