Alpha-Lipoic Acid may Reduce Risk of Cataracts

Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Another breakthrough hopeful? With a sales increase of 17 percent over 2002, alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to help treat individuals with AIDS by inhibiting HIV activation, notes the Textbook of Nutritional Medicine. Furthermore, alpha-lipoic acid also increases glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is an antioxidant that protects against cataracts in the eye; supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid may reduce the risk of cataracts in the elderly. A study done on rats showed that alpha-lipoic acid protected 60 percent of the animals from experimentally induced cataracts. Though alpha-lipoic acid gained popularity through its presence in cosmetics, Almada finds it useful to only a very select population in the United States. “Lipoic acid, when taken orally, has only been shown to have a significant effect on diabetic individuals with peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), and they would have to take 600 mgs per day to feel effects. Most products contain no more than 200 mgs,” he says.

American Top 25: Supplements Climbing the Charts by Vicky Uhland, Kristen Lewis, Christine Spehar. July, 2004. Natural Foods Merchandiser

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