R-Lipoic Acid is a form of alpha-lipoic acid, which helps shield the body against oxidative stress brought on by high levels of glucose by converting glucose into energy. Although S-lipoic acid is another form of alpha-lipoic acid and is a mirror image of its ‘R’ counterpart, it not active biologically and is manufactured chemically.
Naturally produced by the human body, R-lipoic acid is held responsible for the benefits of alpha-lipoic acid. This active for can also be found in plants and animals. R-lipoic acid is the only form of lipoic acid that serves as a cofactor for the enzymes of mitochondria, an organelle responsible for producing energy. Also, studies have shown that R-lipoic acid is more effective and efficient in reducing the inflammatory process.
The most primary significance why people take additional R-lipoic acid in supplement form is its potent antioxidant effects. Oxidation causes our healthy cells to lose electrons, leading to damage of its structures including cell membranes, lipids, cellular proteins and DNA. When this oxidative stress occurs, this leads to acceleration of the aging process and damage of our cells in the body. From our skin to our heart, the process of oxidising gives negative results. However, the presence of R-lipoic acid inside our body contributes to lowering the oxidative stress, hence improving the metabolic activity of our cells and reversing premature aging. When cells are less exposed to oxidation, they are less likely to age early. While the human body can cope with free radicals, an overload of them will trigger medical conditions such as deterioration of the eye lens (a precursor to blindness), arthritis, brain cell damage (a precursor to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases), premature aging, vascular and circulatory diseases, and damaged DNA of the cells (a precursor to several cancers).
R-lipoic acid supports the fast recovery of impaired tissues because it considerably reduces inflammation, which medical experts think as the causative factor of the degenerative diseases that come with ageing. With this, it can be deduced that R-lipoic acid supports memory and cognitive function. This has been the subject of many medical researches. R-lipoic acid can easily pass into the brain, therefore its ability to support optimum brain function is relatively high, in relation to free radical damage occurring in the neurons.
Another advantage of R-lipoic acid is its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity, which leads to faster glucose transport in the blood. Instead of storing glucose as fat (glycogen), glucose is utilised as energy, which leads to lesser fat body absorption and enhanced metabolic rate of the cells. We need to find ways on how to increase our metabolic rate because it naturally slows down as we age. With R-lipoic acid present in the body, we have found an ally in sustaining normal metabolic processes of our body. Once R-lipoic acid facilitates the usage of glucose as energy, the sugar level in the blood is stabilised. R-lipoic acid also helps ease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy among diabetic people by wiping out free radicals. This is associated with burning, tingling and itching sensation (and sometimes numbness) in arms and legs, a result from nerve damage.
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