Alpha lipoic acid is available from the following dietary sources:2, 3, 4
Fruits & Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables including spinach and broccoli are some of the highest sources of ALA. Other sources are tomatoes and potatoes.
Organ Meat: Kidney, heart, and liver (from grass-fed animals is recommended).
Supplement: Supplement dosage size can range from 50-600mg/day depending on the desired therapeutic effect you wish to achieve. As with any dietary supplement, you should speak with your health care provider to learn if ALA dietary supplementation is right for you.
Foods with high concentrations of this can also be incorporated into the diet to promote the body’s natural ability to produce ALA.
Examples of foods high in cancer fighting tare:
Alpha Lipoic Acid Increases Oxygen Production Within Cancer Cells
A 2005 study showed that ALA increased the mitochondrial respiration within colon cancer cells.8 This is significant because cancer cells are known to have mitochondrial dysfunction and an inability to produce oxygen through aerobic respiration.
Oxygen is the nemesis of cancer cells which are characterized as anaerobic or living without oxygen. ALA was shown to increase oxygen production within the cancer cell. The increased oxygen induced the apoptosis genetic mechanism and killed the mutated cells.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Versus Chemotherapy
Conventional cancer therapy treatment today involves processes that further increase DNA damage and create free radicals. Mitomycin C is a chemotherapy drug and antibiotic that is very efficient at causing cellular damage and depleting available antioxidant sources. Radiation treatment damages cells and is also responsible for initiating the growth of secondary tumors.4, 9
Alpha lipoic acid works against cancer by improving mitochondrial respiration and protects against DNA damage that causes cancer cell production.10 It prevents against metastatic cancer spread by reducing the activity of key enzymes that are used by tumors to invade tissues. It also reduces angiogenesis or the growth of new blood supply for cancer cells.11
If you happen to be taking chemotherapy, lipoic acid protects against many of the side effects by protecting normal cells from the free radical stress and inflammation caused by the chemotherapy. In particular, ALA protects against chemo-induced neuropathy and intestinal damage and diarrhea.12
ALA increases the availability of antioxidants to cells, reduces cellular damage, promotes health, and targets cancer cells and cancer promoting factors for destruction. Which form of treatment seems the best therapy to save lives?
How to Choose Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements
Look for a high quality lipoic acid from a company that is known for research and quality. The most bio-active form is R-lipoic acid. You want to take this supplement with food, and in particular fat, in order to maximize absorption.
Most functional nutritionists will start their clients with dosages ranging from 100mg to 600mg daily. Some individuals have SUOX and CBS gene mutations that are actively expressed and limit their ability to tolerate sulfur compounds. These individuals may struggle with ALA supplementation. This is not a common issue and research has shown that most individuals do very well with ALA supplementation.
If you have trouble with detoxification than it is best to start with lower dosages (50-100 mg) and see how you tolerate it and then gradually work your dosage up by increasing 50mg per week until you get to the desired level that you and your health coach have agreed upon.