Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring complex found in foods such as spinach, broccoli and yeast. Internally, ALA is essential for cell function, energy production and as an antioxidant, but it is not essential in the nutritional sense because our bodies make it. Our skin also makes this substance however as we age the level in our skin and body declines. Older skin may actually be ‘starved’ of this important nutrient.
As an antioxidant, ALA is both water and fat soluble, which means it is able to reach and protect both water and lipid portions of skin. This is particularly relevant to our skin as fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin. One of the roles ALA plays in the health of the skin is to inhibit cross- linking which is the formation of chemical bridges between proteins or other large molecules. Cross- linking contributes to the aging process by causing hardening of arteries, stiffening of the joints and wrinkling of the skin.
Topically ALA acts as an important skin antioxidant that penetrates skin cell membranes, where it neutralises free radicals and increases the effectiveness of other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. By reducing free radical damage it potentially slows the effects of ageing. In studies ALA has shown strong potential as an anti-wrinkle agent. In one small-scale study, high potency lipoic acid reduced mild-to-moderate wrinkles by up to 50 percent, whereas fine lines almost disappeared. In another study, lipoic acid significantly improved the appearance of certain types of scars.
The other benefit of ALA topically is that is less irritating than Retin A and hydroxy acids. This means it can be used in delicate and wrinkle prone area around the eyes.
ALA has the potential to be a powerful therapeutic agent in the treatment of aging skin. For more information about ALA containing products contact Ananda at http://www.vitalenatural.com.au or on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ananda Mahony ND has been involved in the natural skin care industry for many years. This article outlines the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid as a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging nutrient. Please include this credit if you use this article.