Friday, November 7, 2008

Your brain loves lipoic acid!

I'm primarily a food first, supplements second kind of person. However, lipoic acid is a supplement I love to recommend. It's not something that you can readily find in food, but it does a whole lot of good, especially in the brain.

It can delay and prevent Alzheimer's disease, and dementia, in a variety of ways. It helps to increase acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in charge of memory function. It helps to bind free radicals, preventing them from doing damage. It prevents the formation of proteins associated with inflammation.

Not a bad friend, is it?

The amount given in the two studies evaluating lipoic acid's effect on the brain was 600 mg per day.

Lipoic acid is also unique in that it has the ability to make other antioxidants more powerful. The authors of the article reviewed here suggested that in combination with curcumin, EGCG (active ingredient in green tea), and DHA (in fish oil and marine algae), lipoic acid could be a very powerful warrior in the fight against degenerative brain disease.

Hmmmm...anyone for some fish curry, with a green tea chaser?

Maczurek A, Hager K, Kenklies M, Sharman M, Martins R, Engel J, Carlson DA, M√ľnch G. Lipoic acid as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Oct-Nov;60(13-14):1463-70. Epub 2008 Jul 4.


mpcarlson said...

Is lipoic acid available as a nutritional supplement? I understand that diet is the ideal way to consume it, but if it's such a help, wouldn't it be even better to have even more as in supplement form? Memory loss is a great concern in my household--my husband suffers from schizoaffective disorder, and has a great deal of memory loss already, both long term and short term. Our oldest has bipolar disorder, and claims he is a "big forgetter." I don't know if this is a memory problem, or a cop-out so he gets out of doing things.... However, my husband's doctors have told him that dementia is not an "if in the future" possibility, but a "when in the future" it happens, due to the severity of his condition. I'd like to help prolong this event as long as possible.

hormonewoman said...

Actually, yes it is. It's not really in food. You should be able to find it in any health food store. Other supplements good for memory include: fish oil, carnitine, and choline. They've all been studied with regards to Alzheimer's. If you search this blog you can find a few entries on the topic.