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Saint Peters, MO 63376-6414

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Nutrition Stop

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Fights Fat

The body maintains a relatively constant body weight called the weight set-point.  In the short run, you maintain the same weight regardless of variations in food intake and exercise.  Signals from fat cells and blood increase or decrease appetite and metabolic rate according to energy balance - food in versus calories out.  Go on a diet and exercise program and the body will respond by increasing appetite and slowing caloric output.  Overeating and inactivity will have the opposite effect.  Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is and important signaling chemical that helps regulate bodyweight.  Korean scientists found that rats given ALA supplements reduced food intake and increased metabolic rate (burned more calories).  The ALA rats were 20 percent lighter than control rats.  ALA is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells from free radicals that are produced normally during metabolism.  Free radicals are linked to aging, immune system breakdown and cell membrane destruction.  It improves blood sugar metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.  This is a promising supplement that may be useful for bodybuilders.  (Nature Med, 13: 1-7, 2004)