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is there a "better"brand of ALA
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is there a "better"brand of ALA

evening folks...  just  finished    tx on the  19th ;)....24 weeks and undetectable at  eot...  fingers crossed...  have   early cirrhosis and   am about to start again,  using the  supps.recommeneded by HR    (thanking  you kindly HR )  PPC/NAC/ALA/TMG/SAme/Silymarin/Catechin/Resvera/(Curcumin.......   am curious is  there is a  recommended or "purer" ALA  and   also bout the recommended    daily doses of the  HR  supps....had a text  file  concerning  dosage etc. that seems  to have  gotten lost in the "fog" ....not having  much   success with the search tool  either...;)...my  best to all
keep grinnin
KW
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233616_tn?1312790796
the only one's I know of who seem to give a sheet about bioavailablity are the nerdherders over at lef.org...I use their Ala because they keep it cool and do follow the science here..

http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/Item00457/Super-Alpha-Lipoic-Acid-with-Biotin.html

not all may like this approach, since adding just the biotin has it's advocates and adversaries, but if you take a multiple vitamin withit so you are getting all the the B complex you'll be fine...I would JUSt take a singular B vitamin,  because sometimes taking one to the exclusion of all the other can itself cause an imbalance, but given the higher bioavailablity I think it would be worth a try....depends on your profile....I wanted to see a drastic change in mine...and so far, I've gotten a 50 pt change.  
I guess it depends, how quick to you want to change your profle.

my rational was lower the insulin to increase the interferon....I'm waiting for new tx drugs...so keeping my natural INF up while not on SOC seemed the logical approach...to that end ALA is one of the supplements of choice, the higher HDL and lower the triglycrides the less insulin resistance and greater glycogen absorption ergo better overall health, lower VL and lower inflammation as well, since ALA, PPC, Coq10 all lower inflammation...and others....

if you find a better source for ala let me know.  I suppose if you needed cheaper you could get it somewhere and add the biotin as a separate, and it might come out cheaper than at LEf, who knows...
mb
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The correct form is the R-Lipoic acid "RLA". Lipoic acid has an asymetric C at position 6 , therefore at chemical synthesis a mixture of the R and S forms is produced (a "racemate"). The S form does not exist in nature and is indeed to be considered mildly toxic, since RLA is an important coenzyme for several oxidative carboxylases in mitochondria and the S form tends to block these pathways.    In thiamine deficient rats the S form is a deadly poison, in humans the racemate has no obvious negative effects but there is no need to take the racemate (the mixture of R and S) now,  since pure RLA can be produced fairly cheaply.
A further point is to look for the Sodium lipoate form, it is better absorbed. Dont got for the "Dihydrolipoic acid" there is no need for that. As merrybe points out at lef they have the correct form of Lipoic acid -R Sodium Lipoate.
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Avatar_m_tn
What is R Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid?

      Alpha Lipoic acid is a natural substance found in certain foods and also produced in the human body. Alpha Lipoic acid is a disulfide compound found naturally in mitochondria as the coenzyme for pyruvate dehydrogenase and a-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a unique, vitamin-like antioxidant which exists in two forms, R-alpha-lipoic acid and S-alpha-lipoic acid. These two forms contain the same number and composition of atoms but have different arrangements of the atoms in their respective molecules. Natural lipoic acid is R Alpha lipoic acid. Synthetic lipoic acid contains a 50/50 mixture of the two forms. Studies with the mixture demonstrated beneficial effects in treating a number of diseases and conditions. More recent research has shown that the R Alpha Lipoic acid alone is far more effective than S Alpha Lipoic acid or the mixture. Recently, pure R Alpha Lipoic acid has become available as a nutritional supplement.

R Alpha Lipoic Acid as an Antioxidant
      R Alpha Lipoic acid is regarded by many as the supreme antioxidant. R-Lipoic acid is unique in that it functions as both a fat and water-soluble antioxidant that can easily cross cell membranes. Thus, it can confer free radical protection to both interior and exterior cellular structures.

      Vitamin E is a potent biological antioxidant that acts to stabilize highly reactive free radicals in lipid (fatty) tissues and cell membranes. In the process of quenching fatty free radicals, vitamin E becomes a free radical itself. The vitamin E radical is then regenerated by vitamin C (ascorbic acid). This process recycles vitamin E from a radical back into an antioxidant again, but results in the formation of a new free radical in the form of unstable vitamin C. Vitamin C is next recycled by glutathione. Up to this point vitamins E, C and glutathione work in concert to control free radicals and prevent cellular damage. But this is also an important stage where the antioxidant regeneration cycle runs into a limiting factor determined by the availability of glutathione. The concentration of these key antioxidants, vitamins E,C and glutathione diminishes with age and the individual becomes more susceptible to oxidative damage and inflammation. Cell membrane integrity, the immune system, organs and DNA integrity all go down hill as antioxidants diminish.

      Glutathione is an important free-radical deactivator. Cellular glutathione levels are considered by many life extension experts to be the single best predictor of how long an individual will live. Glutathione also plays a vital role in protecting against cataract formation, enhancing immune function, preventing liver damage, slowing the initiation of cancers and eliminating heavy metals. Glutathione is quickly depleted when the body experiences high levels of oxidative stress from causes such as illness, infection, trauma, medication, environmental toxins and surgery. Glutathione deficiency is also associated with low protein intake, diabetes, liver disease, cataracts, HIV infection, respiratory distress syndrome, cancer, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

      R-Lipoic acid boosts glutathione levels. Alpha lipoic acid enhances glutathione (GSH) levels. Glutathione is the most important water-soluble antioxidant and is linked to detoxification of xenobiotics, modulation of signal transduction, prostaglandin metabolism, regulation of immune response, control of enzyme activity and peptide hormones, etc. The availability of the amino acid Cysteine is known as the rate-limiting factor in glutathione synthesis. Lipoic acid is taken up rapidly by the cell and reduced to DHLA, which in turn reduces cystine to cysteine and accelerates the biosynthesis of GSH.

      In summary, R Lipoic Acid acts as a potent anti-oxidant on its own, serves to regenerate other anti-oxidants like vitamin E, Vitamin C and glutathione, and increases the production of glutathione.

R Alpha Lipoic acid for Improving Mitocondrial Function
      The mitochondria are structures inside each individual cell that produce the energy that the cell needs to function. The mitochondria are analagous to an engine, boiler room or furnace. As the cells age, the activity of the mitochondria decreases, resulting in lower energy production, slower metabolism and and increased oxidative stress and damage. Clinical studies with rats have demonstrated that supplementation with R Alpha Lipoic acid improved mitocondrial function, increases metabolic rate and decreases oxidative damage. Ambulatory activity, a measure of general metabolic activity was almost threefold lower in untreated rats compared to treated rats. The decline was reversed in old rats fed R Alpha Lipoic Acid.

R Alpha Lipoic Acid as a Chelating Agent
      Studies with rats and mice have shown that R Alpha Lipoic Acid provided protection against the toxic effects of arsenic, cadmium and mercury. It may also bind to other metals including iron, copper and zinc. The chelating action of R Alpha Lipoic Acid is considered to be relatively weak compared to other chelating agents. Some of the harmful effects of heavy metal poisoning are associated with oxidative damage. In addition, lipoic acid's antioxidant properties reduce the harmful effects of heavy metals.

Reduction of Aging from Glycation by R Alpha Lipoic Acid
      Glycation is the formation of chemical bonds between protein molecules and glucose. This process impairs the physiological function of those proteins and contributes to the effects of aging and many disease processes, especially those associated with diabetes. These sugar-damaged proteins are referred to as advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs). AGEs increase with the length of hyperglycemia and are thought to be responsible for the kidney damage and advanced atherosclerosis seen in diabetes. Researchers have found that noncovalent binding of alpha-lipoic acid to albumin protected proteins against glycation. Thus R Alpha Lipoic Acid acts as an anti-aging nutrient by both its anti-oxidant properties and its anti glycation properties.

Clinical Uses for R Alpha Lipoic Acid
      Large amounts of free radicals are created in tissue that has been injured by trauma or ischemia. Ischemia is caused by low oxygen levels from blood clots, stroke, etc. Treatment of this type of injury with anti-oxidants could be expected to reduce the effects of the damage. These types of injuries include heart attack, stroke, burns, sprains, strains, contusions, etc. The treatment of some of these entities with alpha lipoic acid have been documented in the literature and some have not.

      Because alpha lipoic acid helps to conserve and increase production of glutathione, it may be beneficial in treating certain diseases that affect the liver. These include exposure to various toxins, alcoholic liver disease, aminita mushroom poisoning, hepatitis, etc.

      Alpha lipoic acid is beneficial to individuals with type II diabetes. First, it improved the overall control of blood sugar and reduced blood sugar and insulin levels. Second, its anti-oxidant and anti-glycation effects reduce the damage caused by high blood sugar levels.

      Perhaps the best use of r alpha lipoic acid is as a life extension nutrient. It acts as an anti-oxidant, anti-glycation agent, blood sugar normalizer, mitochondria activator and glutathione enhancer. All of these effects counter the effects of aging, increase energy and enhance the quality of life.

molecule. When the R version only is used, only half of the dose is required.

      
    

      
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582281_tn?1267825796
thank you all for your informative  replies..   much appreciated
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Avatar_f_tn
All of this supplement stuff and chemistry is just too much for my brain to handle.  Not to mention that I can't afford to run out and buy all of those various particular brand of supplements.  It's much easier when you can go to the doctor have him had you a script and run down to your neighborhood pharmacy..., it takes all of the thinking about which brand out of the picture.  I can get whatever generic my insurance will cover..plain and simple.  As far as supplements go, I get the cheap brand of fish oil at GNC..., I take a (2) 500-mg cinnamon caps a day and put it in my coffee.  I take an occasional drug store brand of ALA (it might be GNC..., don't feel like going to look at the label).  And I take a multivitamin with no iron and very low on the 'A'.  I need some A because I have alot of eye issues and my grandfather lost his sight from macular degeneration.  I was recently told that I have congenital cataracts (geez...it's always something).  I drink alot of green tea, too.  And in the morning I use (Cocopure - which is pure orac cocoa/huge amount of green tea/resveratrol/sweetened w/stevia), in my coffee.  Anything more than that I just simply can't handle.  I have tried supplementing w/vit. D, too.   Susan400
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Avatar_m_tn
Your welcome .
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476246_tn?1418874514
I used RalaPure by Wellnesspartners for about 1 1/2 year.

I started pre tx and still took it afterwards, until I ran out of my stock. From what I understand, it seems to be one of the best brands. I did a lot of searching, before I settled for this brand. By all means, I'm not an expert on this though.
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Avatar_f_tn
Swanson vitamins website also carries the R lipoic acid form that HR recommends.  It comes in regular, double and triple strength.  I have bought the double strength ,60 caps for 14.99 and given it to Joe twice a day.  The last time though I bought plain ALA because it was on a buy 1 get 1 sale.  I am always conflicted between price and giving Joe the best chance of a longer life.  I understand Susan feeling overwhelmed....me too.  It comes down to doing the best you can and letting the rest go.  I wish I could do that as easily as I can say that.
Ev
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Go look at the ingredient of your RLA. What are the milligrams/capsule/or per serving ?( Beware of not taking into account the "serving size" to which the content list always refers, not always one capsule!)
Then, is it R alpha lipoic acid?
or
Na ( or Sodium) R- lipoate? This has a way higher resorption rate.
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Avatar_m_tn
Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a precursor to the form of omega-3 found in fish oils called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Since the fats are found in their isolated form in flaxseed oil, it is a more concentrated source of ALA than the seeds themselves (although it doesn't have the other nutrients that the seeds do). ALA, in addition to providing several beneficial effects of its own, can be converted in the body to EPA, thus providing EPA's beneficial effects.

HR....Whats your opinion on getting ALA from food?  i eat a 1/4 cup  ground flax/day
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
i hope nobody gets confused by the double use of the abreviation ALA....

Flaxsee is a good source for alphalinolenic acid. Alpha Lipoic acid, on the other hand, is found in food only in small amounts, since it is naturally present only in micromolar amounts in tissues and always bound as Lipoamide on a lysine in the respective enzymekomplex where it acts as a coenzyme. Only real tiny amounts of free RLA are present in food.

There is nothing wrong with flaxseed, but when it comes to EPA/DHA, the best source are fishoil capsules or frequent meals of salmon or other cold water fish...
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for ur answer,here is some info on the "fatty acids"

IMPORTANT

Do not confuse with cod liver oil

Fish oil is short for "fish body oil". It is not the same thing as "cod liver oil". Cod liver oil contains high concentrations of vitamin A. Taking cod liver oil in the same amounts that are recommended for fish oil can be toxic, and even more so in people who have chronic renal failure (because vitamin A can build up to toxic levels). See also the contraindications paragraph later in this article.

http://www.igan.ca/id67.htm

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Avatar_f_tn
Can anyone help me with the lipoic acid I bought at the pharmacy?  

I took one capsule and got a stomach ache, so I waited a couple of days and tried again, only to find the same thing happened.

I'd like to try a third time to see if it was just a coincidence. Maybe I need to take it a different way? With or without food or some tip?

Each  capsule has 150 mg of R+- LIPOIC ACID/ R(+)-1,2-DITHIOLANE-3_PENTANOATE (and 100 mcg of Biotin).

Could this be too strong for me as a starting dose, the way niacin can be?

It guarantees that there is not more than 7 mg of S(-)-lipoic acid per capsule.

The pharmacist is great and told me to return it for a complete refund if it doesn't agree with me. I'd like to keep it, though, if I can figure out what's with the stomach ache (and truthfully, the stomach ache is followed by some diarrhea).
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, I went and looked at the bottle of ALA that I had bought a GNC.  It's in a 200mg softgel cap.  And it definitely says, alpha Lipoic Acid on the bottle of it.  Like Portann, it also gives me some stomach distress..., mostly gassiness, heartburn type of thing here.  I am only taking it about once a week.  I really can't deal with taking it every day.  The fish oil I take 1 daily.  Susan400
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901131_tn?1293748153
I had the same problem with alpha lipoic acid, not matter what mg I took I got pretty bad heartburn. I also have Gerd. I switched to  300 MG's of R-Lipoic Acid and have had no issuies with heartburn or anything else what so ever. The R form is much better and no distress.
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Avatar_f_tn
HR,
There is a 50mg,100mg and a 300mg. strength
It says R-Fraction Alpha Lipoic Acid (from bio-enhanced Na-RALA)
Sodium R-lipoic acid

Do you think it looks OK?
I like the Life Extension brand, but I have to shop price even if we eat lots of rice and beans.  Swanson Vitamins has started carrying a lot of LEF products now.  I keep requesting that they carry the Hepatapro but it hasn't happened yet.

I totally appreciate the time you have given us over the years.  I wish we were among those that got cured and moved on but it didn't work that way.  I still get very excited when your name pops up,
Ev
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
evangelin : Your RLA looks like the right thing. It should say sodium lipoate, not sodium lipoic acid, but I guess it is in fact  sodium lipoate, the sodium salt of R-lipoic acid.

This is not only better absorbed than straight R Lipoic acid (- which is indeed an acid, that indeed burns- so people will have stomach discomfort)  , but the Na lipoate as a base is also better tolerated.  600mg a day is a good dose.

Thus portann and susan will probably tolerate it way way better if they switch to R- Sodium Lipoate.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again for your expertise.  600 mg.  puts me out of the realm of affordable again. It would be around $ 40.00 a month.  Is it better to take what you can or is 200 mg. a day not worth taking at all?  
Ev
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Avatar_f_tn
One more little question.  I bought some vitamin D2 (only $5.00...that I can afford!)  Do you think I should continue giving Joe 200 mg. of  D3 also? The D2 is called Dry VitaminD -1000 i.u.
Ev
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Re lipoic acid; it is better to use 2 x 100mg a day than nothing. Spread the dose, Lipoic acid is degraded in metabolism just like a fatty acid ( it basically is just a short fatty acid with two SH groups riding on it.)

Vitamin D2 would be just an add on because of the antifibrotic hopes we have for it. But D3 is almost a must. However it would be important to measure his levels of 25-hydroxyVitD3, then adjust dosing if necessary.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again.  
We had the D test according to your past explanation.  Before the test, I had given Joe 1000 iu's for months but his reading was in the low end of normal so I upped it to 4000 iu's before and during his TX.  I go back and forth between 2000 and 4000 now, with no data to base it on but will try to get it tested in June when we get labs.
Ev
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233616_tn?1312790796
Hey you just made my day....happy birthday to me!!!  

It's a real joy to see you stoping by HR, always glad for more instruction on anything that might help.

We would love to pick your anti-fibrotic favorites for the year.

I'm trying to get into the fuzheng Huayu trials right now...would love to hear your opinion on that one.

anyway, great to see you again!!

mb
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314554_tn?1337457719
I have been reading and checking in but I have not posted for quite some time. I am scheduled to have another liver biopsy in June.  I am actually coming out of the wood work to mention GeroNova.

http://www.************.***/content/about-geronova-research-inc

http:/www.******************.***/content/setting-record-straight-challeging-competition
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