T Nation

ALA is Garbage???

This recent research suggests it may be worse than useless by inhibiting glycogen synthesis and actually increasing the level of damaging free radicals in muscle tissue.

J Nutr 2002 Oct;132(10):3001-6 Related Articles, Links

Alpha-lipoic acid inhibits glycogen synthesis in rat soleus muscle via its oxidative activity and the uncoupling of mitochondria.

Dicter N, Madar Z, Tirosh O.

Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

alpha-Lipoic acid (LA) is currently being investigated as a glucose-lowering agent for diabetes control; it is also considered a powerful dietary antioxidant. The objective of this study was to investigate the fate of glucose in isolated rat muscles incubated with LA and determine its effects on intramuscular redox status. Rat soleus muscles were incubated for up to 60 min with 2.4 mmol/L LA in the presence or absence of insulin. Intramuscular concentrations of LA were evaluated (uptake and reduction), and glycogen synthesis, glucose oxidation, intramuscular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and mitochondrial membrane potential investigated. Insulin enhanced glycogen synthesis, whereas LA decreased rates by >50%. LA elevated ROS production and in combination with t-butylhydroperoxide, an oxidant, additively inhibited glycogen synthesis rates by 80%. Insulin acted as an antioxidant and attenuated ROS production by 30%. LA uncoupled the mitochondria and accelerated glucose oxidation 1.5-fold relative to the control. The glycogen synthesis pathway was found to be dependent on mitochondrial function because treatment with mitochondrial inhibitors eliminated the majority of glycogen synthesis. These data show that in this model, LA acts as a mild prooxidant, causing mitochondrial uncoupling and inhibition of glycogen synthesis. It appears that LA regulates glucose metabolism in the muscle differently than insulin.

i dont give a shit about what ala does in a rats soleus!

Were they using r-ALA, s-ALA, or a racemic mixture? It doesn’t say, so the results from this study are next to worthless.

It’s pretty well known that s-ALA can have a negative effect whereas its mirror image molecule, r-ALA, is more beneficial. In fact, some claim that a mixture of the two molecules has little to no effect because of the s-ALA in it.

If you make ALA in a factory, like most supplements, you get equal amounts of both molecules. Natural biological processes, on the other hand, apparently only make the good r-ALA molecule.

This is one study of many correct? I"m assuming that there should be at least a few out there that detail positive results of ala?

When it comes to oils, I stick to Fish Oil!

There are literally ZERO studies showing that R-ALA has any positive effect on insulin sensitivity/glucose uptake in normal (ie non-diabetic) subjects. In fact, the only study on such a population (rats) showed a decrease in insulin sensitivity following R-ALA supplementation.

P-DOG, assuming that you are in favor of ALA supplementation, I find it intesesting that the above study means nothing to you, yet you find NIDDM subjects to be acceptable…

i dont think a “scientific” study is necessary to prove the benefits of ala or r-ala. eat a carb meal and check your blood glucose in half hour incriments. next time take some ala 15 minutes prior to that meal and do the same. your blood glucose wil return to normal much faster. although not scientific i think it holds water.

oh i just wanted to point out that i use this supp while dieting so keeping insulin low is key.

How can there be “literally” zero studies if no studies were written, that is, not literal? And how can you prove there is nothing of anything?

So it doesn’t help healthy people. Does it help sick people? Are there any studies to indicate that r-ALA helps diabetic or syndrome-X people?

Anyway, just because a supplement won’t make your muscles “hyooooj” doesn’t mean there is no use for it. I also take r-ALA to keep my insulin down, not to put on mass. Plus it supposedly does have anti-oxidant efects, this study not withstanding.

The guy’s a troll. He’s made posts to a different board with the exact same crap.