Archive for 'Anti Aging'

carnitine and L – carnitine

Posted on 23. Dec, 2011 by .


L-Carnitine, a sub-type of Carnitine
Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid which plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat. It functions as a transporter of fatty acids into the mitochondria, the metabolic furnace of the cell.Carnitine is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm
Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation. Given these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel
Usually, your body can make all the carnitine it needs. Some people, however, may not have enough carnitine because their bodies cannot make enough or can’ t transport it into tissues so it can be used. Some other conditions, such as angina or intermittent claudication, can also cause low levels of carnitine in the body, as can some medications.For genetic or medical reasons, some individuals (such as preterm infants), cannot make enough, so for them carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient
Carnitine has been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cells and tamper with DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Some of the conditions carnitine may help treat are serious. Serious diseases and conditions require conventional medical treatment, and you should talk to your health care provider before taking carnitine. For other conditions, such as fatigue or improving athletic performance, carnitine seems safe but may not help much.

L-carnitine was discovered in Russia, and one year later in Germany. The proper name, Carnitine, refers to the Latin origin, (carno, caris). Its structural formula was decoded in 1927, and its physiological significance was understood by the 1960’s. ( L-carnitine is synthesized in the liver and kidneys, from two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. This synthesis requires the presence of vitamins niacin, B6, and iron. Most (98%) of the carnitine supply resides in the body’s muscle tissue. Approximately 80% of the amino acids our bodies need is endogenously synthesized, the remaining 20% are referred to as the essential amino acids. The supply of such aminos, like l-carnitine, must be supplemented exogenously. L-carnitine is available in the following food sources: red meat, diary products, avocado, and tempeh. Although a well balanced diet can provide approximately 75% of what the body is lacking, often conditions arise that make it difficult to obtain all the carnitine one needs.
It has been established that an adequate supply of l-carnitine is necessary for the maintenance of good health. L-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be metabolized. L-carnitine aids in the release of stored body fat, tryglycerides, into the bloodstream for energy. Tryglycerides are the major source for the production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles. Access to l-carnitine is believed to increase energy levels for long-term aerobic activity. L-carnitine is also responsible for muscle contraction, regulation of protein balance and maintenance of a healthy heart. Research also suggests that an adequate supply of l-carnitine could be instrumental in the treatment of diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney and liver disease.Since its involvement in the process of burning fats is of most importance to those interested in endurance and body fitness, it is this topic that will be focused upon.


Carnitine boosts energy by stimulating the body’s burning of tryglycerides as fuel, and sparing the supply of glycogen stored in the liver for heavier exertion. During exercise, the body will burn fat at a rate of 75-80% of maximum exertion, thus less glycogen from carbohydrates is burned. L-carnitine allows the body to burn more fat, save more glycogen, and ultimately boost stamina and endurance. By providing more fat to the muscles, carnitine makes accessible an otherwise unavailable energy source


Is this the recipe for success? According to proponents of L-Carnitine, it is the essential amino acid in the optimum fat burning process. They believe that carnitine is to the human body, what a turbo mechanism is to a car: both provide optimal fuel and performance. Minus L-carnitine, fatty acids would have a difficult time permeating the walls of the mitochondria. Energy, stored in carbohydrates and fats, is required to work the muscle. Carbohydrates are converted from glucose to glycogen, to be stored in liver and muscle cells. Eventually, the body turns to fat storage for energy, and possibly, with more ease in the presence of L-carnitine. This is where L-carnitine as a supplement enters. During high energy output, the supply of L-carnitine becomes exhausted. Is it possible to compensate for this decrease solely through metabolic processes and diet? Or is an additional carnitine supplement needed for the extra boost? Judging from the variety of carnitine products now on the market, apparently many believe an additional outside source proves beneficial.

L-carnitine supplements are used to increase L-carnitine levels in people whose natural level of L-carnitine is too low because they have a genetic disorder, are taking certain drugs (valproic acid for seizures), or because they are undergoing a medical procedure (hemodialysis for kidney disease) that uses up the body’s L-carnitine. It is also used as a replacement supplement in strict vegetarians, dieters, and low-weight or premature infants.

L-carnitine is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including heart-related chest pain, congestive heart failure (CHF), heart complications of a disease called diphtheria, heart attack, leg pain caused by circulation problems (intermittent claudication), and high cholesterol.

Some people use L-carnitine for muscle disorders associated with certain AIDS medications, difficulty fathering a child (male infertility), a brain development disorder called Rett syndrome, anorexia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, overactive thyroid, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leg ulcers, Lyme disease, and to improve athletic performance and endurance.

The body can convert L-carnitine to other amino acids called acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine. But, no one knows whether the benefits of carnitines are interchangeable. Until more is known, don’t substitute one form of carnitine for another.

When can a carnitine deficiency occur?

Two types of carnitine deficiency states exist. Primary carnitine deficiency is a genetic disorder of the cellular carnitine-transporter system that usually manifests itself by five years of age with symptoms of cardiomyopathy, skeletal-muscle weakness, and hypoglycemia. Secondary carnitine deficiencies may occur due to certain disorders (such as chronic renal failure) or under particular conditions (e.g., use of certain antibiotics) that reduce carnitine absorption or increase its excretion . There is scientific agreement on carnitine’s value as a prescription product for treating such deficiencies .

What are some current issues and controversies about carnitine?

Carnitine has been studied extensively because it is important to energy production and is a well-tolerated and generally safe therapeutic agent . Researchers prefer to use acetyl-L-carnitine in research studies because it is better absorbed from the small intestine than L-carnitine and more efficiently crosses the blood-brain barrier (i.e., gets into brain tissue) .

Athletic performance

Some athletes take carnitine to improve performance. However, twenty years of research finds no consistent evidence that carnitine supplements can improve exercise or physical performance in healthy subjects—at doses ranging from 2-6 grams/day administered for 1 to 28 days. (The total body content of carnitine is about 20 grams in a man weighing 155 pounds, almost all of it in the skeletal muscle .) For example, carnitine supplements do not appear to increase the body’s use of oxygen or improve metabolic status when exercising, nor do they necessarily increase the amount of carnitine in muscle.


A decline in mitochondrial function is thought to contribute to the aging process. Carnitine may be involved because its concentration in tissues declines with age and thereby reduces the integrity of the mitochondrial membrane
. Research in aged rats found supplementation with high doses of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid (an antioxidant) to reduce mitochondrial decay
. The animals also moved about more and improved their performance on memory-requiring tasks. At present there are no equivalent studies of this kind in humans. However, a meta-analysis of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies suggests that supplements of acetyl-L-carnitine may improve mental function and reduce deterioration in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
. In these studies, subjects took 1.5-3.0 grams/day of acetyl-L-carnitine for 3-12 months.

Cardiovascular and peripheral-arterial disease
Several studies have examined supplemental carnitine in the management of cardiac ischemia (restriction of blood flow to the heart) and peripheral arterial disease (of which the most important symptom is poor circulation in the legs, known as intermittent claudication)
. Because levels of carnitine are low in the failing heart muscle, supplemental amounts might be beneficial to the organ by counteracting the toxic effects of free fatty acids and improving carbohydrate metabolism
. In short-term studies, carnitine has demonstrated anti-ischemic properties when given orally and by injection. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial in Italy with patients who had suffered a first heart attack found that supplemental carnitine (given intravenously for five days, then 6 grams/day orally for one year) reduced heart failure and overall mortality
. The results were not conclusive but promising enough to justify a larger study whose results have not yet been reported

Claudication results from an inadequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to the legs and leads to an accumulation of acetylcarnitine in muscle due to its incomplete utilization. Patients with peripheral arterial disease who develop claudication have significant impairments in exercise performance and find it difficult to walk even short distances at a slow speed
. Two published randomized, controlled trials raise the possibility that carnitine may improve the performance of skeletal muscles in the leg. In one European multicenter clinical trial, subjects with moderate to severe claudication who were supplemented with L-carnitine (in the form of propionyl-L-carnitine at 2 grams/day for 12 months) significantly improved their maximal walking distance and perceived quality of life as compared to subjects receiving the placebo [21]red for 6 months in patients with disabling claudication to significantly improve walking distance and speed, reduce bodily pain, enhance physical function, and improve perceived health state as compared to controls.


Fatigue resulting from chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and poor nutritional status is common in cancer patients
. They may also be deficient in carnitine
. In one study, treatment with carnitine supplements (4 grams/day for one week) ameliorated fatigue in most chemotherapy-treated subjects and restored normal blood levels of carnitine
. In another trial, terminal cancer patients supplemented with carnitine (doses ranged from 250 milligrams to 3 grams/day) experienced less fatigue and improved mood and quality of sleep
. In both studies, most subjects were carnitine deficient before taking the supplements.

Type 2 diabetes

Insulin resistance, which plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, may be associated with a defect in fatty-acid oxidation in muscle. This raises the question as to whether mitochondrial dysfunction might be a factor in the development of the disease. Increased storage of fat in lean tissues has become a marker for insulin resistance . Early research suggests that supplementation with L-carnitine intravenously may improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics by decreasing fat levels in muscle and may lower glucose levels in the blood by more promptly increasing its oxidation in cells. A recent analysis of two multicenter clinical trials of subjects with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes found that treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine (3 grams/day orally) for one year provided significant relief of nerve pain and improved vibration perception in those with diabetic neuropathy. The treatment was most effective in subjects with type 2 diabetes of short duration.


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes a decline in the number of lymphocytes (one type of white blood cell), resulting in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV-infected individuals often accumulate fat in some areas of the body and lose fat in others and develop high levels of blood fats (hyperlipidemia) and insulin resistance, which together constitute the lipodystrophy syndrome. This syndrome may represent mitochondrial toxicity brought about by the HIV infection and the antiretroviral drugs used to treat it, and can induce a carnitine deficiency that limits mitochondrial fat metabolism . The molecular mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood. Preliminary research provides conflicting findings but suggests that supplementation with carnitine both intravenously and orally (at doses of 2-6 grams/day for weeks or months) in HIV-infected individuals may slow the death of lymphocytes (which in turn may slow HIV progression), reduce neuropathy , and favorably affect blood lipid levels .

End-stage renal disease and hemodialysis

Carnitine homeostasis (balance within the body) among individuals with renal diseases can be substantially impaired by several factors, particularly reduced synthesis and increased elimination of the compound by the kidneys as well as reduced intake from food due to poor appetite and consumption of fewer animal products . Many patients with end-stage renal disease, particularly those on hemodialysis, become carnitine insufficient. Carnitine blood levels and muscle stores are low, which may contribute to anemia, muscle weakness, fatigue, altered levels of blood fats, and heart disorders. Numerous studies suggest that high doses of supplemental carnitine (often injected) in patients on maintenance hemodialysis can correct some or all of these symptoms, though most involve small numbers of patients and are not double-blinded trials. A recent meta-analysis of these studies concludes that carnitine supplements may aid anemia management but not blood-lipid profiles, and that their effects on exercise capacity or heart stability are inconclusive .

Male infertility

Low sperm counts have been linked to low carnitine levels in men. Several studies suggest that L-carnitine supplements may increase sperm count and mobility.

Erectile Dysfunction

Preliminary studies suggest propionyl-L-carnitine may help improve male sexual function. One study found that carnitine improved the effectiveness of sidenafil (Viagra) in men with diabetes who had not previously responded to Viagra. In another study, a combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine improved the effectiveness of Viagra in men who had erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. More studies are needed.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by a curvature of the penis that leads to pain during an erection. One promising study compared acetyl-L-carnitine to the medication tamoxifen in 48 men with this condition. Acetyl-L-carnitine worked better than tamoxifen at reducing pain during sex and reducing the curve of the penis. Acetyl-L-carnitine also had fewer side effects than tamoxifen. More research is needed.

The carnitine content of seminal fluid is directly related to sperm count and motility , suggesting that the compound might be of value in treating male infertility. Several studies indicate that carnitine supplementation (2-3 grams/day for 3-4 months) may improve sperm quality, and one randomized, double-blind crossover trial found that 2 grams/day of carnitine taken for 2 months by 100 infertile men increased the concentration and both total and forward motility of their sperm . The reported benefits may relate to increased mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation (providing more energy for sperm) and reduced cell death in the testes . However, a recent randomized controlled trial with 21 infertile men found that 3 grams/day of carnitine taken for 24 weeks produced no significant increases in sperm motility or total motile sperm counts as compared to placebo . Larger and more carefully designed studies are needed to evaluate carnitine’s potential value as an infertility therapy.

Are there health risks from too much carnitine?

At doses of approximately 3 grams/day, carnitine supplements may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and a “fishy” body odor . More rare side effects include muscle weakness in uremic patients and seizures in those with seizure disorders.

Carnitine and medication interaction

Carnitine interacts with pivalate-conjugated antibiotics such as pivampicillin that are used in the long-term prevention of urinary-tract infections . Chronic administration of these antibiotics increases the excretion of pivaloyl-carnitine, which can lead to carnitine depletion. However, while tissue carnitine levels may become low enough to limit fatty acid oxidation, no cases of illness due to deficiency have been described . Blood concentrations of carnitine may be reduced in children treated for convulsions with phenobarbital, valproic acid, phenytoin, or carbamazepine, but no clinical consequences have been shown .

Supplemental sources of carnitine

L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine are available over-the-counter as dietary supplements. Carnitine is often promoted as an aid for weight loss, to improve exercise performance, and to enhance a sense of well-being . It is also a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat primary and certain secondary carnitine-deficiency syndromes.

Carnitine intakes and healthful diets

Most people obtain sufficient carnitine because of the body’s natural production of the substance as well as from their diets. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that:

* emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
* includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts;
* is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars; and
* stays within your daily calorie needs.

Heart Conditions

* Angina — Some good evidence shows that carnitine can be used along with conventional treatment for stable angina. Several clinical trials show that L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine can help reduce symptoms of angina and improve the ability of people with angina to exercise without chest pain. Do not self-treat chest pain with carnitine, however. See your health care provider for diagnosis and conventional treatment, and take carnitine only under your health care provider’s supervision.
* Heart attack — A few studies have found that carnitine may help when used with conventional medicines after a heart attack, but not all studies agree. Some small studies suggest that people who take L-carnitine supplements soon after a heart attack may be less likely to have another heart attack, die of heart disease, have chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms, or develop heart failure. However, other studies have shown no benefit. Treatment with oral carnitine may also improve muscle weakness. Carnitine should be used along with conventional medication under your health care provider supervision.
* Heart failure — A few small studies have suggested that carnitine (usually propionyl-L-carnitine) can help reduce symptoms of heart failure and improve exercise capacity in people with heart failure. However, more and larger studies are needed to know for sure.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Decreased blood flow to the legs from atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries — where plaque builds up in the arteries — often causes an aching or cramping pain in the legs while walking or exercising. This pain is called intermittent claudication, and the reduced blood flow to the legs is called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Several studies show that carnitine can help reduce symptoms and increase the distance that people with intermittent claudication can walk. Most studies have used propionyl-L-carnitine. Scientists don’t know whether L-carnitine would work the same.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy happens when high blood sugar levels damage nerves in the body, especially the arms, legs, and feet, causing pain and numbness. Some small preliminary studies suggest acetyl-L-carnitine may help reduce pain and increase feeling in affected nerves. It is also possible that carnitine can help nerves regenerate. More research is needed.

Exercise Performance

Although carnitine is often taken to boost exercise performance, there is no evidence it works.

Weight Loss

Although L-carnitine has been marketed as a weight loss supplement, there is no scientific evidence to show that it works. Some studies do show that oral carnitine reduces fat mass, increases muscle mass, and reduces fatigue, which may contribute to weight loss in some people.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Impairment

The evidence is mixed as to whether carnitine is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Several early studies showed that acetyl-L-carnitine, might help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, relieve depression related to senility and other forms of dementia, and improve memory in the elderly. But larger and better-designed studies found it didn’ t help at all. People should take carnitine for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia only under the supervision of their health care provider.

Kidney Disease and Dialysis

Because the kidneys make carnitine, kidney disease could lead to low levels of carnitine in the body. If you have kidney disease, your health care provider may prescribe carnitine — but you shouldn’ t take it without medical supervision.


Some research suggests that L-carnitine may help prevent or reduce symptoms of an overactive thyroid, such as insomnia, nervousness, heart palpitations, and tremors. In fact, in one study, a small group of people with hyperthyroidism saw these symptoms improve, and their body temperature become normal, when taking carnitine. But a larger, better-designed clinical trial is needed to see if carnitine really works. In addition, researchers think carnitine may work by blocking the action of thyroid hormone, which could be dangerous for people with low thyroid levels. Don’ t take carnitine for hyperthyroidism without your doctor’ s supervision.

Dietary Sources:

Red meat (particularly lamb) and dairy products are the main food sources of carnitine. It can also be found in fish, poultry, tempeh, wheat, asparagus, avocados, and peanut butter.
Available Forms:

Carnitine is available as a supplement in a variety of forms.

* L-carnitine: the most widely available and least expensive
* Acetyl-L-carnitine: Often used in studies for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders
* Propionyl-L-carnitine: Often used in studies for heart disease and peripheral vascular disease

Avoid D-carnitine supplements. They interfere with the natural form of L-carnitine and may produce unwanted side effects.

In some cases, L-carnitine may be taken by prescription or given intravenously by a health care provider.
How to Take It:


Don’ t give carnitine supplements to a child without your child’s health care provider’s supervision. Your child’s health care provider should first make sure that the child has a carnitine deficiency.


Recommended doses of L-carnitine vary depending on the health condition being treated. The usual dose is between 1 – 3 g per day.

Because supplements may have side effects or interact with medications, you should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Side effects are generally mild. High doses (5 or more grams per day) may cause diarrhea. Other rare side effects include increased appetite, body odor, and rash.

People with the following conditions should talk to their health care provider before taking carnitine:

* Peripheral vascular disease
* High blood pressure
* Liver disease from alcoholism (cirrhosis)
* Diabetes
* Kidney disease
* History of seizures

Possible Interactions:

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use carnitine without first talking to your health care provider.

AZT — In a laboratory study, L-carnitine supplements protected muscle tissue against toxic side effects from AZT, a medication used to treat HIV and AIDS. More studies are needed to know whether L-carnitine would have the same effect in people.

Doxorubicin — Treatment with L-carnitine may protect heart cells against the toxic side effects of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy medication used to treat cancer, without making the medication any less effective. Always talk to your oncologist before using any complementary or alternative therapy with chemotherapy.

Isotretinoin (Accutane) — Accutane, a strong medication used for severe acne, can cause liver problems, as measured by a blood test, as well as high cholesterol and muscle pain and weakness. These symptoms are like those seen with carnitine deficiency. Researchers in Greece showed that a large group of people who had side effects from Accutane got better when taking L-carnitine compared to those who took a placebo.

Thyroid hormone — Carnitine may stop thyroid hormone from getting into cells, and theoretically may make thyroid hormone replacement less effective. If you take thyroid replacement hormone, talk to your health care provider before taking carnitine.

Valproic acid (Depakote) — The anti-seizure medication valproic acid may lower blood levels of carnitine. Taking L-carnitine supplements may prevent any deficiency and may also reduce the side effects of valproic acid. However, taking carnitine may increase the risk of seizures in people with a history of seizures.
Alternative Names:

Acetyl-l-carnitine; L-carnitine

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(Alpha lipoic acid–ALA)กรดแอลฟาไลโปอิค

Posted on 22. Dec, 2011 by .


กรดแอลฟาไลโปอิค (Alpha lipoic acid–ALA) เรียกสั้นๆว่ากรดไลโปอิก หรือกรดไทออกติก (Thioctic acid), เมต้าวิตามิน (meta vitamin) เป็นกรดไขมัน ต้านอนุมูลอิสระ ที่ร่างกายสร้างได้เองตามธรรมชาติ แต่เมื่ออายุมากขึ้นหรือภาวะอ่อนแอ ทำให้การสร้างลดลง

ALA พบในสิ่งมีชีวิตทุกชนิด มีปริมาณเล็กน้อย สามารถกำจัดอนุมูลอิสระได้สูง และช่วยซ่อมสร้างวิตามินซี และอี ตลอดจนโปรตีนที่ถูกอ็อกซิไดส์ได้ด้วย

มีคุณสมบัติพิเศษคือ ละลายได้ทั้งในน้ำ และน้ำมัน จึงสามารถดูดซึม แทรกซึมเข้าสู่เซลล์ทั่วร่างกาย ตลอดจนผ่านแนวกั้นในสมอง (blood brain barrier) ได้ดี ทำให้ร่างกายนำไปใช้ประโยชน์ได้เต็มที่


พบ ALA ได้ในมันฝรั่ง เนื้อแดง เครื่องใน ยีสต์ ผักโขม บล็อกโคลี่ ผักปวยเล้ง และอาหารประเภทเนื้อวัวไม่ติดมันหรืออวัยวะต่าง ๆ เช่น ตับ, หัวใจ และไต แต่อาจไม่เพียงพอเพื่อผลการรักษา บางคนจึงต้องใช้เสริมจากภายนอกในการบำบัดโรคต่างๆ


1 กรดอัลฟาไลโปอิก เป็นสารอาหารประเภทหนึ่ง ที่มีลักษณะคล้ายวิตามิน โดยทำหน้าที่เป็น Coenzyme ในขบวนการเผาผลาญน้ำตาล และสารอาหารอื่น ๆ ให้เป็นพลังงาน โดยปกติ ร่างกายเราสามารถสังเคราะห์ กรดอัลฟาไลโปอิคได้เองอยู่แล้ว ในปริมาณคงที่ ซึ่งร่างกายเราผลิตได้ในจำนวนที่เพียงพอ ต่อการช่วย ไมโตคอนเดรีย (mitochondria) เปลี่ยนกลูโคสไปเป็นพลังงานเท่านั้น ไม่ได้ผลิตให้เหลือพอ ที่จะใช้ต่อต้านความเสื่อมชราของเซลล์ หรือเพิ่มภูมิคุ้มกันโรคให้กับร่างกาย

2 ALA มีขนาดโมเลกุลและภาวะแขนคู่ ที่เคลื่อนตัวได้คล่อง และพร้อมให้อิเลคตรอนได้ง่าย ทำให้ละลายได้ทั้งในน้ำและน้ำมัน มีประสิทธิภาพในการต้านอนุมูลอิสระสูง อีกทั้งช่วยส่งเสริม หรือซ่อมสารต้านอนุมูลอิสระตัวอื่น เช่น วิตามินซี วิตามินอี กูลตาไธโอน โคคิวเทน ให้กลับมาใช้งานซ้ำได้ หรือเป็นสารทดแทนกรณีสารต้านอนุมูลอิสระใดขาดแคลนไป มีบทบาทได้ทั้งภายในเซลล์ และที่เยื่อหุ้มเซลล์ ALA เป็นสารต้านออกซิเดชั่นที่ทรงพลัง ในการต่อสู้กับอนุมูลอิสระ ที่ปรากฏอยู่ใน ไมโตคอนเดรีย (mitochondria) ภายในเซลล์ นักวิทยาศาสตร์บางคนเชื่อว่า อนุมูลอิสระภายใน ไมโตคอนเดรีย (mitochondria) มีบทบาทสำคัญในการทำให้คนแก่ตัวลง จึงตั้งทฤษฎีว่า ถ้าให้สารยับยั้งออกซิเดชั่น อย่างกรดไลโปอิค ก็น่าชะลอความแก่ได้ กรด ไลโปอิคยังช่วยรีไซเคิลวิตามินอี และ วิตามิน ซี ให้กลับเป็นรูปเดิม หลังจากวิตามินอี และ วิตามินซี ไปล้างพิษอนุมูลอิสระเรียบร้อยแล้ว

3 ALA ทำงานส่งเสริมอินซูลิน ในการช่วยกวาดเก็บ นำมาใช้ และเก็บกักน้ำตาลในเลือด มีการศึกษาที่แสดงว่า oxidative stress มีผลในการเกิดอาการดื้อต่ออินซูลิน ที่เซลล์กล้ามเนื้อ แต่เมื่อเซลล์ได้รับ ALA จะได้รับการปกป้องจากอนุมูลอิสระได้ ALA ช่วยให้ผู้ป่วยเบาหวานตอบสนองต่ออินซูลิน เพิ่มประสิทธิภาพของอินซูลิน ต่อน้ำตาลในเลือด ทำให้ใช้บำบัดผู้ป่วยที่เป็นเบาหวาน

4 Diabetic neuropathy ประสาทถูกทำลายเนื่องจากเบาหวาน จากน้ำตาลในเลือดสูง หรือ oxidation ต่อเส้นประสาทนั้น วิตามิน B12 ช่วยไม่ได้มาก แต่ALA ใช้ได้ผลดีจากการที่ ALA มีส่วนร่วมในเมตาโบลิซึมของพลังงาน ช่วยการไหลเวียนเลือดตามหลอดเล็กๆ (เช่น เส้นที่ไปเลี้ยงเส้นประสาท) ดีขึ้น แล้วยังช่วยให้การใช้น้ำตาลในเลือดดีขึ้นด้วย ซึ่งคุณสมบัติเหล่านี้ นอกจาก ALA แล้ว ก็ยังมีวิตามินอี และ Capsaicin ที่ได้จากพริก

5 ต่อต้านการอักเสบอันเป็นเหตุให้เกิดสิว ช่วยรักษาการอักเสบไม่ให้สิวนั้นอักเสบลุกลามมากไป ALA มีฤทธิ์ทำความสะอาดและทำให้ผิวบริสุทธิ์ โดยการกำจัดของเสียออกจากร่างกาย ดังนั้นจึงสามารถป้องกันการเกิดสิว และยังช่วยเพิ่มประสิทธิภาพในการไหลเวียนของเลือดไปยังประสาท ดังนั้นผิวก็จะได้รับสารอาหารที่จำเป็นในการบำรุง ช่วยให้ผิวพรรณดูสดใสขึ้น กรดอัลฟ่าไลโปอิคช่วยต้านการอักเสบระดับปานกลาง เนื่องจากมีปริมาณของ Sulfur เป็น องค์ประกอบด้วย จึงช่วยลดการบวมและอาการผิวแดงจากสิว กรดอัลฟ่าไลโปอิคนั้นถือเป็นสารต้านอนุมูลอิสระที่ดีมากตัวหนึ่ง เนื่องจากสามารถละลายได้ทั้งในน้ำและน้ำมัน ด้วยเหตุนี้ร่างกายจึงสามารถดูดซึมได้ง่ายและสามารถเลี้ยงไปทั่วร่างกาย

ุ6 ALA ใช้รักษาอาการปวดและชาตามนิ้วมือนิ้วเท้า จากระบบประสาทถูกทำลาย ซึ่งอาจเกิดจากอนุมูลอิสระทำลายเซลล์ประสาท เมื่อระดับน้ำตาลในเลือดสูงผิดปกติ เกิดการเติมออกซิเจน (oxygenation) รวมทั้งอาการประสาทเสื่อมจากเบาหวาน ต้านการอักเสบ

7 ALA มีความสามารถจับตัวกับโลหะหนักที่เป็นพิษต่อร่างกาย เช่น ตะกั่ว แคดเมียม สารหนู ปรอท แล้วขับออกจากร่างกาย (Chelation) อีกทั้งคุณสมบัติที่ซึมผ่านแนวกั้นสมองได้ทำให้เชื่อว่าน่าจะมีบทบาทเข้าไป ช่วยนำโลหะหนักออกมาขับทิ้ง ผ่านตับ หรือไตได้

8 คุณสมบัติที่เพิ่มระดับกลูตาไธโอนในตับ ช่วยให้ตับขับล้างสารพิษตกค้าง ได้อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ อีกทั้งช่วยบำรุงตับให้แข็งแรง

9 ALA ทำงานร่วมกับเอนไซม์ในร่างกาย เพื่อเร่งกระบวนการสร้างพลังงาน และจัดเป็นสารต้านอนุมูลอิสระฤทธิ์แรง ช่วยให้อนุภาคที่ไม่เสถียร และเป็นผลร้ายต่อร่างกาย มีสภาพเป็นกลาง ช่วยควบคุมระดับของธาตุเหล็ก และทองแดงซึ่งเป็นแร่ธาตุจำเป็นของร่างกายให้อยู่ในระดับที่พอดี

10 ALA ช่วยปกป้องตับมิให้ถูกอนุมูลอิสระทำลาย ช่วยกำจัดสารพิษออกจากร่างกาย มีการใช้สารนี้รักษาตับอักเสบ ตับแข็ง และโรคตับอื่นๆ รวมทั้งสารพิษตะกั่ว หรือโลหะหนักอื่นๆ และสารเคมีจาก อุตสาหกรรม เช่น carbon tetrachloride

11 ในสัตว์ทดลองยังพบประโยชน์ของ ALA ช่วยยับยั้งต้อกระจก เพิ่มความจำ และปกป้องเซลล์สมองจากการขาดเลือด
มีบางข้อมูลชี้ว่า ALA ยับยั้งการเพิ่มจำนวนของไวรัสจากคุณสมบัติต้านอนุมูลอิสระ เสริมภูมิคุ้มกัน และการทำงานของตับ ช่วยชะลอการเกิดหลอดเลือดแข็งตัว ซึ่งมักพบในผู้ป่วยเบาหวาน

12 การศึกษาผลของ ALA ในอัลไซเมอร์ และพาร์คินสัน บ่งชี้ว่า ALA น่าจะมีประโยชน์

13 ตลอดจนใช้คุณสมบัติต้านอนุมูลอิสระ ช่วยเรื่องอ่อนเพลียเรื้อรัง สะเก็ดเงิน ซึ่งรุนแรงจากอนุมูลอิสระ

14 พบว่า ALA ช่วยป้องกันการกระตุ้นอองโคยีน (oncogene) ซึ่งเป็นยีนควบคุมการเกิดมะเร็ง จากอนุมูลอิสระ และสารก่อมะเร็ง

15 อาการปวดแสบร้อนในปาก เหมือนกินพริก เข้าใจว่าอารมณ์แปรปรวนในวัยทอง การลดลงของฮอร์โมน หรือมีโรคของระบบประสาท หนึ่งในสามเกิดหลังทำฟัน การติดเชื้อยีสต์ (candida albicans) การขาดวิตามินบีต่างๆ และสังกะสี พบว่าการให้ ALA ชนิดออกฤทธิ์ช้าๆ ช่วยลดอาการได้ เข้าใจว่า ALA ไปทำลายอนุมูลอิสระที่กดดันประสาท และเพิ่มความเร็วของสัญญาณประสาท ALA เคยใช้กับการเจ็บปวดร้าวของประสาทไซอาติก (sciatic pain) ได้ผล จึงนำมาใช้กับอาการแสบร้อนในปาก
มีการทดลองให้ ALA เทียบกับยาหลอก พบว่า 97% มีอาการดีขึ้น, 74% ดีขึ้นอย่างเห็นได้ชัด, 13% หายขาด, 10% ดีขึ้นเพียงเล็กน้อย ในขณะที่กลุ่มยาหลอกมีอาการดีขึ้นเพียงเล็กน้อย 40% การติดตามผล 1 ปีให้หลัง พบว่ากลุ่มที่ได้ ALA 3 ใน 4 มีอาการดีขึ้นในระดับที่ดี ส่วนกลุ่มยาหลอกกลับมีอาการแย่ลง

16 มีงานวิจัยเกี่ยวกับการใช้ ALA เพิื่อการลดน้ำหนัก โดย ALA มีผลกับเอนไซม์ APK (activated protein kinase enzyme) ซึ่งพบในสมองส่วนไฮโปทาลามัส น่าจะมีหน้าที่สำคัญต่อความอยากอาหาร APK เพิ่มขึ้นเมื่อ เซลล์ต้องการพลังงานมากขึ้น ซึ่งอาจไปเพิ่มความอยากอาหาร

คนอ้วนส่วนมากไม่ตอบสนองต่อ Leptin ซึ่งนำมาใช้เป็นฮอร์โมนต่อต้านความอ้วน แต่ ALA พอที่จะให้ความหวังได้ โดยสัตว์ทดลองมีอัตราเผาผลาญสูงขึ้นด้วย กลูโคสและไขมันถูกเผาผลาญมากขึ้น

ในกรณีเบาหวาน ที่ดื้ออินซูลิน ย่อมดีขึ้น โดยลดการสะสมของไขมันที่กล้ามเนื้อ และเซลล์ไขมัน

ที่ไมโตคอนเดรีย เป็นตำแหน่งที่ ALA ทำงานในฐานะปัจจัยร่วม(Co factor)ในการย่อยกลูโคสและไขมัน

ALA เป็นตัวช่วยวิตามินทุกชนิด เช่น ไทอะมีน ไรโบฟลาวิน กรดแพนโธทีนิค และไนอาซิน ในการเปลี่ยนคาร์โบฮัยเดรท โปรตีน และไขมันจากอาหารให้กลายเป็นพลังงาน

ALA เป็นปัจจัยสำคัญใน internal cellular burn หรือการเผาผลาญภายในไมโตคอนเดรีย จึงช่วยเพิ่มอัตราเผาผลาญของเซลล์ เพิ่มพลังงาน และความสามารถในการซ่อมแซมของเซลล์

17 โรคประสาทที่ไม่ได้มาจากเบาหวาน ALA ก็น่าจะมีบทบาทจากการเป็นสารต้านอนุมูลอิสระตัวยง อีกทั้งไปเพิ่มระดับกลูตาไธโอนภายในเซลล์ ทำให้ช่วยซ่อมเซลล์ประสาทที่ถูกทำลายเสียหายให้ฟื้นกลับมาใหม่

การไม่เป็นพิษของ ALA จึงน่าจะผสมผสานเข้าไปเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของโปรแกรมโภชนาการ ร่วมกับวิตามินบีรวม แมกนีเซียม และกรดไขมันจำเป็น

ยังแนะนำให้ใช้ ALA ในโรค multiple sclerosis อาการพิษจากโลหะหนัก, ต้อกระจก และต้อหิน โรคตับจากพิษสุรา


ALA มักเป็นแคปซูล ขนาด 100 – 200 มก. แต่ขนาดที่ควรใช้คือ 600 – 800 มก. มีการศึกษาระบุว่าควรทาน 1800 มก.x 3 สำหรับกรณีที่รุนแรง
การใช้ปริมาณเล็กน้อย วันละ 20 – 150 มก. มักไม่มีผลข้างเคียงใดๆ

ขนาดที่ใช้แก้ปัญหาคือ 100 – 200 มก. X 3 ครั้ง / วัน ควรค่อยๆ เพิ่มจากน้อยไปหามาก การใช้ปริมาณมากในทันที อาจทำให้น้ำตาลในเลือดต่ำ เกิดอาการหน้ามืด เวียนศีรษะ ท้องไส้ปั่นป่วน หรือเกิดผื่นแดงตามผิวหนังได้บ้าง หากมีอาการก็ให้ลดขนาดหรือหยุดใช้ได้ แต่ก็น่าจะแสดงว่าร่างกายสนองต่อผลการรักษา

แพทย์ผู้รักษาที่เชี่ยวชาญอาจใช้ขนาดสูงได้ถึงวันละ 1800 มก.

ข้อพึงระวัง ยังไม่เคยมีการทดสอบในหญิงตั้งครรภ์หรือกำลังให้นมบุตร การใช้ปริมาณสูงจึงควรระวัง

อาจเสริมฤทธิ์ของกรด แกมมา–ไลโนเลนิค (GLA) และ / หรือ acetyl–L–carnitine ให้ผลดีมากยิ่งขึ้น ลดน้ำตาลในเลือดมากขึ้น ทำให้อาจต้องลดขนาดยาที่ใช้

อาจออกฤทธิ์ร่วมกับ T4 ไปชะลอการเปลี่ยนเป็น T3 จึงควรทานห่างกันหลายชั่วโมง

thank you and reference

1. รีดเดอร์สไดเจสท์ คู่มือฉลาดใช้วิตามินแร่ธาตุ และสมุนไพร ISBN 974-93003-51
3. วารสารอาหาร + สุขภาพ แปลโดย พอ.หญิงศรีนวล เจียจันทร์พงษ์ และคณะ ฉ.97/2545 115/2548, 127/2550
4. นิตยสารใกล้หมอ ก.พ. 2546
5 กินอยู่เพื่อสุขภาพ เล่ม 2
6 คัมภีร์สุขภาพ โดย อ.พนิดา

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Alpha Lipoic Acid

Posted on 07. Jun, 2011 by .


Alpha lipoic acid (also known as lipoic acid, thioctic acid, or ALA) is a fatty acid found naturally inside every cell in the body. It’s needed by the body to produce the energy for our body’s normal functions. Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose (blood sugar) into energy.

Alpha lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, a substance that neutralizes potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals. Alpha-lipoic acid has been called a “universal antioxidant” because it is both water- and fat-soluble, and thus can penetrate tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, as well as those made mainly of water, unlike the more common antioxidants vitamins C and E, and it appears to be able to recycle antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione after they have been used up. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that helps the body eliminate potentially harmful substances. Alpha lipoic acid increases the formation of glutathione.Many studies have been conducted confirming the health benefits of alpha-lipoic acid, including recent findings that ALA offers neuroprotective and possibly cognitive enhancing effects.

In the cells of the body, alpha-lipoic acid is converted into dihydrolipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid is not the same as alpha linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that may help heart health (See also: Alpha linolenic acid. Confusion can arise because both are sometimes abbreviated ALA.

Besides taking ALA for its general benefits as an antioxidant, studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid can help with the following conditions:

• Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
• Coronary Heart Disease
• Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol
• Peripheral Neuropathy (caused by diabetes and other conditions, such as Lyme
disease, alcoholism, shingles, thyroid disease and kidney failure)
• Diabetes (improving glucose metabolism and helping diabetics utilize insulin better)
• Liver Disease
• Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer (increasing long-term survival)
• Impaired Brain Function (as a treatment for stroke and other brain disorders
involving free radical damage, including Alzheimer’s disease)
• Effects of Aging (improving blood flow and enhancing immune function, restoring
levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound)
• Degenerative Diseases (ALA is a strong anti-inflammatory agent)
• Glaucoma and Cataracts

Hypertension (Elevated Blood Pressure); Coronary Heart Disease or Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol): If you have hypertension or a build-up of plaque in your arteries from elevated cholesterol, you may benefit from alpha lipoic acid. The Boston University School of Medicine found that a combination of lipoic acid with another nutrient – acetyl-L-carnitine -helps lower blood pressure by increasing the width of arteries that had been constricted due to the build-up of plaque. Lipoic acid also improves the function of the mitochondria-a crucial part of the cell–involved in proper coronary vascular function.

Peripheral Neuropathy

: If you suffer from burning, pain, numbness or itching in your legs and feet caused by peripheral neuropathy, alpha lipoic acid may ease your symptoms. This condition can be caused by diabetes and other conditions, such as Lyme disease, alcoholism, shingles, thyroid disease and kidney failure. Certain injuries can also cause the above symptoms, as well as nutritional deficiencies and chemotherapy.

In 2003, researchers at the Mayo Clinic discovered that patients with diabetic neuropathy who received high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic acid had a threefold improvement in pain, numbness and other symptoms, compared with those treated with a placebo. Lipoic acid also seemed to increase blood flow and oxygen to the nerves, actually improving their condition. Used in Europe for over 30 years in treating diabetes, lipoic acid may also help cells better metabolize glucose. Many more studies are now being conducted in the U.S. and around the world to determine the role of ALA in helping diabetics utilize insulin.

Liver Disease

: Alpha lipoic acid was first used in the 1970s as a treatment for various forms of hepatitis by Burton M. Berkson, MD, MS, PhD, from the National Institutes of Health. The researchers administered alpha lipoic intravenously to 79 people with acute and severe liver damage at medical centers across the United States, and 75 recovered full liver function. In 2006, Dr. Berkson also reported using lipoic acid to increase the long-term survival of a patient suffering from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Before 1977, if you suffered from severe liver disease – often caused by ingesting a toxin (mushroom poisoning, for example) – your only hope for recovery was a liver transplant. But in 1977, Dr. Berkson administered alpha lipoic acid intravenously to a patient dying from liver disease. The patient surprised doctors and not only recovered, but was free of liver disease 30 years later.

Brain Function and Stroke

Able to pass easily through the brain, alpha lipoic acid helps protect the brain and nerve tissue. It is currently being investigated as a treatment for stroke and other brain disorders involving free radical damage, including Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary research shows that animals treated with lipoic acid suffered less brain damage and had four-times greater survival rate after a stroke than animals who didn’t receive this supplement. More research is needed to understand whether this benefit applies to people as well.

Anti-Aging Compound:

In May, 2007, Science Daily reported that alpha lipoic acid seemed to slow down the process of aging in animals by improving blood flow and enhancing immune function, as well as positively affecting several other factors involved in aging. Research findings were presented at Oregon State University (OSU) in a conference on Diet and Optimum Health. “The evidence suggests that lipoic acid is actually a low-level stressor that turns on the basic cellular defenses of the body, including some of those that naturally decline with age,” said Tory Hagen, an LPI researcher and associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at OSU. “In particular, it tends to restore levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound, to those of a young animal. It also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, which is relevant to many degenerative diseases.”

Eye Benefits

Free radicals are a major cause of cataract formation, according to Marc Grossman, O.D. Because high glucose levels also increase cataract formation, diabetics have three to four times the risk of developing cataracts over people without diabetes, Grossman states. Alpha-lipoic acid may help lower glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. A Russian study published in the October-December 1995 issue of “Vestnik Oftamologii” reported that 45 percent to 47 percent of people in groups treated with lipoic acid showed improvement. Researchers attributed the improvement to antioxidant properties of LA and its influence on ocular metabolism


Alpha-lipoic acid is eliminated rapidly from cells, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, so its benefits may not be sustained. Since LA may lower glucose levels, people with diabetes who take anti-diabetic drugs could experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, when taking LA. Allergic reactions such as rash, hives and itching may also occur when taking supplements. Do not take LA without discussing its use with your doctor. Safe use in pregnancy has not been established.

Some of the leading causes of blindness, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, are associated with cellular damage from free radicals, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reported in the September 2010 issue of “Ophthalmic Research.” For diabetics, reducing blood glucose levels helps prevent diabetic retinopathy, another leading cause of blindness. Supplemental LA may not only reduce damage to DNA in cells from free radicals, but may also improve blood glucose levels.


Alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels, and its ability to kill free radicals may help reduce pain, burning, itching, tingling, and numbness in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes (called peripheral neuropathy). Alpha-lipoic acid has been used for years for this purpose in Europe, and at least one study found that intravenous (IV) doses of alpha-lipoic acid helped reduce symptoms. However, the evidence indicating that taking alpha-lipoic acid orally will help is weaker. Most studies have been small and poorly designed. One 2006 study did show benefit from taking alpha-lipoic acid for diabetic neuropathy compared to placebo.

Taking alpha-lipoic acid does appear to help another diabetes-related condition called autonomic neuropathy, which affects the nerves supplying the heart. One study found that 73 people with autonomic neuropathy improved when taking 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid orally compared to placebo.


Some preliminary studies suggest alpha-lipoic acid may be helpful in treating glaucoma, but there is not enough evidence to say for sure whether it is beneficial. In test tubes, alpha-lipoic acid appears to inhibit growth of the HIV virus, but it isn’t known whether the supplement would have the same effect in people.
Dietary Sources:

A healthy body makes enough alpha-lipoic acid. It is also found in red meat, organ meats (such as liver), and yeast (particularly Brewer’s yeast).
Available Forms:

Alpha-lipoic acid supplements are available as capsules. It may also be given by injection under the supervision of a health care provider.
How to Take It:


Because alpha-lipoic acid has not been studied for pediatric use, do not give it to children.


Alpha-lipoic acid can be purchased in doses of 30 – 100 mg tablets. There are no established recommended doses.

* General antioxidant support: 20 – 50 mg per day
* Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy: 800 mg per day in divided doses


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a health care provider.

No evidence suggests whether or not alpha-lipoic acid is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so such women should not take alpha-lipoic acid.

Foods High in Alpha Lipoic Acid

  • Some foods that are good sources of alpha lipoic acid include broccoli, beef, spinach, yeast, and various organic meats, like heart and kidney.

Side effects are generally rare and may include skin rash.

Alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes or hypoglycemia should take alpha-lipoic acid only under the supervision of their doctor. (See “Interactions” section.)

Results of animal studies suggest that people who are deficient in thiamine (vitamin B1), a condition often associated with alcoholism, should not take alpha-lipoic acid.
Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use alpha-lipoic acid without first talking to your health care provider.

Insulin and drugs that lower blood sugar — Apha-lipoic acid can combine with these drugs to further reduce blood sugar levels, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Tell your doctor before taking alpha-lipoic acid and monitor your blood sugar levels closely; your doctor may need to adjust your medication doses.

Thyroid-regulating medications, Levothyroxine — Apha-lipoic acid may lower levels of thyroid hormone. Blood hormone levels and thyroid function tests should be monitored closely in people taking thyroid hormones who are also taking alpha-lipoic acid.
Alternative Names:

Dihydrolipoic acid; Lipoic acid; Lipolate; Thiotic acid

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Posted on 17. Jan, 2011 by .


Lutein is an antioxidant, which belongs to the carotenoid family. Lutein is a yellow coloured pigment. Although lutein is not categorized as a vitamin, dietary lutein is believed to be an essential nutrient for normal vision. a group of naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments found in plants. Lutein is the principal carotenoid present in the macula. The macula is responsible for supporting the health of the eye’s photoreceptor cell layer, which is why carotenoid levels are so important.

Lutein is concentrated in the retinas of your eyes and is necessary for good vision. A diet rich in lutein may lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Lutein may also help prevent or slow down atherosclerosis, the thickening of arteries, which is a major risk for cardiovascular disease

Lutein is found in egg yolk and many plants and vegetables, including red peppers, mustard, broccoli, zucchini, corn, garden peas, spinach, leek, collard greens and kale. Carrots, squash and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are sources of lutein. Green leafy vegetables, also contain high amounts of luteinLutein is responsible for the colouring of many fruits and vegetables.

Health Benefits of Lutein
Lutein is an antioxidant which is believed to be an essential nutrient for normal vision. The protective role of lutein against eye damage is well document. Studies have also indicated that lutein improves heart health, protects our skin against UV damage, reduces diabetes induced oxidative stress, and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Eye protection
The central part of the retina, called the macula,[At the back of the eye the macula is a tiny area about 5 mm in diameter, with the fovea at its centre. There are no blood vessels, but lots of cells full of photosensitive pigments that allow us to see detail in the centre of vision. As we get older, the cells with retinal pigment become less efficient, the membrane degenerates, some cells atrophy, waste products build up, and central vision is gradually lost. ] contains macular pigments in which lutein is concentrated. The yellow coloured pigments protect the retina from damage of the photo-oxidative affect of high-energy light. Lutein offers eye protection by lowering the risk of age related vision loss, which causes gradual loss of central vision. Age related vision loss or age related macular degeneration is caused by steady damage of the retina.

Lutein Research – Blinded Study with Visible Results
Lutein has been shown to be beneficial to long term visual health. Seventeen participants were randomized in a double-blind study involving dietary supplementation with Lutein (15 mg), alpha-tocopherol (100 mg), or placebo, three times a week for up to two years.1 Visual performance, acuity and glare sensitivity were measured as parameters of vision health. In all parameters measured, subjects that consumed the Lutein had significant improvements in vision health when compared to the other groups.

In another recent placebo-controlled study, Lutein resulted in a significant improvement in eye pigment and optical density when compared to the placebo.2 The Lutein groups also significantly improved their visual acuity when compared to placebo

Heart health
Lutein can also reduce the risk for artery diseases. Studies have shown that persons with the highest lutein intake showed the lowest artery wall thickening. Lutein also reduces the oxidation of LDL cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of artery clogging.

Skin protection
Lutein can also reduce the risk of skin cancer and sunburn. Under influence of sunlight, free radicals are formed inside the skin. These free radicals can damage the DNA of cells. Lutein can protect against the damaging effects of UV-B radiation.

Note: Many lutein supplements that claim to have 6 mg of lutein per capsule may use an herbal extract that has 5% lutein. For instance, common supplements of lutein 6 mg are derived from 120mg of 5% marigold extract. Our lutein supplement comes from a marigold extract that is more than 94 percent lutein, not 5 %.

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Posted on 16. Jan, 2011 by .


Rutin is a bioflavonoid which means that it is part of a class of water soluble compounds Pure rutin is yellow or yellow-green colored needle-shaped crystal. Rutin is a flavonol glycoside comprised of the quercetin and the disaccharide rutinose (rhamnose and glucose).Bioflavonoids are found in the rind of green citrus fruits and in rose hips and black currants.

Quercetin is a flavonoid with a wide range of biological activities. It mainly occurs in plants as glycosides, such as rutin (quercetin rutinoside) in tea. Quercetin and rutin are used in many countries as medications for blood vessel protection and are ingredients
of numerous multivitamin preparations and herbal remedies. Rutin is also called rutoside.

Rutin, along with the other flavonoids, are sometimes called “vitamin P”. This used to be a common term for these compounds because they seemed to mimic the beneficial aspects of vitamins; however, they are not actually vitamins

Food Sources
Rutin is found in buckwheat seed, fruits and fruit rinds, especially citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime) and berries such as mulberry.

Rutin inhibits platelet aggregation, making the blood thinner and improve circulation.
Has anti-inflammatory activity.
Rutin inhibits aldose reductase activity. Aldose reductase is an enzyme normally present in the eye and elsewhere in the body. It helps change glucose (sugar – glucose) into a sugar alcohol called sorbitol. Too much sorbitol trapped in eye and nerve cells can damage these cells, leading to retinopathy and neuropathy. Substances that prevent or slow the action of aldose reductase are being studied as a way to prevent or delay these complications of diabetes. Aldose reductase is the first enzyme in the sorbitol pathway. This pathway is responsible for the conversion of glucose to sorbitol, and of galactose to galactitol. Under conditions of hyperglycemia, sorbitol accumulation occurs. Aldose reductase inhibitors prevent the accumulation of intracellular sorbitol. Whether rutin can help reduce the rate of glaucoma is not clear.

Through the years, the benefits of rutin has increased in number as more and more uses of this bioflavonoid are discovered. Rutin has been seen to be
effective in treating hemorrhoids and is actually used widely for this purpose. It is also seen to be effective in treating poor blood circulation, varicose veins and skin bruising. In addition, rutin helps your body properly utilize vitamin C and maintain skin collagen, both of which are important for healthy skin. It also strengthens your capillaries and counters high blood pressure and vein insufficiency. You can also use rutin as an anti-inflammatory treatment and for managing venous edema. On top of these, rutin reportedly has antioxidant properties that protect your body from free radicals which are harmful to your healthy cells. Consequently, as an anti-oxidant, rutin helps fight against strokes, arteriosclerosis, senility and slows down the aging process. It also has possible anti-carcinogenic properties.

Rutin has been evaluated in the following conditions:
Inflammatory bowel disease, see natural ways to treat this medical condition
Rutin has been tested as a treatment for varicose veins
In tardive dyskenisia as a result of antipsychotic medication use

rutin and Contraception
Rutin is the active ingredient in Rue (Ruta graveolens) historically Rue has been used as tea to induce miscarriage by thousands of women in latin america. The leaves were also eaten daily in salads as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. And according to Susun Weed Rutin can be used as a form of contraception or emergency contraception.

I have no evidence at this time suggesting whether or not rutin is effective at preventing pregnancy other than what is written in Susun’s book.

Susun writes “Rutin – Occurring naturally in association with Vitamin c in many plant leaves, most notably Rue, buckwheat, and Elder, rutin can be used to prevent pregnancy. Take it as a tablet in doses of at least 500 mg daily for several days preceding and following ovulation, or take it after fertilizing intercourse and continue until the menstrual flow begins.”3

Uni Tiamat writes in her book, Herbal Abortion “Rutin is also known to have the power to prevent pregnancy. In large doses, rutin prolongs the action of the adrenal hormone adrenaline and decreases capillary permeability in the uterine tissues.14 Decreased capillary permeability in the uterine tissues causes the endometrium to become non-nutritive to the fertilized egg. The egg does not implant and abortion occurs.”

Although there is no proof that Rutin will prevent pregnancy, some women will take 500 mg once daily a few days before and few days after ovulation as a natural contraceptive.

Miscarriage Risk

Rutin is the primary active ingredient in rue, an herbal product traditionally used to stimulate abortion. In early pregnancy, large amounts of rutin can cause miscarriage by preventing the attachment of the placenta. Large doses may also act as emergency contraceptives by preventing the implanation of a blastocyst.

In Pregnancy
In pregnancy, Rutin can help with the effects of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. However, the supplement can cause miscarriage, and any amount taken while pregnant should be closely monitored by a doctor.

Not enough information is known about the effects of Rutin on breast milk, and women are advised to not take the supplement if breastfeeding.

Rutin is a bioflavinoid, its main function in the body is to help the body strengthen arteries and veins and harden bones and teeth. Some of you have contacted me questioning why Rutin a bioflavinoid can be used to prevent pregnancy, when vitamin c should be used without bioflavinoids. There are still many questions, and I don’t have an explanation other than there are different types of bioflavinoids. One of my sources that suggest vitamin c for terminating pregnancy states that it doesn’t matter if the vitamin c has bioflavinoids, while others say it should be pure ascorbic acid. And in my studies I have come across references to bioflavinoids having the ability to protect against miscarriage. I’ve only done a small amount of research on bioflavinoids and have found that there are several different kinds of bioflavinoids, so it may be that certain kinds have different effects.

Rutin Dosage
Researches have suggested the effectivity or rutin doses that range from 200 to 600 milligrams. As commercial supplements, however, rutin tablets and rutin capsules are usually sold in 500 mg doses. The amount of rutin you take depends largely on why you are taking the medication. However, a regular dose of 500 mg taken once or twice a day is seen to be safe and effective.

Side Effects of Rutin
Rutin side effects are rare, but a few people have reported having experienced dizziness, heart racing, headache, muscle stiffness, fatigue, diarrhea, and upset stomach after taking rutin. Allergic reactions may occur in a few individuals. Symptoms of allergic reactions are chest pains, skin rashes, swelling and breathing problems. Allergic reactions happen very rarely as well.

Cautions for Rutin:

A potential side effect of using rutin capsules in this manner may make one feel anxious or fearful due to its effect of keeping adrenaline in the bloodstream.
Rutin should not be combined with other herbs or vitamins for purposes of preventing or terminating pregnancy.

Rutin: Other Names

Other names for this supplements (Rutin) include:

* Flavonoid
* Bioflavonoid
* Citrus bioflavonoid

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Posted on 03. Dec, 2010 by .


Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, and other conditions.

Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

You are exposed to free radicals:

Through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (such as the burning of sugars for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food).
When the body breaks down certain medicines.
Through pollutants.
Antioxidants include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in plants. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can find flavonoids in fruits, red wine, and teas. You can also buy antioxidant supplements.

One study showed that using vitamin A, E, and beta carotene supplements may increase your risk of premature death.1 Further study is needed to look at the effects of these antioxidants as well as vitamin C and selenium. It is best to obtain antioxidants from a healthy diet.

What are antioxidants used for?
People use antioxidants to help treat or prevent some medical conditions, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.

The treatment of CAD with antioxidant supplements as well as with traditional medicine continues to be researched. Some experts believe antioxidant vitamins may help in treating CAD, although so far studies have not proved this.

Are antioxidants safe?
Until more studies are done, it is best to get your antioxidants from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables rather than from supplements. Taking supplements in high doses can be harmful. No single antioxidant alone can protect the body. Most people should eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.

Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:

Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and nonprescription medicines or other supplements you are taking. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make your health worse.
How dietary supplements are manufactured may not be standardized. Because of this, how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. The form of a supplement that you buy in health food or grocery stores may not be the same as the form used in research.
Other than for vitamins and minerals, the long-term effects of most dietary supplements are not known

Antioxidant substances include

Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Antioxidants are found in many foods. These include fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish.

Can antioxidants prevent cancer?
Considerable laboratory evidence from chemical, cell culture, and animal studies indicates that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent the development of cancer. However, information from recent clinical trials is less clear. In recent years, large-scale, randomized clinical trials reached inconsistent conclusions.

What was shown in previously published large-scale clinical trials?
Five large-scale clinical trials published in the 1990s reached differing conclusions about the effect of antioxidants on cancer. The studies examined the effect of beta-carotene and other antioxidants on cancer in different patient groups. However, beta-carotene appeared to have different effects depending upon the patient population. The conclusions of each study are summarized below.

The first large randomized trial on antioxidants and cancer risk was the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study, published in 1993. This trial investigated the effect of a combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium on cancer in healthy Chinese men and women at high risk for gastric cancer. The study showed a combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium significantly reduced incidence of both gastric cancer and cancer overall (1).

A 1994 cancer prevention study entitled the Alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E)/ Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC) demonstrated that lung cancer rates of Finnish male smokers increased significantly with beta-carotene and were not affected by vitamin E (2).

Another 1994 study, the Beta-Carotene and Retinol (vitamin A) Efficacy Trial (CARET), also demonstrated a possible increase in lung cancer associated with antioxidants (3).

The 1996 Physicians’ Health Study I (PHS) found no change in cancer rates associated with beta-carotene and aspirin taken by U.S. male physicians (4).

The 1999 Women’s Health Study (WHS) tested effects of vitamin E and beta-carotene in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease among women age 45 years or older. Among apparently healthy women, there was no benefit or harm from beta-carotene supplementation. Investigation of the effect of vitamin E is ongoing (5).

How might antioxidants prevent cancer?
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals as the natural by-product of normal cell processes. Free radicals are molecules with incomplete electron shells which make them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells. Exposure to various environmental factors, including tobacco smoke and radiation, can also lead to free radical formation. In humans, the most common form of free radicals is oxygen. When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease including cancer. Antioxidants are often described as “mopping up” free radicals, meaning they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules.

Which foods are rich in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry, and fish. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.

Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green, leafy vegetables, including collard greens, spinach, and kale, are also rich in beta-carotene.

Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes, is abundant in green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale.

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. Estimates suggest 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products.

Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.

Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks, and mozzarella cheese.

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry, and fish.

Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn, and soybean oils, and is also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli, and other foods.

thank you and references
Blot WJ, Li JY, Taylor PR, et al. Nutrition intervention trials in Linxian, China: supplementation with specific vitamin/mineral combinations, cancer incidence, and disease-specific mortality in the general population. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993;85:1483–91
The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. The effects of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. N Engl J Med 1994;330:1029–35.

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vitamin A

Posted on 02. Nov, 2010 by .


Vitamin A, also called retinol, helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from outside and also helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. Vitamin A mostly comes from animal foods, but some plant-based foods supply beta-carotene, which your body then converts into Vitamin A. It also has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Early information from scientific studies suggests that beta-carotene might help people who already have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) (ref1) If you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating liver because of the amount of vitamin A it contains. (ref. 2)

Sources of Vitamin A

Top sources of vitamin A include:

• Beef liver

• Egg yolk

• Cheddar cheese

• Fortified milk

Top sources of beta-carotene include:

• Sweet potato

• Carrots

• Pumpkin

• Cantaloupe

• Broccoli

• Apricots

• Spinach and collard greens

Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States, but it can cause night blindness, eye inflammation, diarrhea and other problems. Overconsumption of vitamin A can cause nausea, irritability and blurred vision in its mild form. In addition, the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet can turn orange if a person has a high intake of Vitamin A. Vitamin A toxicity can cause growth retardation, hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver in its more severe form. Vitamin A overdose can also cause birth defects and has been linked to increased risk of bone fractures in some people.

Vitamin Storage

If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce, and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that’s free of moisture.(ref. 2)


The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following:


  • 0 – 6 months: 400 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
  • 7 – 12 months: 500 mcg/day


  • 1 – 3 years: 300 mcg/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 400 mcg/day
  • 9 – 13 years: 600 mcg/day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Males age 14 and older: 900 mcg/day
  • Females age 14 and older: 700 mcg/day

Specific recommendations depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Women who are pregnant or producing breast milk (lactating) need higher amounts. Ask your doctor what dose is best for you.(ref.3)

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