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The Dietary Antioxidants Alpha-Tocopherol and Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Their Synergy in Brain Disorders *

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and vitamin E (VE) are normally present in human diet and their side-effects derived from oral supplementation are very rare. Interestingly, a combination of these antioxidants has shown synergistic effects, as determined in experimental and clinical studies. This chapter summarizes (1) The role of oxygen free radicals in brain injuries; (2) The antioxidant effects of ALA and VE in the brain; (3) The mechanism of action of the synergy between ALA and VE; and (4) The increasing evidence showing that the combination of ALA and VE is more effective than any antioxidant monotherapy for reducing oxidative damage. Specifically, ALA and VE efficiently counteract oxidant radicals in a number of neurological diseases, such as brain ischemia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, ALA and VE are also effective in non-neurological diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chemotherapy, high performance exercise, cataracts, heart failure, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging process. In summary, although antioxidants by themselves cannot prevent the incidence of neurological diseases, they can delay its occurrence and/or reduce the magnitude of neural damage. Therefore, diets or commercial supplements enriched with these two antioxidants may be ideal for people in risk of suffering from neurological conditions generated by unbalance production of oxygen free radicals.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 05-09-2013