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Alternatives to Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

alpha lipoic acid mitochondria ala alternatives

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#1 RyanTabil

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 11:30 PM

I've recently began taking ALCAR (500mg once daily) and ALA (135mg once daily) as a way to increase cognition, reduce mitochondrial decay, and increase energy. However, I recently stumbled across the research by Dr. Cutler that advises against use of ALA if you have amalgam fillings (I have three, yay) due to mercury chelation and ALA's ability to cross the BBB. It seems to be just a theory and I haven't found any scientific studies that corroborate it, but I would rather be safe with it comes to migrating mercury to my brain.


I absolutely love ALCAR, but as I understand it it does have some pro-oxidative effects because it increase mitochondrial output and should be coupled with an antioxidant that works on the mitochondrial level to 'clean up', so to speak. I would rather not increase free radical output, or accelerate cell aging. ALA seems like it can also work as an anti-aging agent, so that was also a draw for me. ;)


That being said, I do want to find an alternative that can help in the reduction of mitochondrial decline and provide antioxidant support, so I can continue to take ALCAR, worry-free and still reap benefits of that can come with ALA. I have considered using liposomal glutathione as ALA being a glutathione promoter seems to be one of it's primary benefits for the mitochondria, but it is very expensive and I would rather avoid spending that much on supplements. Also, I would rather not take cyesteine because i've had some odd reactions to it in the past.


Anything that provides the benefits of ALA without chelating?


Any thoughts?


I appreciate any feedback.

#2 niner

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:13 AM

You don't need antioxidants with ALCAR unless you use a very high dose.  If you're under a couple grams a day, you're fine.   There is a lot of unfounded paranoia swirling around the mercury issue.  With only three amalgam fillings, I don't think you have much to worry about.  If you are interested in a good mitochondrial antioxidant, the best thing I've ever seen is c60-olive oil.  It has no metal chelating properties that I know of.

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#3 RyanTabil

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:04 AM

You don't need antioxidants with ALCAR unless you use a very high dose.  If you're under a couple grams a day, you're fine.   There is a lot of unfounded paranoia swirling around the mercury issue.  With only three amalgam fillings, I don't think you have much to worry about.  If you are interested in a good mitochondrial antioxidant, the best thing I've ever seen is c60-olive oil.  It has no metal chelating properties that I know of.


Thanks for the reply, Niner. I have heard that only larger doses of ALCAR would warrant antioxidant protection, and I did notice that studies used much larger doses than I am taking, but I wasn't entirely sure about it considering I wasn't able to find anything to the contrary. My disposition on ALA and amalgam fillings may very well be slightly unfounded, but without some further evidence, I am definitely not willing to risk it. Dr. Cutler seems to be an authority of sorts on mercury chealtion, so it may just be best to steer clear of ALA for the time being. Regardless, I have wanted to switch out of alagam fillings practically since I got them. In fact, after doing research of remineralization of enamel and dentin, I really regret getting them. Oh, to be young....er. I also have reservations about trying c60-oo for the similar reasons. It's still too new and unstudied for me to risk trying it. Not that I'm contending that it is anything other than beneficial. Either way, further protecting my mitochondria isn't going to hurt. From a dietary standpoint, the incorporation of sulfur rich foods, greens, and healthy meats is an effective way to boost glutathione, but I was hoping for something that would give me that extra nudge to keep my cells young and vibrant for years to come. I fear that dreaded point in my life where I descend from my 20's in the darkness known as middle age. Kidding. Well, kind of.


Side note: I tried s-acetyl-glutathione today on an empty stomach and it made me a bit sleepy and induced a brain fog of sorts. Any reason for this? I was actually given a capsule from a friend, so I won't be able to replicate it because of how it expensive it is, but it was kind of the opposite of what I expected.


Any other suggestions?

#4 Garrick Peschke

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

Hi. I've been dealing with this-  and I can give you my experience. Hope it'll help, though it's not as good as actual science.


I had 7 mercury amalgams, one of which was very big, and close to the root. Also, my lifestyle/surroundings have exposed me to other metals, along the way, weakening that whole system. 


The heavy metals ended up causing me fairly bad effects- inflammation that made my brain feel like it was on fire, visual difficulty with concentrating on text, trouble learning new concepts(I must have lost about 45 points of IQ, but it varied from day to day), and some sort of plaque that was slowing down my speech processing, to the point where I had trouble understanding. It was bad. Also, it caused me bipolar, which is a pain in the ass(though high dose fish oil mostly keeps it in check). Finally I'm pretty sure it helped me pick up gluten and casein allergies*. I eventually had to go on medical leave from work, (I'm a software engineer) as my brain is no longer functioning well enough to do the job.


*Gluten and casein allergies also cause cognitive impairment, and for a while I thought that the day to day IQ shifts were because of accidental glutening. In retrospect I can tell them apart, but I'm not sure how to describe the difference, other than Gluten/casein cognitive impairment is more cottony/light, were as the mercury inflammation/cognitive impairment is thicker, more unpleasant, and the feeling of it coming on is generally more dramatic, where as a glutening just sort of creeps up on you unnoticed.


I started taking ALA as it helped with blood sugar/energy issues. This is before I researched things thoroughly. Taking ALA definitely increased the problem. The time release 12 hour pills cause the inflammation to be much worse. I'm pretty sensitive to things, so you may not notice it if it occurs, but to me it feels like my brain is on fire/full of rage and frustration, though the rage and frustration aren't directed at anything.


I knew I was in bad shape, and went to a holistic practitioner, that was a MD/Psychiatrist, who does a lot of work helping autistic kids. She did a lot of testing, most of it negative, but the interesting bits were that Lab tests showed my testosterone levels were almost non existent(I'm male), my glutathione levels were extremely low, and anything that helps mitigates the effects of metals(like selenium), or that were precursors to glutathione were all low.


So I did s-acetyl-glutathione, in high doses-think 10 100mg pills per day. That got my speech processing difficulties down. However, after a bit using s-acetyl-glutathione, it stops becoming the limiting factor, as you run out of flavonoids. Reading this in a book(why isn't my brain working) I bought a bunch of different flavonoids, and started taking them, so the glutathione would working again. It did. Eventually I ended up just using bioactive curcumin, as it's the easiest in terms of price/dose availability.


I was better, but still was nowhere near good. I then stumbled on serrapeptase, and when I took that, it cleared up the rest of the plaque type feeling, and improved my circulation a ton. I took fairly high doses over the course of a day, and the shift was fairly dramatic. The only side effects I notice were that during that day, I was excreting a lot of what looked like mud, and my off hand became much easier to use. I still take a little serrapeptase every two weeks or so to keep things cleared out.


Eventually I found blueberries, and blueberry extract did the same thing as acetyl glutathione for the speech processing difficulties. Blueberries are aren't cost efficient, but blueberry extracts in pill form are a great deal cheaper. However, the acetyl glutathione also helps with the inflammation, which blueberry extract doesn't help with. So even with adding blueberry extract, I'm still taking s-acetyl-glutathione, but now I'm down to 200 mg per day. 


That's how I was mitigating symptoms. Now, with my holistic practitioner's help, I figured out it was heavy metals. I was initially resistant, because the tests were borderline, but all of the symptoms matched, the glutathione and ALA were clues, and she had basically eliminated everything else. So, I got the amalgams out, and started chelation. This immediately confirmed the diagnosis to me- every time I go through an Andy Cutler type oral chelation cycle*, my symptoms both decrease, and shift around a bit (like trading off worse bipolar depression for some of my IQ back).


I'm currently working my way through chelation cycles, and slowly recovering. While the ever changing symptoms are rough, I see great improvements, and I'm confident that I'm recovering. I've gotten some of my brain back, though how much I will ultimately get back is anyone's guess. At least the visual focus problems are completely gone, and I can mostly concentrate again, even if I'm not as smart as I was. I'm passed the nightmare stage, where I was worried I'd be unable to ever hold down a job, and I'd end up living as a hobo. It's still up in the air if I'll recover enough to resume being a software engineer, though I'm pretty hopeful at this point.


Chelation also seems to have helped with the blood sugar/energy issues I was originally taking ALA for, which I didn't expect. 


In any case, that's my story. Hope it helps.


*I do everything he says, except that I use 3 hour cycles on DSMA rather than the recommended 4 hour ones.

Edited by Garrick Peschke, 25 May 2014 - 09:45 PM.

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#5 dazed1

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Hi guys, does anyone here compared the effects to the popular anti - oxidants?


I'm diabetic, and i find tocotrienols much more powerful compared to ALA, ALA is good for 1h or so, then its like you never take anything, while tocotrienol effect last at least 5h, and its quite cheaper to.


But combo of both is insanely effective in treating, neuropathy, inflammation, and pain during increase blood sugar/blood pressure.

Would it be smart to drop the ALA and go for resveratrol?

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