Alpha Lipoic Acid: The Miracle Molecule that Combats Chronic Diseases and Promotes a Healthy Lifespan.

As we age, we seek ways to stay healthy and functional.  This article describes the biological properties of alpha lipoic acid, an amazing molecule that can help us expand our healthspan.  If alpha lipoic acid could be patented, we would be inundated with press releases, advertisements and compelling stories, that would be subsidized by the patent holder.  This barrage of information about the pro-health benefits of alpha lipoic acid would make it one of the most sought after health-enhancing molecules known to man.  Without patent coverage, however, alpha lipoic acid will remain a specialty item that most of the general population will never hear about.  This article was written to highlight the many pro-health biological properties of alpha lipoic acid that can help counteract the chronic diseases associated with aging.  Perhaps it will make a very small dent in the lack of awareness about this life-changing molecule.

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OnDecember 20, 2017, posted in: Aging by

Lipoic Acid Use and Functional Outcomes after Thrombolysis in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke and Diabetes

This is an interesting article on the benefits of alpha lipoic acid in treating ischemic stroke. It would be valuable to know if there are benefits to supplementing with lipoic acid to prevent stroke or minimize the effects.

Alpha-lipoic acid (aLA) is a strong antioxidant commonly used for treating diabetic polyneuropathy. Previously, we demonstrated the neurorestorative effects of aLA after cerebral ischemia in rats. However, its effects on patients with stroke remain unknown. We investigated whether patients treated with aLA have better functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and reperfusion therapy than patients not receiving aLA.

The use of aLA in patients with AIS and diabetes who are treated with tPA is associated with favorable outcomes. These results indicate that aLA could be a useful intervention for the treatment of AIS after reperfusion therapy.

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OnMarch 22, 2017, posted in: Alpha Lipoic Acid by

FDA strengthens warning that NSAIDs increase heart attack and stroke risk

If you are taking an NSAID (Motrin, Advil, Aleve…) for joint pain you might want to consider a natural alternative, OmniFlex, after you read this article. Go to to order a free trial.

July 13, 2015

Gregory Curfman, MD

Gregory Curfman, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Publications

Back in 2005, the FDA warned that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen increased the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Last week it took the unusual step of further strengthening this warning. This was done on the advice of an expert panel that reviewed new information about NSAIDs and their risks. Because NSAIDs are widely used, it’s important to be aware of downsides of taking an NSAID and to take steps to limit the risk.

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OnFebruary 17, 2017, posted in: Osteoarthritis Articles by

Caloric Restriction: Understanding the Genetic Basis and How Alpha Lipoic Acid Fits the Picture.

By Gerald Bruno

Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 02:39pm EDT

Research on caloric restriction (CR) covers a span of 80 years and study results have fluctuated between negative, to sometimes positive, to consistently positive under the right conditions, and presently to positive but of little value beyond a normal caloric intake. Recent research, in addition to confirming the value of CR on health-span and possibly longevity, has identified the genetic pathways that are activated in CR, and opened the door to interventions such as alpha lipoic acid that might mimic the positive effects of CR, without the difficulty of adhering to a low calorie diet. The most recent research on CR has highlighted the importance of the macronutrient ratio in achieving positive health effects, particularly the ratio of protein to carbohydrate.


The first study on CR was conducted in 1935, but was based on societal problems with malnutrition, and had nothing to do with possible beneficial effects on health and aging. To the contrary, the study demonstrated retarded growth during development, poor health and a shorter lifespan. Some years later, a study was performed in rats by McKay et. al., that only restricted calories, but still provided the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients required to maintain health. Like the earlier study, developmental growth was retarded, but the animals experienced a considerably longer lifespan. During this time period, researchers concluded that the beneficial effects of CR are the result of delayed developmental growth. This conclusion was a clue to the mechanism behind the health benefits of CR, but was later proven incorrect.

Studies in the 1950’s and 1960’s demonstrated that intermittent fasting was as effective as chronic CR, providing a more user-friendly way to achieve the health benefits of CR. Considerable research, with varying results continued for several decades, but the real breakthrough came in 1996 in research that was performed on simple animal models (worms and flies) that elucidated the molecular pathways involved in CR.


It comes as no surprise that humans have a gene-based survival system to prolong survival during periods of prolonged famine, and that this system serves as a sensor for nutrient and energy levels, and a regulator of biomass formation. What is surprising is the fact that regulation of this system can have long-term beneficial effects on health and possibly on lifespan. The discovery of this system had it’s origins in an antifungal/immunosuppressant substance that was isolated from a soil sample from the Easter Islands (Rapa Nui). It was named Rapamycin in reference to the place it was discovered. Work on microorganism resistance to Rapamycin led to the later discovery in yeast that Rapamycin inhibits a gene that produces a serine/threonine protein called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), and that like CR, Rapamycin extended lifespan.

The key regulator in this metabolic pathway is a complex of mTOR and co-factors that is identified as mTORC1. mTORC1 is a signaling hub that integrates nutrient and energy signaling with growth factor signaling. Generally mTORC1 stimulates protein synthesis and anabolic growth and inhibits autophagy. Conversely, CR and Rapamycin inhibit mTORC1 which reduces protein formation, and ATP formation, and increases autophagy.

mTORC1 is a complex system that stimulates numerous downstream processes including messenger RNA translation and the transcription factor C/EBPbeta-LIP. LIP is a protein that binds to DNA metabolic regulating sites. The LIP protein can be suppressed by removing an upstream regulatory element (uORF), which produces an effect equivalent to CR or Rapamycin. As is usually the case in this type of situation, developing a drug that inhibits uORF or another critical step in the mTORC1 pathway could theoretically lead to a drug to extend health-span and lifespan.


The scientific community and the media are conditioned to judge the value of a research finding by the possibility of developing a drug to achieve a therapeutic objective. History, while uniformly disregarded, has shown that drugs designed to block physiological processes rarely act on only the process being targeted. The result is an effective drug, with serious side effects that emerge during clinical trials or after the drug is marketed. To my amazement, society is becoming more accepting of these serious side effects as reflected in the marketing of most biologics. I believe that Rapamycin fits this description as a drug to combat aging. Rapamycin clearly inhibits mTORC1, but has many serious side effects that make it unsuitable for widespread chronic use. This hasn’t stopped the media from touting Rapamycin as the Fountain of Youth drug, and I sense that drug companies will eventually promote the drug for this use and attempt to justify the side effects as reasonable vs. the benefits.

There are many naturally-occurring substances that have epigenetic effects similar to the actions of more powerful drugs, and generally without the serious side effects. One such substance is the widely researched and less widely used alpha lipoic acid. In addition to its favorable effects on oxidative stress and diabetic neuropathy, more recent research has recognized the multi-functional properties of alpha lipoic acid, with particular emphasis on the stimulation of AMPk and the corresponding inhibition of mTORC1 activity. As described in the research reports referenced below, alpha lipoic acid, along with other energy restriction mimetics (resveratrol, rapamycin, metformin and spermidine) stimulates formation of kinase activated AMP, that in turn signals that the cell is in an energy restricted state, and mTORC1 is inhibited. The paper by Nikolai states that these CR mimetics can have serious side effects and have not been proven safe for long-term use. Contrary to this position it should be noted that alpha lipoic acid has been studied extensively for several decades and has been cited in almost 5000 scientific papers, the vast majority of which report beneficial effects. It is true that alpha lipoic acid has not been subjected to extensive controlled, double-blind studies in humans, but it is commonly used by many health conscious consumers, with no reports of adverse events. Because alpha lipoic acid is a naturally occurring substance that cannot be patented, it is unlikely that funding will be made available for controlled clinical studies or education of the public regarding its many benefits.


Research on CR has focused attention on all of the factors in the design of studies that have had unexpected outcomes. One of these factors was the macronutrient composition used in the study, with particular attention to the ratio of protein to carbohydrate. Using a research tool designated the Geometric Framework nutritional modeling method, researchers Raubenheimer and Simpson (Sydney, Australia), found that diets that were low in protein and high in carbohydrates produced a health-span comparable to CR. A low protein diet was defined as <5% calories from protein, a moderate protein diet as 10% – 20%, and a high protein diet as >20%. Disease and mortality was surprisingly high for the high protein diet, but ameliorated by substituting plant protein for animal protein. This effect was observed in persons under age 65, but the reverse was true for people over age 65, who had higher disease and mortality with a low protein diet and better health and longevity with a high protein diet. The mechanism behind the negative effects of a high protein diet appear to be related to stimulation of the mTORC1 pathway by nutrient sensing of the high availability of amino acids in the cells. It isn’t clear why this protein effect reverses at age 65, but presumably has to do with the accelerated loss of muscle mass with aging, which would be exacerbated with inhibition of the mTORC1 pathway.


It is well-established that under the right conditions, CR is an effective way to lose body mass, extend health-span and possibly extend lifespan. Research studies on CR have contributed to the discovery and understanding of the mTORC1 pathway, which is the major regulator of metabolic activity in humans. While CR is beneficial in itself in reducing chronic disease, it is a difficult regimen to follow and certainly not in sync with modern lifestyles. CR research has led to the discovery that equivalent beneficial effects can be realized with a normal diet, provided that the ratio of protein and carbohydrate are optimized for age. Elucidation of the mTORC1 pathway has also opened the door to user-friendly means of inhibiting the mTORC1 pathway through design of drugs that block or inhibit steps in the regulatory process, or preferentially the application of naturally-occurring molecules such as alpha lipoic acid that stimulate formation of AMPk and down-regulation of mTORC1.


  1. The ratio of macro-nutrients, not caloric intake, dictates cardiometabolic health, aging, and longevity in ad libitum fed mice.  Solon-Biet, SM  et. al., Cell Metab. 2014 Mar 4: 19 (3); 418-430.
  2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplementation Reduces mTORC1 Signaling in Skeletal Muscle from High Fat Fed, Obese Zucker Rats.  Zhuyun Li, Cory M. Dungan, Bradley Carrier, Todd C. Rideout, David L. Williamson.  Lipids. Dec 2014, Volume 49, Issue 12, pp 1193-1201.
  3. Energy restriction and potential energy restriction mimetics.  Nikolai, S et. al., Nutr Res Rev. 2015 Dec;28(2):100-120. Epub 2015 Sep 22.



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OnOctober 7, 2016, posted in: Aging by

Triple Anti-Oxidant Liver Formula, a Proactive Approach to Dealing with Environmental Toxins, is Now Available for a Complimentary Trial

Wyckoff, NJ (PRWEB) July 30, 2013

The use of pesticides, drugs and simple carbohydrates are spreading at an alarming rate and placing an added burden on our already over-burdened liver cells, the primary site for detoxification in our bodies.  In light of the recent EPA announcement considering raising allowable glyphosate (Roundup) residues higher, the solubilized triple anti-oxidant from Ethical Alternative Products, ThioGel-L is now available for a complimentary trial.

New research (Samsel & Seneff, Entropy 2013) argues that glyphosate residues in and on food enhances the damaging effects of other toxins by inhibiting enzymes (CYP 450) that facilitate detoxification of these xenobiotic substances.

One of the roles played by the liver involves removing and breaking down most drugs and chemicals that enter the bloodstream.  Breaking down these toxins creates byproducts that can also inflame and damage liver cells.  Liver toxicity is one of the greatest problems associated with the consumption of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.  “Among the prescription drugs that cause liver toxicity, the statins represent a great concern due to the widespread use of these cholesterol-lowering agents in our society” stated Gerald Bruno, Ph.D. founder of Ethical Alternative Products.

New research (Vos & Lavine, Hepatology June 2013) is pointing to the possibility that fructose contributes directly to the development and severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  NAFLD is the most common chronic liver disease in adults and children, and in human studies, fructose has been associated with increasing hepatic fat, inflammation, and possibly fibrosis.  “Fatty liver and diabetes share “insulin resistance” as their chief pathogenic determinant, underpinning the complex and bi-directional relationship linking the liver and diabetes,” stated Bruno.

“Nature has provided many substances that have a beneficial effect on liver function, and standing out among these natural substances are alpha lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium.  These substances have been incorporated into a solubilized, high-bioavailability softgel dosage form sold under the brand name ThioGel-L.  ThioGel-L has been successfully used by integrative medicine and holistic practitioners for more than a decade for conditions affecting liver function and is now available to consumers on a free trial basis,” stated Bruno.


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The Dynamic Duo: Ethical Alternative Products Answers the Call

Wyckoff, NJ (PRWEB) June 26, 2013

The incidence of pre-diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes and it’s life-threatening complications. Alpha lipoic acid, the powerhouse natural substance, continues to be recognized as an effective means to ameliorate oxidative stress-induced insulin resistance.

A great deal of recent research has implicated “oxidative stress” in the development of insulin resistance.  Pioneering work by Dr. Tory Hagen (Linus Pauling Institute) has demonstrated significant improvements in metabolic function and oxidative stress in older animals fed alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR). The combination of ALA and ALCAR increased metabolism and decreased oxidative stress more than either compound alone.

Ethical Alternative Products has been marketing a highly bioavailabe formulation of alpha lipoic acid in its ThioGel and ThioGel-L brands for more than 10 years. According to Gerald Bruno, Ph.D., “ThioGel and ThioGel-L are mainstays in many integrative and holistic medicine practices, due to the enhanced bioavailability formulation and the use of highest grade European-sourced alpha lipoic acid raw material”.

Ethical Alternative Products has started a special “Dynamic Duo” promotion. A free bottle of acetyl-L-carnitine is supplied with the purchase of a bottle of either ThioGel or ThioGel-L. The Dynamic Duo can be ordered online at or by calling 1-800-861-0492.


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Two Key Changes in New Clinical Guidelines for Treating Knee Osteoarthritis Issued by Orthopedic Surgeons

Wyckoff, NJ (PRWEB) June 18, 2013

Intra-articular hyaluronic acid is no longer recommended, and the recommended dose of acetaminophen is reduced. Ethical Alternative Products is making available free trial samples of OmniFlex multi-nutrient joint health formula.

Aside from not recommending the use of the joint supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, the CPG does not address the use of newer joint health products. “Ethical Alternative Products has pioneered a new direction in joint health with the formulation of the OmniFlex multi-nutrient product” stated Gerald Bruno, Ph.D., who did personal research on optimizing the formula. OmniFlex contains fish oil, krill oil, rosehips, BioCell collagen, and pine bark extract. Unlike surgical intervention and the use of pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), there are no negative effects from using a combination of the health promoting natural ingredients contained in OmniFlex.


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OnOctober 4, 2013, posted in: Osteoarthritis, Osteoarthritis Articles by

Stop Diabetes: Support the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (S962/H.R.452).

Wyckoff, NJ (PRWEB) May 28, 2013

May is Older Americans Month, and there is no better time to protect our nation’s seniors from diabetes and the terrible complications it can cause.  Ethical Alternative Products is supporting diabetes prevention with a free trial supply of their premium alpha lipoic acid nutritional supplement product.

Among a group of natural substances that have beneficial properties for addressing insulin resistance and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, alpha lipoic acid stands out as the most widely researched and promising nutritional interventions.  Ethical Alternative Products supplies alpha lipoic acid in the ThioGel premium formulation, offering a high bioavailability solubilized formula, made with European-source raw material alpha lipoic acid.


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OnOctober 3, 2013, posted in: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Diabetic Neuropathy by

May is National Arthritis Month: Options for Dealing with Osteoarthritis, the Most Common Form of the Disease

Wyckoff, NJ (PRWEB) May 16, 2013

Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability, affecting 50 million people, and one in five adults.  Ethical Alternative Products is making available trial samples of OmniFlex and Tendonex to bolster medical management options.  In support of National Arthritis Month, a free bottle of OmniFlex can be obtained at  As an added bonus, the free trial will also include a bottle of the just-released Tendonex Topical Pain Relief product.  OmniFlex and Tendonex offer an innovative “internal” and “external” approach to joint health.


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OnOctober 3, 2013, posted in: Aging, Osteoarthritis, Osteoarthritis Articles by

Prediabetes: What’s in a Name

The Lie That’s Killing Us: Pre-Diabetes

By: Riva Greenberg

Riva Greenberg, diabetes advocate and author, has written a compelling article proposing that we stop calling the metabolic condition that precedes full-blown Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes.  The prediabetes designation implies that this metabolic state is not yet a disease that needs to be addressed.  Actually, prediabetes is characterized by fasting blood glucose levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL, and/or hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4%, which recent research suggests can already be contributing to diabetic complications, including Alzheimers disease.

Riva presents compelling arguments that prediabetes should be called “Stage 1” Type 2 diabetes to raise awareness of the disease so that action can be taken to bring the disease into remission or at the very least delay it’s progression to Type 2 diabetes.

The link between oxidative stress, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, suggests that lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) can help to reverse prediabetes (Stage 1 Type 2 diabetes), and the progression to the later stages of Type 2 diabetes.  Many of our customers supplement their lifestyle changes with alpha lipoic acid, which has been demonstrated to ameliorate oxidative stress and the resulting insulin resistance.

Read the full article….

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OnAugust 16, 2013, posted in: Alpha Lipoic Acid by