In India, the longevity tradition was embedded in both Yogic and medical cultures. Traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, can be translated as the science of long life. In ancient China, the study and practice of longevity was known as Yang Sheng Dao. Yang Sheng Dao means the way of long life by harmonizing with nature and the universe. The Daoist’s were the keepers of the way of longevity. Their teachings spread throughout Asia and is the basis for all traditional Asian medicines that were influenced by China.
In both India and ancient China, dietary practices, lifestyle practices, purification rituals, herbs, special breathing, moving and medication exercises were developed and taught to foster beauty and a long and healthy life.
The study of longevity has continued in modern times through scientific research. One substance, lipoic acid, has been discovered to enhace longevity. In animal studies, it prolonged life and protected the brain.
Lipoic acid also known as alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a disulfide containing compound found inside every cell of the body. It is called the universal antioxidant. Oxidation is a kind of rusting of the cells that over time causes malfunction of the organs and systems of the body and aging.
Some of the functions of Lipoic Acid include:
- A powerful antioxidant inside and outside of the cells
- Regenerates both fat and water-soluble vitamins such as C and E.
- Improves sugar and fat metabolism.
- Improves the energy houses of your body, the mitochondria and stop them from degenerating.
- Is anti-inflammatory.
A healthy body makes enough lipoic acid to supply the energy requirements of the body so there is no daily requirement for this supplement. Several diseases are accompanied by low levels of lipoic acid and specifically, diabetes, liver cirrhosis and heart disease.
As we age, the body becomes more insulin resistant which leads to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, oxidation, and inflammation. Less energy production occurs from the mitochondria. Oxidation increases. All of these factors can cause the symptoms of aging. Lipoic acid produced in the body decreases with age.
Lipoic acid supplementation helps to prevent and treat diabetes, aids weight loss, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improves the brain, brain disorders, the eyes and much more. A common dosage is 300-600 mg. per day. This is one of the supplements that would help everyone after age 60 and even younger if certain health issues are present.