Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA, and also known as thioctic acid) in Poly-MVA works together with other antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. LA helps the body to produce energy, and provides support to the liver in removing harmful substances from the body. Some studies indicate that LA assists in preventing cell damage, and removing heavy metals from the bloodstream. Because of its strong detoxificant effects, LA is commonly used in the treatment of Amanita mushroom poisoning, which causes severe liver damage. LA also influences the metabolism of sugar, and can help to keep blood sugar in balance.
Diabetics seem to receive particular benefit from this LA. Alpha lipoic acid helps ward off diabetic neuropathy (painful extremities) and retinopathy (a common cause of blindness). It also helps regulate blood sugar and prevent cardiomyopathy. Alpha lipoic acid may even be involved in nerve regeneration. Promising studies are underway to determine its value in retarding the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.
As a powerful antioxidant, LA can help to neutralize the free radicals within the body that are thought to influence aging processes. LA is both water and fat soluble, so it is easily passed across the blood-brain barrier, and is functional in almost all other parts of the body as well.
Vitamin B-12 is also known as cobalamin. It’s most common form is cyanocobalamin, which is broken down to methylcobalamin by the body. It is generally found only in meat and dairy products. In combination with folic acid, B-12 is involved in DNA synthesis, production of the myelin sheath that protects nerves, and red blood cell production. As a methyl donor involved in homocysteine metabolism, B-12 also plays an important role in immune and nerve function.
B-12 deficiency is fairly common in those over 65, and because it is stored in organs, deficiencies can take a very long time – up to 6 years – to appear. Worse, deficiencies of B12 or folic acid (a complementary substance necessary for B-12 utilization) can result in significant mental disturbances without any indication of anemia or other clinical indication of deficiency. In patients with B-12 deficiency, up to 61% have shown a marked increase in mental capacity when B-12 supplements are added to the diet.
Taken orally, B-12 is absorbed at a rate of about 1.2% according to most studies. Since the body uses about 2 mcg of B-12 daily, 200 mcg orally administered will maintain B-12 levels at stasis. For those who are deficient, a higher supplementation level will be required.
Vitamin B-1 (thiamin)
Vitamin B-1 is a coenzyme that, in combination with alpha lipoic acid, is involved in the decarboxylation of pyruvate and the oxidation of alpha keto-glutamic acid. These functions are essential to energy production, metabolism of carbohydrates, and neurotransmitter function. B-1 is extremely sensitive to alcohol, sulfites, and tannins found in black tea and coffee; all will render B-1 ineffective. B-1 is water soluble and is not stored in any quantities in the body.
Extreme B-1 deficiency, which is rare in most developed countries, causes beriberi, a syndrome whose symptoms include loss of muscle, mental confusion, elevated blood pressure, and edema. Milder deficiencies can cause fatigue, depression, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and constipation. Research in animals indicates that B-1 activates membrane ion channels, possibly by phosphorylating them. The flow of electrolytes like sodium and chloride in or out of nerve and muscle cells through membrane ion channels plays a role in nerve impulse conduction and voluntary muscle action.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) acts as a cofactor for enzymes involved in metabolism. It is an essential part of FAD or “flavin adenine dinucleotide coenzymes” and FMN or “flavin mononucleotide”. These coenzymes are involved in energy production and the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrate- essential processes in every cell in the body. They are also cofactors for two important antioxidant enzyme systems; glutathione peroxidase and xanthine oxidase. Riboflavin coenzymes are also important in the cytochrome p450 enzymes, the body’s primary detoxification system. B2 works with the other B vitamins and is important for body growth and red cell production. Similar to thiamine, it helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral. It is crucial in regulating pH balance in the body, which, in turn, directly effects oxygenation of cells and tissues, and the resulting metabolic rate of the body. The need for molybdenum has been established, but there is presently no recommended daily allowance.
N-Acetyl Cystiene (NAC)
N-Acetly Cystiene (NAC) is an amino acid naturally occurring in the body. It is a potent antioxidant that is involved in maintenance of cholesterol and lipoprotein levels, and functions in combination with natural interferons in the body to enhance immune response. NAC is an amino acid derivative, which has begun to receive increasing attention as a powerful free radical scavenger. This simple compound has an extremely low profile of side effects and helps the body in a variety of ways. It enhances the activity of Vitamins C & E. It enhances the immune system, improves lung function, helps transport sterol hormones, helps prevent insulin resistance, and prevents ammonia formation.
Methionine is an essential amino acid that contains sulfur, which is an important component of cartilage building blocks such as proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. Methionine is incorporated into tissue proteins and enzymes and is a component of active peptides, including methionine enkephalin and various endorphins. One of the main roles of methionine is as a methyl donor, contributing to numerous physiological pathways in the body, including formation of myelin components. In one such pathway, methionine converts to sadenosylmethionine. In studies, L-methionine has demonstrated the ability to promote healthy cellular metabolism, enzyme activity and glutathione concentration. In the body, it converts to L-cysteine and therefore is potentially beneficial in liver detoxification and in neutralizing toxins.* It has been shown to support healthy copper and lead serum levels.* L-methionine is considered important for liver fat metabolism, healthy skin and nails and energy production. Methionine, like choline and betaine, is also a lipotropic compound supporting lipid metabolism and enhancing healthy hepatic function. In combination with antioxidants, methionine may play a role in healthy pancreas function.