Alpha Lipoic Acid, Mitochondria, Cell Metabolism, Poly-MVA | Al Sanchez & Ryan Sternagel

Al Sanchez is the current president of AMARC Enterprises who are the worldwide distributors of Lipoic Acid Mineral Complexes, sold in supplement form as Poly-MVA. 

After losing his mother, sister and grandmother to colon cancer, Al joined his father in the quest to help those stricken with cancer and other health challenges find a better quality of life. 

Like so many others, Al is strong in his belief that we can vastly improve the health of the world with educated choices, improved diet and lifestyle and natural nutritional support products like Poly-MVA.

***Resources Mentioned***

Poly-MVA Website (use code “STERN” for $25 off your first bottle)


In This Episode:

This is only the second product-focused podcast in the Anti-Cancer Revolution Series which says a lot about how highly Ryan rates Poly-MVA, a unique Lipoic Acid Mineral Complex that is designed to provide energy for compromised body systems. 

In this episode Ryan and Al put the spotlight on mitochondria, the critical role they play in helping the body heal itself, and why it’s so important that we support them. They take a deep dive into cell metabolism, oxygenation and inflammation and uncover how, in the right environment, these factors can turn a healthy cell into a cancer cell. 

So tune in and discover for yourself what it is about Poly-MVA that makes it so well regarded by Ryan and many naturopathic doctors. 


You represent a product, you’re not a doctor

  • CEO of Armac enterprises  

We have seen each other at numerous conferences. If I recall one of them you were giving yourself IV PolyMVA…

  • I practice what I preach!
  • I live an anti-cancer life. It’s easier to prevent than to treat or cure
  • Mother passed away from cancer at 36, sister at 40 – it’s in my epigenetics
  • What got your Dad into making this product?
  • His mother died in 1972. She went the conventional treatment route. Al’s father looked at different options but very short window, didn’t have ‘time’ to implement alternative treatments
  • Father moved to San Diago and met people in the integrative world
  • Al’s sister Tina passed away and this was the driver for Al to begin working with his father and Poly-MVA 

When I’ve heard you speak you focus on not just your product, but on helping people really understand what’s going on

  • Driven by desire to help and empower people
  • How metabolism and mitochondria play a role
  • Used to a system where you do as a the Doctor says
  • With cancer your options are chemo, surgery or radiation. If that doesn’t work, you die
  • Common sense tells you there has to be more than that
  • Al’s goal is to be a ‘bridge builder’ between conventional and naturopathic sides of medicine

Tell us about the concept of metabolic medicine and how it ties into mitochondria and cancer

  • With the flu you rest, take supplements, the immune system kicks in, body repairs itself, you’re okay
  • Cancer is a whole different scenario but the approach is the same – fatigue, body is trying to fight it
    • By not supporting mitocondria we’re not helping the body heal itself

Is the concept about giving the immune system more energy to do its job?

  • Yes, in its simplest terms
  • Rest is how our body restores itself
  • Metabolic protocols target the metabolism. 
  • Metabolism needs to be at its highest level so the immune system, liver, kidneys etc can draw down on it for energy

What specifically are we talking about with cellular metabolism and mitochondria? 

  • Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. They provide the energy for them to function properly – repair, heal etc
  • Trillions of mitochondria are required in our bodies just to keep us going 
  • Mitochondria have their own DNA
  • When you have cancer your mitochondria become dysfunctional and they start utilizing sugar differently to healthy cells
  • It’s more complex than simply avoiding sugar
  • 1/3 of calories go to the brain, 1/3 to processing/digesting, 1/3 is left for the rest of the body
  • Diet is critical for cancer patients in terms of how their body is able to fight cancer
    • Eat a low carb, high fibre, balanced amount of protein
    • The more natural the better

What’s your take on cancer being a metabolic disease vs epigenetics?

  • It’s both, there’s a synergy
  • Epigentics and environment play a role, your genes play a role

What’s the difference between anaerobic and aerobic respiration in terms of cancer cells using oxygen or not?

  • Cancer cells need a little oxygen but not in the same way normal cells do
  • Oxygenation is is the key differentiator between anaerobic (very low oxygen) and aerobic (oxygen)

Why is oxygen harmful to a cancer cell?

  • It creates a better environment in the body for healthy cells 
  • Enhances metabolism, improves energy, promotes healing environment

Dr Paul Anderson Naturopathic Oncologist says “I don’t care about your cancer cells as much as your healthy cells”…

  • Small tumor versus the whole body
  • Ensure body is as healthy as it can be then use targeted therapies to go after the tumor
  • Support immune system, oxygenate the body, support metabolism

Where does inflammation fall in all this?

  • Inflammation is irritation of the body
  • Prolonged irritation to any tissue means it can’t function or heal
  • Overtime you get an abnormal cell
  • Cancer was once defined as “the wound that doesn’t heal” due to lactic acid and low oxygenation
  • The body also uses inflammation as a trigger to heal
  • Problem is with continually high inflammatory markers
  • Turmeric and other antioxidants, IVs, hydration, oxygenation all help reduce inflammation

Isn’t treating inflammation just like suppressing a symptom? Shouldn’t we be going after the cause of the inflammation?

  • Often hard to determine the cause of the inflamation
  • Epigenetics mean diet and lifestyle looks different from one person to another
  • There’s enough research out there to know what we need to avoid e.g. alcohol, inflammatory foods
  • Gut health critical for immune system and extracting nutrients out of food effectively

What turns a regular cell into a cancer cell? How does it form? What happens in the presence of inflammation, bad metabolic function, low oxygen etc?

  • Process is called acogensis – the birth of a cancer cell
  • In utero two cells come together to create a single cell – each bringing different information
  • This cell replicated many many times similarly to a cancer cell
  • At some point in the process this replication stops and cells get the directions to become the cells they’re meant to be
  • Difference is these cells replicate under good healthy metabolism with controls
  • Cancer cells are missing the healthy metabolism and controls and gets stuck in the replication cycle 
  • Wherever this cancer starts e.g. liver, skin etc is the ‘type’ of cancer diagnosed
  • Everyone has cancer cells in their body. They also should have the repair and anti-cancer mechanisms to deal with them

On the one hand it’s simple on the other hand it’s not…

  • The difficulty with cancer is that it’s our own cells 
  • By the time cancer gets to stage 3 or 4 it’s established and has brought down the immune system
  • Then it’s chemo, radiation or surgery which often doesn’t work

Where does Lipoic Acid Mineral Complex fall in with all this?

  • Poly-MVA Founder Dr. Merrill Garnett was exploring Otto Warburg’s theory 
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Thiamine are cofactors of mitochondria energy production in the KREB Cycle
  • This cycle is where energy gets created, oxygenation takes place, sugar gets broken down and ATP gets produced
  • It’s about producing energy but also transporting and utilizing that energy to do what needs to get done
  • Combining ALA and Thiamine creates a mechanism to support this pathway

So Poly-MVA supports energy production and transportation in a healthy cell while simultaneously impeding it in a cancer cell?

  • Not necessarily impeding a cancer cell
  • Apoptosis is cell death. A cancer cell has lost the programming to invoke apoptosis  
  • However a cancer cell could receive a signal for apoptosis
  • If you start shuttling electrons or creating energy inside the mitochondria of a dysfunctional cellI it is possible to shut it down or restore proper metabolic function 
  • ALA and Thiamine are cofactors in this approach, as well as oxygenation of the tissue

One of the main selling points of red light therapy is that it supports mitocondria. So people say a cancer patient doesn’t want to stimulate mitochondria as you stimulate the cancer cell mitochondria?

  • Light therapies in general are photodynamic therapies
  • In its simplest form – plants need sunlight to grow
  • Cancer cells are undergoing glycolysis. They are no longer functioning metabolically as a normal cell
  • If you’re aerobic, using oxygen, red light will stimulate
  • Cancer cells are survivors and adaptable

How does high intensity interval training help mitochondria? Are you getting the same benefits as a shot of Poly-MVA?


  • Exercising provides mitochondria, cells, tissues etc with everything they need to be efficient
  • Wouldn’t recommend this to cancer patient as immune system is so low
  • Light exercise is beneficial. The more you engage the mitochondria the more you engage your metabolism
  • There are different state of metabolism when healthy 
  • Metabolism provides energy
  • Bodies become less efficient when we age. Exercise improves efficiency

Poly-MVA also helps with the side effects of conventional treatment. Is that correct?

  • Right. It helps your metabolism and keep your mitochondria healthy
  • In Poly-MVA the ALA is bound together with the thiamine to create the redox molecule
  • Up regulates and protects the cell and supports mitocondria
  • Many naturopathic oncologists Ryan has spoken to recommend Poly-MVA to their cancer patients 

What’s the difference between oral consumption and IV in terms of benefits?

  • IV goes straight into the bloodstream. bypassing digestive system so tissues get higher concentration 
  • IV helps advanced patients who need a lot of initial support 

What are the dosing guidelines for IV Poly-MVA

  • Dosage is dependant on the physician’s protocol and what is needed
  • Dr Paul Anderson provides online physician training

How do you get hold of Poly-MVA?

From to ensure the product can be guaranteed

Special offer for listeners

Use this link and the code STERN at checkout for $25 off your first bottle. 

If you have a question or comment about this episode let us know below!!