Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplement Review

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Alpha Lipoic Acid
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Peripheral Neuropathy
+3 (Strong Evidence)
Diabetes Type 2
+2 (Moderate Evidence)

PRO

  • Pain, numbness, pins-and-needles sensations, and burning associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy can all improve with alpha-lipoic acid.
  • Blood sugars and insulin sensitivity have also been shown to improve with alpha-lipoic acid therapy.
  • Compared to current medical therapies that have a significant incidence of side effects, alpha-lipoic acid has few side effects and is generally very well tolerated.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid may have other important benefits. Combined with acetyl L-carnitine, it has been shown to help memory retention in animals, but large scale human studies have not been conducted.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid has an excellent safety profile and experts generally believe it is safe for use at recommended doses for up to 2 years.

CON

  • It can take up to 3-5 weeks to experience the benefits of this therapy.
  • Although oral preparations have also been shown to be effective, the alpha-lipoic acid preparations used in the clinical trials we studied were delivered primarily by intravenous route. This is not practical for widespread use.
  • Side effects, while rare, consist of gastrointestinal upset, dizziness and rashes.
  • There aren’t a lot of cons to using this product.

* *ADVISORY* *
If you take diabetes medication, alpha-lipoic acid can lower your sugar levels too rapidly. Because of this, you will need to check with your doctor. He or she may want to decrease the doses of some or all of your diabetes medicines before you begin taking this supplement.

DOSAGE: The dosage range is between 600 and 1200 mg per day. Our suggestion is to begin taking alpha lipoic acid at 300 mg three times a day, and to work with your doctor on dose adjustment.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that alpha-lipoic acid is a safe and effective supplement for improving diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It is an excellent alternative treatment to other medications for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and its use is well supported in many clinical studies. If you use it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

REFERENCES
“Alpha-Lipoic Acid.” ConsumerLab.com. ConsumerLab.com LLC, 2013. 20 May 2013.
“Alpha-Lipoic Acid.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Alpha-Lipoic Acid.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Lee, T., Dugoua, J.J. et al. Nutritional supplements and their effect on glucose control. Adv Exp Med Biol (2012) 771:381-95
Foster, T.S. et al. Efficacy and safety of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Educ (2007) 33(1):111-7
Boulton, A.J. et al. Whither pathogenetic treatments for diabetic polyneuropathy?. Diabetes Metab Res Rev (2013) 29(5):327-33
Porasuphatana, S. et al. Glycemic and oxidative status of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus following oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid: a randomized double blinded placebo-controlled study. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr (2012) 21(1):12-21
Lee, T., Dugoua, J.J. et al. Nutritional supplements and their effect on glucose control. Curr Diab Rep (2011) 11(2):142-8
Ansar, H. et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on blood glucose, insulin resistance and glutathione peroxidase of type 2 diabetic patients. Saudi Med J (2011) 32(6):584-8
Wiffen, P.J. et al. Anticonvulsant drugs for acute and chronic pain (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration (2010) 1,1-3
Jacob, S. et al. Oral administration of Rac-a-Lipoic Acid modulates insulin sensitivity in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled pilot trial. Free Radical Biology & Medicine (1999) 27, 309-314
Terneus, W. et al. Pregabalin and Duloxetine for the Treatment of Neurpatic Pain Disorders. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy (2007) 21, 79-84
Ruessmann, H. et al. Switching from pathgenetic treatment with a-lipoic acid to gabapentin and other analgesics in painful diabetic neuopathy: a real world study in outpatients. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications (2009) 23, 174-177
Ziegler, D. et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant a-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis. Diabetic Medicine (2004) 21, 114-121
Vinik, A. et al. Clinical Review: Use of Antiepileptic Drugs in the Treatment of Chronic Painful Diabetic Neuropathy. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2005) 90(8):4936-4945


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