Alpha Lipoic Acid. An Alternative Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy

Alpha Lipoic Acid. An Alternative Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy

Author: Emily Marie Splichal, BS, CPT, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, 1800 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10035, 917-825-4297, esplichal@yahoo.com
Section/SPIG: Podiatric Health
Issue Date:

The uncontrolled hyperglycemia often associated with diabetes puts the diabetic patient at risk for increased oxidative damage and eventual peripheral neuropathy. Studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid (ALA) significantly reduces the burning, sharp pain and numbness of neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid, also known as thioctic acid, is a powerful, natural antioxidant slowly becoming recognized as having some unique properties in the therapy and prevention of a broad range of diseases, including diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid plays a role in blood sugar control by helping the body use glucose. Studies have shown the potent antioxidant properties of ALA prevents healthy cells from getting damaged by unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals. In fact, this vitamin-like compound has proved to be many times more potent than the antioxidants vitamin C and E. In addition, ALA is both water and fat soluble making it a so-called “universal antioxidant” and explaining its increased potency. Mayo Clinic has conducted studies on the effectiveness of ALA in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy with results showing a rapid improvement in pain or numbness as well as a marked increase in nerve conduction. Researchers have also found ALA to be very safe with no known complications.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) will be able to
  • Describe  the benefits of alpha lipoic acid.
  • Explain  the causes of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Discuss  how alpha lipoic acid can prevent diabetic neuropathy.
  • Discuss  how alpha lipoic acid aids in blood sugar control.
  • Discuss  benefits of natural vs. pharmaceutical treatment in neuropathy.

On March 19, 2010, posted in: Articles, Diabetic Neuropathy by admin