This supplement is promising, but you should still address risks and certain questions before you take ALA. Neuropathy can develop in people with diabetes as a result of high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia. Polyneuropathy involves the peripheral nerves of the body. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a 2011 study showed that the supplement doesn’t prevent macular edema from diabetes. Alpha Lipoic Acid and Diabetes Mellitus: Potential Effects on Peripheral Neuropathy The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. This function may protect nerve tissue from damage. It’s the most common form of neuropathy in people who have diabetes, and it causes foot and leg pain. What’s the Connection Between Hypoglycemia and Pregnancy? The Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy (ALADIN) Study found significant benefit in using intravenous ALA (IV-ALA) for a period of 3 weeks, with an effective dose of 600 or 1200mg daily.3A … All rights reserved. Black women in the United States experience higher levels of complications during pregnancy, and even death, due to systemic racism. It may be used orally and for a short-term during pregnancy.Â, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site, “About Herbs: Alpha-lipoic acid.”, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”, Natural Standard Patient Monograph, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”. Experts think antioxidants protect against cell damage. Kids? An antioxidant, ALA can enhance the uptake of glucose into cells and help inhibit glycosylation (the abnormal attachment of sugar to proteins, which hinders their normal functioning). Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is a multi-faceted metabolic disorder where there is increased oxidative stress that contributes to the pathogenesis of this debilitating disease. Because alpha lipoic acid can protect cells and neurons involved in hormone production, one benefit is it offers protection against diabetes. ALA is also available in oral supplements. Prescription pain relievers can provide some pain relief, but some types can also be dangerous and addictive. But this doesn’t mean that ALA supplements are free from side effects. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), given orally or intravenously, affects many conditions where oxidation and inflammation are involved. We have strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help with type 2 diabetes. Many foods contain alpha-lipoic acid in very low amounts. Alpha-lipoic acid (also called lipoic acid) is an antioxidant that assists the body in the conversion of glucose to energy. When this is found in the blood, it is often linked to high levels of inflammation caused by both type 2 diabetes … Generally, side effects are uncommon. Nerve damage is permanent, and its symptoms can be difficult to alleviate. Your symptoms may vary depending on the type of neuropathy you have and which nerves are affected. Alpha-lipoic acid is most commonly taken by mouth for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. You should not take alpha lipoic acid … Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. ALA is also called lipoic acid. ALA also demonstrated impro… This includes protecting the pancreas, which produces insulin. A number of animal studies have demonstrated that ALA improves age-associated cognitive dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative diseases. ALA is a natural antioxidant found in foods and supplied by your body in small quantities. Side effects. Because alpha-lipoic acid is an unproven treatment, there is no established dose. Though the exact causes are unknown, the obesity epidemic is one likely culprit. ALA helps fight free radicals, which are the substances that cause cell damage. Much of the research involving alpha-lipoic acid has been centered on the prevention of diabetes and the management of diabetic nerve pain. Given the lack of evidence about its safety, alpha-lipoic acid is not recommended for children or for women who are breastfeeding. All rights reserved. ALA isn’t a diabetes medication. Several studies have found that they can improve insulin resistance. High doses of alpha-lipoic acid are approved in Germany for the … There are two forms of alpha lipoic acid: R-alpha lipoic acid and S-alpha lipoic acid. It’s also important to prevent further nerve damage from occurring. Peripheral neuropathy can cause pain in these areas. Oxidative stress … Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant found in many foods. Because alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar or other important … These include Amanita mushroom poisoning, glaucoma, kidney disease, migraines, and peripheral arterial disease. However, more research needs to be done. During American Diabetes Month, Healthline helps facilitate some important conversations for those living with diabetes. This antioxidant is both water- and fat-soluble. They seem to reduce symptoms like pain, tingling, and prickling in the feet and legs. ALA shows some promise as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy, but it isn’t guaranteed to work. ALA improved cognitive function in healthy older mice, as well as longer-term memory of aged female nuclear magnetic resonance imaging mice. More research is needed to confirm this. Doing so can increase your quality of life. ALA is a potential natural method for relieving nerve pain that occurs due to diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid… Precautions to take with ALA: It can lower blood sugar levels so if you have a history of hypoglycemia, be wary. ALA is a potent antioxidant. Your autonomic nervous system controls your. If you’re taking medications for diabetes, alpha lipoic acid may put you at risk of hypoglycemia. Metformin and Pregnancy: Is This Drug Safe? Although taking the supplements … Your vision can be distorted if your macula thickens due to fluid buildup. There's some early evidence that long-term use of alpha-lipoic acid might help with the symptoms of dementia. Introduction. The R form is alpha lipoic acid in its natural state. Instead, see your doctor and ask if alpha-lipoic acid might help. What are the risks of taking alpha-lipoic acid? Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Macular edema occurs when fluid builds up in the macula, which is an area in the center of your eye’s retina. In addition, many alternative practitioners contend that alpha-lipoic acid can prevent or treat a multitude of health conditions, including alcoholic liver disease, HIV, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, premature labor, schizoph… It may also help protect the retina from some of the damage that can occur in people with diabetes. Inflammtion. It can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. ALA may help ease the symptoms of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. So far, the evidence is not clear. … © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Clinical evidence suggests it may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes… Red meat -- and particularly organ meat -- is also a source of alpha-lipoic acid. You may find that you get enough ALA from your current diet. Studies suggest alpha lipoic acid may actually be safer than some conventional diabetes … People with diabetes might use ALA in supplemental form to help neuropathy. For many years, high doses of alpha-lipoic acid supplements have been used in parts of Europe for certain types of nerve damage. The S form is the evil, inefficient clone of alpha lipoic acid. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? They include spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes, yeast, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, and rice bran. How much alpha-lipoic acid should you take? Lipoic acid (LA) or α-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring compound that is also known as 1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid or thioctic acid … Few treatments are available once you have nerve damage. Vitamin E is a common ingredient in oils and skin creams. Many of alpha lipoic acid's effects can also help reduce the risk of developing … Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that's in many foods, and it's made naturally in our bodies. Once you have diabetic neuropathy, the goal is to reduce pain and other symptoms. Alpha lipoic acid, a naturally occurring dithiol compound which plays an essential role in mitochondrial bioenergetic reactions, has gained considerable attention as an antioxidant for use in managing diabetic complications. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA). Neuropathy causes sensory changes. Alpha-lipoic acid can lower something called the C-reactive protein.This protein, also known as CRP, is an inflammation marker. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Diagnosed as a Child, Ashley Boynes-Shuck Now Channels Her Energy into Advocating for Others Living with RA. One of the conditions for which exogenous ALA has been most studied is … Some doctors may use it in shots. 5 Alpha-lipoic acid … If you have neuropathy, ALA might provide relief from: ALA is available in different forms for people with diabetes. All areas of your body may absorb it. It has been used in Europe for over 30 years for diabetic complications. Pregnancy affects your blood sugar and may increase your risk for hypoglycemia. Mijnhout, G. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine, April 2010; vol 68: pp 158-160. Alpha-lipoic acid has also been researched as a treatment for many other conditions. Some studies have used intravenous alpha-lipoic acid instead of oral supplements. Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Diabetes Alpha-lipoic acid is particularly helpful for conditions arising from diabetes. It’s a supplement available in drugstores and health stores. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Alpha-Lipoic Acid.". Studies also found that alpha-lipoic acid supplements can help with neuropathy -- nerve damage -- caused by diabetes or cancer treatment. As with any dietary supplement, you should talk to your doctor before you start taking it. Researchers have studied ALA’s effect on blurred vision in people with diabetes, but the results have been inconclusive. People with diabetes are at a high risk of nerve damage when blood glucose levels are poorly controlled over many years. The symptoms of nerve damage in people with diabetes most commonly occur in the feet and legs, but they can also occur in the hands and arms. Diabetes can lead to several different types of neuropathy, each with different symptoms. Studies show that alpha lipoic acid has a number of effects that can help prevent or treat diabetes and insulin resistance. This has prompted several investigations into the use of antioxidants as a complementary therapeutic approach. It can also cause: numbness or an inability to feel changes in temperature a tingling or burning sensation muscle weakness a loss of balance foot problems, including ulcers or infections, … Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a possible alternative remedy to treat the pain associated with diabetic polyneuropathy. Alpha-lipoic acid has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in weight loss, treating diabetic nerve pain, healing wounds, lowering blood sugar, improving skin … Although these uses are promising, diabetes and cancer obviously need proper medical treatment. ALA potentially lowers blood glucose, which can protect from nerve damage. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Alpha lipoic acid and glycaemic control in diabetic neuropathies at type 2 diabetes treatment Alfa lipoic acid is an effective drug in the treatment of diabetic distal sensory-motor neuropathy and its … Antioxidants are substances that the body can use to prevent or manage a tissue-damaging process (oxidative stress). Alpha-lipoic acid has become popular as a potential aid for diabetes, as it’s been shown to lower blood sugar levels in both animals and humans. We explain this connection and how to manage and prevent your symptoms. Stop taking ALA immediately if you notice any unusual side effects or if your symptoms worsen. The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy may include: Early research on ALA suggests it may help treat blood pressure or heart problems associated with autonomic neuropathy. Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes - Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Images of Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Vision Problems, Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Chronic Pain, Diagnosing and Treating a Spinal Cord Injury. So don't treat yourself on your own with supplements. Rheumatoid arthritis advocate Ashley Boynes-Shuck partnered with us to talk about the free RA Healthline app. What's Behind the Alarming Increase in Cases of Diabetes Among U.S. Some studies have involved the use of intravenous (IV) versions of ALA. A healthcare professional helps administer IV ALA. It is this form that contains the powerful antioxidant and type 2 diabetes-fighting benefits. … Other studies suggest that an alpha-lipoic acid cream might help skin damage related to aging. Excessively high doses of IV ALA can harm your liver. If you’re pregnant…, If you have diabetes, grabbing something to drink may not be as simple as reaching into the fridge. Prevention with good glucose control is the best option. These supplements could cause nausea, dizziness, or a rash. The pharmacology of ALA has been studied in the chelation of transition and heavy metals, CNS conditions, oxidation, diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and liver ailments. Topical... Risks. See how one patient learned to manage her weight and diet. Alpha-lipoic acid is used for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. Here are the 11 best vitamin E oils for 2021. ALA is considered an effective drug in the treatment of diabetic distal sensory-motor neuropathy, which affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes… Further study is needed to confirm this finding. ALA’s safety and effectiveness can vary among people with diabetes. Effect of Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplementation on Oxidative Stress Markers and Antioxidative Defense … Ditch the guessing game and check out these…. You can’t reverse nerve damage. Supplements are most useful if you don’t get enough from natural sources or if your doctor deems them useful. Can you get alpha-lipoic acid naturally from foods? These include stinging, burning, pain, and numbness in areas of the skin. Several small studies have also shown that ALA can help to increase insulin sensitivity. Studies suggest that they might also help with type 2 diabetes. It’s an antioxidant found in trace amounts in some foods including: The body also makes it in small amounts. Uncovering the Trauma Pregnant Black Women Experience in the U.S. numbness or an inability to feel changes in temperature, foot problems, including ulcers or infections, due to an inability to feel damage to the foot, bladder problems, including urinary retention or incontinence, erectile dysfunction in men and vaginal dryness in women, changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark. However, studies have used between 600-1,800 milligrams daily for diabetes and neuropathy; one review concluded that the evidence is convincing for the use of 600 milligrams daily for three weeks on symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid's anti-inflammatory effects help protect organs from the damaging effects of high cholesterol and body fat. ALA may also help the body be more sensitive to insulin. It can also be used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Conditions such as diabetes may be helped by antioxidants such as ALA. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. The main use for ALA is to treat diabetic neuropathy. Important Diabetes Tips From Experts (Who Are Also Diabetic). Controlling your blood sugar is the best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy. Keywords: diabetes, alpha lipoic acid, neuropathy, nephropathy, antioxidant, oxidative stress. It can also cause: Diabetes can also affect the nerves in your autonomic nervous system. It may be worth trying ALA supplements if other diabetes treatment methods aren’t working for you. In animal studies, it has lowered blood sugar … Ask your doctor about the safest, most effective dose for your condition. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common and potentially serious complication of diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid is effective at helping protect the myelin sheaths around the nerves, which can help reduce pain caused by diabetes and slow the onset of neuropathy. Oral supplements or nerve damage ( oxidative stress, you should not take alpha lipoic acid in very amounts! 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