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How Effective is Alpha Lipoic Acid for Neuropathy?

Brandon May
Brandon May

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant commonly used by patients with diabetes. The effectiveness of alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy has been well established in medical studies. This natural supplement also shows other health benefits, including enhancing energy and regenerating vitamins E and C.

Neuropathy is a disease which damages nerves in the body as the result of diabetes or injury. Diabetes increases inflammation within the body, which may damage nerves and blood vessels. Studies have shown that when compared to a placebo, alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy decreased inflammation and damage to peripheral nerves. These studies confirm that supplementation of alpha lipoic acid can also decrease pain and burning sensations often accompanied with neuropathy symptoms.

Anatomical model of the human body
Anatomical model of the human body

Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant which finds and destroys free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause inflammation and damage to tissues, blood vessels and nerves, which is common in those suffering from neuropathy. Using alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy may help suppress free radicals by increasing antioxidant production in the body. Usually, this performs an anti-inflammatory effect, improving painful symptoms.

One study showed that alpha lipoic acid supplements improve insulin sensitivity. Diabetes sufferers experience insulin insensitivity, where the body cannot use blood sugar efficiently because the cells of the body do not respond well to the insulin hormone. Oral supplementation with alpha lipoic acid compared to placebo showed a significant increase in insulin sensitivity for patients with type 2 diabetes. This may account for how alpha lipoic acid works in bringing down pain and inflammation.

Not only has alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy been shown to be beneficial, it may also be used as a preventive supplement for some people. This supplement has been shown to not only help bring down inflammation and pain from neuropathy, but also bring down blood sugar in a healthy way. It may also be useful in the production of energy from glucose during cellular metabolism. Researchers have proposed alpha lipoic acid for the treatment of fatigue and for increasing energy. No known current safe intake levels have been found, so it is important for a patient to speak to a doctor about the correct dosage for treatment.

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      Anatomical model of the human body