Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA) is both water and fat soluble and is able to recycle other antioxidants, specifically vitamins C and E.
Oxidative stress has been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes and especially diabetic complications. It has been also linked to insulin resistance (Paolisso&Giugliano,1996). Sugar-induced oxidative stress drives diabetic complications and alpha-lipoic acid provides critical antioxidant support.
ALA can reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) and is officially sanctioned for that use in Germany. Studies suggest that aggressive supplementation (200 to 600 mg per day) with ALA, under a physician’s guidance, may help reduce pain, burning, itching and numbness in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes (Packer et al., 1999). ALA has been shown to stimulate regeneration of nerve fibers and improve blood flow to peripheral nerves (Packer et al., 1999). ALA supplementation should be considered in the early stages of diabetes to prevent, or reduce the risk of, diabetic neuropathy.
*NOTE: Consult a physician before using alpha-lipoic acid at higher doses as it may lower a person’s requirement of injected insulin.
Paolisso, G.& Giugliano, D. (1996). Oxidative stress and insulin action: is there a relationship? Diabetologia, 39:357-363.
Packer, Lester & Colman, Carol (1999). The antioxidant miracle. Toronto, ON: John Wiley&Sons.
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