You’ve probably never heard of it before, but for the past decade researchers have been looking into how a naturally occurring antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) can be used to help in the treatment of everything from diabetes to chronic headaches to cardiovascular disease to even cancer with little side effects.
ALA occurs naturally in the body. It’s also prevalent in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and in potatoes and red and organ meats. As is expected, you could get ALA from consuming massive quantities of these types of healthy foods, but it has become widely available in supplement form from reputable vitamin companies.
In the past decade, there have been many studies done on how ALA specifically helps regulate blood sugar in the body, focusing on how it is used by the body to aid in the conversion of glucose into energy. It has been found to be especially helpful in patients, who suffer from diabetic neuropathy, a complication from diabetes wherein a person’s nerves usually in his legs and feet become damaged and result in pain and numbness.
A number of these reports can be found at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s website, which is located here.
One study cited by Sloan Kettering that was conducted in China looked at 236 diabetics with “symptomatic polyneuropathy.” After taking 1,800 mgs. of ALA daily for 12 weeks, the study participants reported that their “pain, extremity numbness, burning sensation or resting abnormal sensations were significantly diminished as compared to those before treatment and placebo group.”
The conclusion was: “Oral treatment with high-dose alpha-lipoic acid for 12 weeks may improve symptoms in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy. Dose of 600 mg. thrice daily for two weeks has marked effects with a reasonable safety.”
Chris DePaulo is a staff writer for Rabble Magazine, focusing on health, nutrition, lifestyles and the environment. Visit my website for a link to a great company, Yes Wellness, that sells affordable ALA supplements by Orkanica in 250 mg. dosages.