Diabetic Neuropathy and Alpha Lipoid Acid

Neuropathies are the most common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), affecting up to 50% of patients with type 1 and type 2 DM. The most common symptoms are sensory symptoms in distal extremeties, i.e., hands and feet, such as:
  • numbness or deadness, as if trying to feel through gloves and socks.
  • burning, tingling, electric shock-like feeling
  • aching, tightness
  • painless injuries
  • loss of balance, especially with eyes closed

Diabetic neuropathy may also affect motor and automonic nerves and result in symptoms such as foot drop and fecal incontinence.

Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA, is a potent antioxidant. ALA regenerates other antioxidants in the body, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and glutathione. ALA has been shown to prevent, improve and even reverse diabetic neuropathy. High dose ALA is approved in Germany to treat diabetic neuropathy. ALA was also found to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.