Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

An antioxidant approach -- worth a try?

Posted by Sharon W on 4/23/03 at 12:33 (116931)

Here's something a bit different: I found an article describing a study on apha lipoic acid, an over-the-counter supplement supposed to be a metabolic antioxidant whose proponents have repeatedly claimed will help with nerve problems. Here's the link:

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/63/72066.htm

Here are a couple of quotes:

'After just 14 treatments, patients with diabetic neuropathy who received high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic acid had a threefold improvement in pain, numbness and other symptoms compared with those treated with placebo.'

'But it didn't act only as a pain medication,' says researcher and Mayo Clinic neurologist Peter Dyck, MD. 'Alpha lipoic acid seems to actually change the metabolism of the nerve or blood supply to the nerve, and we noted some relief in symptoms.'

'Alpha lipoic acid is available over-the-counter in dosages of 50 to 150 mg. Dyck is currently conducting a study measuring the efficacy of those capsules in other diabetic patients. The powerful antioxidant has been used for nearly 30 years in Europe to treat diabetic neuropathy and is being studied in the U.S. as a treatment for HIV, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. '

----------------------------

I don't know if alpha lipoic acid would help someone with TTS... but if your stomach can handle it, it just might be worth giving it a try!

Sharon
.

Re: An antioxidant approach -- worth a try?

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/24/03 at 18:54 (117023)

Sharon:
Alpha lipoic acid is a mainstay of treatment for painful diabetic neuropathy in Germany. The Germans use it by IV. I have patients with diabetic neuropathy take 300 to 600 mg. per day with good results -- they often can decrease the dosage of other meds such as neurontin. I have no experience with alpha lipoic acid in other forms of neuropathy -- it is worth a try.
Ed

Re: An antioxidant approach -- worth a try?

Sharon W on 4/24/03 at 23:25 (117045)

Dr. Ed,

I'm sure intravenous would be the ideal way to administer alpha lipoic acid, but of course that would be prohibitively expensive for most of us here in the US.

I've tried taking the capsules, but unfortunately ALA seems to trigger my sulfa allergy. I would definitely take it regularly if I could.

Sharon
.