Another great use for ALA
04-20-2003 04:22 PM
Another great use for ALA
If any of your friends or family members suffer from complications from Diabetes, here's a great article to help you get them to use ALA.
It's amazing how the medical community constantly "discovers" these great things about the various supplements BBers have taken for so long. Maybe, one day, they'll admit that BBers really weren't so "far out" in all of their thinking. Maybe.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Decreases Burning, Cutting Pain
By Sid Kirchheimer, WebMD Medical News
Reviewed by Michael Smith, MD on Friday, April 11, 2003
April 11, 2003 -- Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), an over-the-counter antioxidant supplement, eases the burning, pain, and numbness associated with diabetic neuropathy, say researchers. In a new study, alpha lipoic acid offered quick and dramatic relief without the side effects of drugs currently used.
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."
His study, reported in the March issue of Diabetes Care, involved 120 patients with the most common form of diabetic neuropathy, which causes pain, numbness, and a burning sensation and often leads to foot problems.
Half of the patients received five treatments a week consisting of 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid in intravenous form, while the others got a placebo. They didn't know which substance they received. In just 2½ weeks, the alpha lipoic acid patients reported -- and the researchers noted in examinations -- dramatic improvements in symptoms, including a six-point drop in pain levels on a 10-point scale. The placebo group reported a two-point improvement in pain relief.
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'm glad to see we have now jumped the Atlantic and the evidence gathered by German researchers decades ago has been read and is being considered by prominent American researchers," says Richard A. Passwater, PhD, retired biochemist who has studied antioxidant treatments since the 1960s and wrote the book, Lipoic Acid: The Metabolic Antioxidant. He says that he is not surprised by Dyck's findings.
Dyck, who conducted the study with Russian researchers, says that alpha lipoic acid offered several benefits to his patients with diabetes. "It is a very strong antioxidant and it is assumed that oxidation plays a role in the development of diabetes," he tells WebMD. This means the substance -- produced in very small amounts by the body and also found in foods such as potatoes and red meat -- protects against damage by cell-ravaging "free radicals." This oxidation process is implicated in various diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and neurologic conditions including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
"Besides that, alpha lipoic acid also seems to promote better blood flow and oxygen to the nerves and may also promote the entry of glucose and the breakdown of it into cells," he says.
Passwater says this is because alpha lipoic acid improves the function of cell "transporters" that carry and distribute glucose. "This helps insulin do its role," he tells WebMD. "It also has a specific effect on nerves that we don't know too much about but have noted. Overall, it has universal benefits, affecting various body sites, and works with other antioxidants to help them protect the body."
Though hundreds of studies have been done on alpha lipoic acid -- including several that suggest a benefit in treating diabetic neuropathy in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes -- few large trials have been conducted in the U.S. In several foreign studies on mice and people, dosages ranging from 60 mg to 800 mg seemed to produce improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin production and decrease diabetic neuropathy pain.
Diabetic neuropathy is currently treated with painkillers, including narcotics -- which can be habit-forming -- and antiepileptic drugs, which can cause sedation. Alpha lipoic acid, meanwhile, appears to be safe and has few side effects, says Dyck.
But he isn't suggesting that people with diabetes self-medicate themselves with alpha lipoic acid. "We're not quite at that stage; we first need to complete studies using the oral capsules. If you have diabetes, the first line of treatment is glucose control," Dyck tells WebMD. "But the reality is that some people cannot or will not get desired control of blood sugar. And if further research proves conclusive, it looks as though alpha lipoic acid might be one of the ways they can do it."
SOURCES: Diabetes Care, March 2003. Diabetes Care, December 1997. Metabolism, April 1999. Peter Dyck, MD, professor of neurology and neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Richard A Passwater, PhD, retired biochemist, author of Lipoic Acid: The Metabolic Antioxidant.
04-20-2003 10:45 PM
04-20-2003 10:52 PM
Damn, that avatar makes me drool everytime I see it. Yummmmmmm.
04-20-2003 10:58 PM
Great article Doc, it is funny how BB'ers are always on the lookout, and medicine seems one step behind in supps. I guess that's the way of things though, slow and steady is probably better then jumping the gun in the medical community.
I've been using r-ala for about 3 weeks now and loving it, taking it with meals for glucose control.
04-20-2003 10:59 PM
Oh yeah BTW, some karma for you Doc.
And Sheesh, a little post whoring with that avatar could slip by the mods easily.
04-20-2003 11:04 PM
04-21-2003 12:05 AM
this is pretty true... still has to do with the old "treat it after the fact" rather than the "prevention" approach... but it's not really the med community's fault that people are getting "krispy kremier" year after year... this situation certainly lends itself to a kind of reactive rather than proactive approach. it all starts with the individuals, which is why I think bbers as a collective of these types of right minded individuals usually are at the forefront of not just goofy nutritional ideas that don't work, but often very progressive ideas and methods that are successful... I mean the doc can tell the jiggly, pasty bastard every time they visit about how much more exercise and diet control they need, but until the individual embraces these ideals, the jiggly-**** will continue to hit the jiggly-fan.
04-21-2003 09:35 AM
Originally posted by jweave23 And Sheesh, a little post whoring with that avatar could slip by the mods easily.
I'll keep that in mind...
04-21-2003 03:54 PM
What do you mean by post whoring?
04-21-2003 04:27 PM
now THAT'S a great way to put it! heh....several years ago i went to this one dr for my shoulder who said i'd have to accept my liftin days were over. ha! so i checked around, found an orthopedic group that keeps me in my game! Originally posted by Biggin mean the doc can tell the jiggly, pasty bastard every time they visit about how much more exercise and diet control they need, but until the individual embraces these ideals, the jiggly-**** will continue to hit the jiggly-fan.
as for the other things, biggin, you are sooo right...the med community does have a reactive approach because thats how they were trained for one thing and more so these days folks jus keep shovelin in those krispy kremes then wonder why they have clogged arteries. go figure!
04-21-2003 07:03 PM
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