What is it Alpha-Lipoic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid is a chemical/vitamin which is an anti-oxidant. It prevents oxidation damage to cells and also restores vitamins like C and E. It can also improves the function of nerve neurons in diabetes patients with neuropathy (dysfunction of nerves). Being an anti-oxidant some people believe it can help protects the brain cells during an insult and in liver disease.
Researches have shown that alpha-lipoic acid is likely to help diabetes patients to control diabetes and reduce the nerve pain/numbness they experience.
However there is insufficient researches to suggest it helps with HIV related brain disease, liver conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, heart diseases and autonomic neuropathy. More evidence-based studies are required to prove its other believed effectiveness
Possible side effects
Alpha-lipoic acid is generally safe to take for most people. Diabetic patients should be cautious when taking it as alpha-lipoic acid like anti-diabetic medications lower blood sugar level. Patients with thyroid disorders should also take caution as alpha-lipoic acid may interact with thyroid medications.
There is insufficient evidence to prove if it is safe for lactating/pregnant women to consume it, hence it is best to avoid. People with thiamine deficiency especially alcoholics should replace thiamine before taking as low thiamine may cause harmful effects when taking alpha-lipoic acid.
1. Diabetic medications: As alpha-Lipoic Acid can lower blood sugar level so when used concurrently with diabetic medications may cause hypoglycaemia (blood sugar level being lower than normal range) resulting in symptoms like jittery, tremors, sweating , dizziness, fainting spells and weakness.
2. Chemotherapy Medications: Alpha-Lipoic acid being an anti-oxidant may interfere with chemotherapy drugs and affect its effectiveness.
For treating diabetes related neuropathy (numbness, nerve pain or burning sensation), the dose is about 600-1200mg daily.