Joslin Diabetes Center experts answer commonly asked questions about diabetes monitoring, treatment, self-care, meal planning, and more.
Topic: General Concerns
Question: I've had painful neuropathy in my feet for the past six years. I've heard that a supplement called alpha-lipoic acid might help. Please advise.
Answer: Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that attacks free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can cause damage in the body, leading to health problems. Alpha-lipoic acid works with other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.
Some studies show that alpha-lipoic acid may reduce the symptoms of neuropathy (nerve damage), including pain, burning, tingling, and numbness. In fact, alpha-lipoic acid given intravenously (IV) has been used in Europe for this reason for many years. Other studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid given orally may be helpful, too. The dose that's found to be effective is 600 mg once daily.
Before you take this-or any-supplement, make sure you check with your healthcare provider to discuss whether this treatment is recommended for you.
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