Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant found in many foods, it is naturally produced in our bodies. For many years, high doses of alpha-lipoic acid supplements have been used in some parts of Europe for certain types of nerve damage. Studies suggest that they may also help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Why do people take alpha-lipoic acid?
We have strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help in type 2 diabetes. Several studies have shown that they can improve insulin resistance. Studies have also shown that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help treat neuropathy (nerve damage) caused by diabetes or cancer treatment. Alpha-lipoic acid reduces symptoms such as pain and tingling in the feet and legs. It may also protect the retina from some of the damage that occurs in people with diabetes.
While these uses are promising, diabetes and cancer obviously require appropriate medical treatment. So don’t treat yourself with supplements. Instead, talk to your doctor and ask if alpha-lipoic acid can help you.
There is preliminary evidence that long-term use of alpha-lipoic acid may help relieve the symptoms of dementia. Other studies suggest that alpha-lipoic acid-based cream may help reduce age-related skin damage. However, much more needs to be done.