Lipoic Acid is one of the nutrients we use here at Neuropathy Northshore to help in the treatment of neuropathy. Here is information about the benefits of lipoic acid supplements in neuropathy treatment.

From WebMD: Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that’s in many foods, and it’s made naturally in our bodies. For many years, high doses of ALA  supplements have been used in parts of Europe for certain types of nerve damage.

Why do people take alpha-lipoic acid?

Strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help with type 2 diabetes. Several studies found that they can lessen insulin resistance. Studies also found that ALA supplements can help with neuropathy . They seem to reduce symptoms like pain, tingling, and prickling in the feet and legs. It may also help protect the retina from some of the damage that can occur in people with diabetes.

Although these uses are promising, diabetes and cancer obviously need proper medical treatment. So don’t treat yourself on your own with supplements. Instead, see your doctor and ask if alpha-lipoic acid might help.

How much lipoic acid should you take?

Studies have used between 600-1,800 milligrams daily for diabetes and neuropathy. One review found convincing evidence for the use of 600 milligrams daily for three weeks on symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

The amount of lipoic acid produced internally in the body decreases naturally with age, which could set the stage for free radical-induced damage.

Small amounts of lipoic acid are available in foods such as dark leafy greens like spinach and collards, broccoli, beef, and organ meats, so supplementation may be needed to achieve significant intake levels.1,5

Safety concerns

Lipoic acid has generally been found to be safe when administered in recommended doses. Among the rare reported side effects in humans have been skin allergies and gastrointestinal distress.5

As lipoic acid may lower blood glucose levels, individuals with diabetes or glucose intolerance should have their blood glucose monitored while taking lipoic acid. They should also consult their physician about adjusting their dose of anti-diabetic medication in order to avoid hypoglycemia.1 Stop taking alpha-lipoic acid and call your doctor at once if you have: low blood sugar symptoms— headache,hunger, weaknesssweating,confusionirritabilitydizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery.

 More info from the site: neuropathyhelpco:

One of the issues of treating neuropathy with medications such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants is that those medicines don’t actually treat the root problem. They may ease the symptoms of neuropathy, but have no effect on the cause of the neuropathy.

However supplements that contain lipoic acid not only help to reduce the symptoms of nerve damage but also work to repair the damaged cells. People suffering from diabetic neuropathy often have considerable free radical damage to certain nerve cells. Lipoic acid goes after the free radicals, minimizing the damage caused to the nerves.

A little about R Lipoic acid

Studies suggest that the most potent form of lipoic acid is R-lipoic acid.1,5 In recent years it has become possible to obtain R-lipoic acid as a dietary supplement, thus providing the body with the form of lipoic acid that is most readily available to cells and tissues.

R-lipoic acid is responsible for many of the positive effects associated with lipoic acid. In the body, R-lipoic acid has immediate and significant antioxidant effects.

Since the long-term use of lipoic acid has not yet been studied in pregnant women and nursing mothers, these individuals should avoid using the antioxidant until more information is available.1

Metal Chelation

Lipoic acid may also protect the body against toxic metal contaminants found in the environment and food supply which can be a cause of neuropathy. Lipoic acid works by chelating dangerous agents such as: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. It renders them inactive so they can be removed by the body. In animal studies, lipoic acid has been shown to provide protection against arsenic poisoning and to safeguard the liver against the effects of cadmium exposure.5,22 Another study also showed that lipoic acid helped protect the delicate nervous system against the harmful effects of mercury poisoning.23


Based on evidence from animal and human studies, lipoic acid offers the following essential health benefits:

  •  Reduces oxidative stress in the body via powerful antioxidant activity1,3-5
  • Improves several components of the metabolic syndrome—a combination of risk factors that increases one’s risk for diabetes 6
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Improves the lipid profile
  • Reduces weight
  • Increases insulin sensitivity8
  • Improves diabetic neuropathy9,10
  • Protects against cataract formation11
  • Improves visual function in glaucoma12
  • Helps prevent retinal cell death when combined with vitamin E in retinitis pigmentosa13
  • Reduces brain damage after a stroke15
  • Prevents bone loss, possibly through an anti-inflammatory effect19-21
  • Removes toxic metals from the body22,23
  • Reduces frequency and intensity of migraines24
  • Improves skin texture25

I currently have a sale of $5 off of alpha lipoic acid to the first 2 people who order it this month of March. I also have a sale of $10 off of R lipoic acid to the first 2 people who order this month of March as well. Simply call  978-535-6155 to let us know you would like to pick up one of the discounted lipoic acids. 

References from

1. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2007.

2. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2007.

3. Da Ros R, Assaloni R, Ceriello A. Molecular targets of diabetic vascular complications and potential new drugs. Curr Drug Targets. 2005 Jun;6(4):503-9.

4. Ceriello A. New insights on oxidative stress and diabetic complications may lead to a “causal” antioxidant therapy. Diabetes Care. 2003 May;26(5):1589-96.

5. No authors listed. Alpha-lipoic acid. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sept;11(3):232-7.

6. Pershadsingh HA. Alpha-lipoic acid: physiologic mechanisms and indications for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Mar;16(3):291-302.

7. McMackin CJ, Widlansky ME, Hamburg NM, et al. Effect of combined treatment with alpha-Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine on vascular function and blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease. J Clin Hypertens.(Greenwich.). 2007 Apr;9(4):249-55.

8. Kamenova P. Improvement of insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid. Hormones (Athens). 2006 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-8.

9. Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau KJ, et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy with the anti-oxidant alpha-lipoic acid. A 3-week multicentre randomized controlled trial (ALADIN Study). Diabetologia. 1995 Dec;38(12):1425-33.

10. Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy: the SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care. 2006 Nov;29(11):2365-70.

11. Maitra I, Serbinova E, Trischler H, Packer L. Alpha-lipoic acid prevents buthionine sulfoximine-induced cataract formation in newborn rats. Free Radic Biol Med. 1995 Apr;18(4):823-9.

12. Filina AA, Davydova NG, Endrikhovskii SN, Shamshinova AM. Lipoic acid as a means of metabolic therapy of open-angle glaucoma. Vestn Oftalmol. 1995 Oct;111(4):6-8.

And More references

13. Komeima K, Rogers BS, Lu L, Campochiaro PA. Antioxidants reduce cone cell death in a model of retinitis pigmentosa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jul 25;103(30):11300-5.

14. Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K. Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22(1-2):359-78.

15. Panigrahi M, Sadguna Y, Shivakumar BR, et al. alpha-Lipoic acid protects against reperfusion injury following cerebral ischemia in rats. Brain Res. 1996 Apr 22;717(1-2):184-8.

16. Holmquist L, Stuchbury G, Berbaum K, et al. Lipoic acid as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jan;113(1):154-64.

17. Marracci GH, McKeon GP, Marquardt WE, et al. Alpha lipoic acid inhibits human T-cell migration: implications for multiple sclerosis. J Neurosci Res. 2004 Nov 1;78(3):362-70.

18. Marracci GH, Jones RE, McKeon GP, Bourdette DN. Alpha lipoic acid inhibits T cell migration into the spinal cord and suppresses and treats experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Oct;131(1-2):104-14.

19. Koh JM, Lee YS, Byun CH, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid suppresses osteoclastogenesis despite increasing the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB ligand/osteoprotegerin ratio in human bone marrow stromal cells. J Endocrinol. 2005 Jun;185(3):401-13.

20. Ha H, Lee JH, Kim HN, et al. Alpha-Lipoic acid inhibits inflammatory bone resorption by suppressing prostaglandin E2 synthesis. J Immunol. 2006 Jan 1;176(1):111-7.

21. Kim HJ, Chang EJ, Kim HM, et al. Antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid inhibits osteoclast differentiation by reducing nuclear factor-kappaB DNA binding and prevents in vivo bone resorption induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 May 1;40(9):1483-93.

22. Muller L, Menzel H. Studies on the efficacy of lipoate and dihydrolipoate in the alteration of cadmium2+ toxicity in isolated hepatocytes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1990 May 22;1052(3):386-91.

23. Anuradha B, Varalakshmi P. Protective role of DL-alpha-lipoic acid against mercury-induced neural lipid peroxidation. Pharmacol Res. 1999 Jan;39(1):67-80.

24. Magis D, Ambrosini A, Sandor P, Jacquy J, Laloux P, Schoenen J. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of thioctic acid in migraine prophylaxis. Headache. 2007 Jan;47(1):52-7.

25. Beitner H. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study on the clinical efficacy of a cream containing 5% alpha-lipoic acid related to photoageing of facial skin. Br J Dermatol. 2003 Oct;149(4):841-9.