One of the most recommended supplements for diabetic neuropathy by neurologists and the Mayo Clinic, Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant found naturally in many foods. It has been shown to be helpful for improving pain and reducing numbness sensations in those with diabetes and neuropathy. It works to improve the body’s natural store of reduced glutathione, an agent involved in small nerve preservation. The effect is partly from working to reduce “free radicals” which are inflammatory chemicals and can cause damage to the body’s cells.
In addition, ALA has been shown to induce important factors involved in nerve healing such as nerve growth factor, and to reduce nerve cell death by preventing apoptosis.
Ongoing clinical trials are underway in the UK, Canada, and Germany to study the use of ALA for fibromyalgia and musculoskeletal pain. Early indications show benefits for certain populations of people with fibromyalgia.
The standard medical treatments for fibromyalgia and neuropathy are sedating drugs and antidepressant medications. Many people cannot tolerate these medications because of drowsiness or side effects, and ALA shown promise as an alternative or adjunct to traditional prescription medications.