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dobbs

Alpha Lipoic Acid

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dobbs

I've been taking 400mg of alpha lipoic acid daily for about four months now (also vitamins B12 and C) to try to improve the neuropathy in my feet and lower legs. I'm pretty sure it's helping, but being fairly new to this diabetes lark (diagnosed August 2008) I have little to compare it with. Does anybody out there have good experiences with ALA, or any other advice on nutrients that help neuropathy?

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sumi

Hi Dobbs,

I, too am taking alpha lipoic acid. I was only diagnosed last December so, like you, I don't know if it has done anything, but the occasional shooting pains in my legs and the slight numbness in two toes are gone. This might just be from getting my sugar levels under control. I'm going to be brave and not buy another bottle when this one is done, just to see if I notice any difference. When I was diagnosed, I realized that there were endless supplements that one could take, and decided that I would allow myself just one. Alpha lipoic acid was my choice. I suppose that stopping it for a while is the only way to tell if it is helping.

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Mich

That's exactly how I found out ALA helped both my neuropathy and cramping. I stopped taking it.

 

It took a bit, but my burning pain and cramps came back. They left as soon as I resumed taking the ALA.

 

I've inadvertantly forgotten to take it for a few days and awaken with cramps.

 

I take the 300mg sustained release.

 

Mich

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duck

Benfotiamine...I don't have such problems yet, and I pop the stuff like it is candy today. There are a few threads where benfo is mentioned, but if you search, you may also want to search on "bentofiamine" since sum of uz cant spel. :D

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genie86333

Hmmmm, Mich, interesting that you mention that. I stopped taking it a few weeks ago because I didn't think it was doing anything...about a week ago I started getting cramps in my legs & feet. I hadn't had them before taking the ALA, so I didn't associate the two things...I'll have to start taking it again to see if it helps.

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Ionutz

A "serious" dose of ALA should be over 1000 mg per day. I've taken ALA six months and it's really working . But...there are two types of alpha lipoic acid on the market, type R and S. Typr R is natural one, the other is synthetic. The natural one is more potent and recomended in neuropathy treatment.

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genie86333
Hidden

1000 mg? I'd read 300-400 is the max dosage - I was taking 400. Anyone else have input on this?

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paylka

I was diagnosed a year ago. Over the summer I ran across a mention in some website about lipoic acid and did a little research. I'm attempting to control my diabetes with diet and metformin, hoping not to have to go the insulin route, and figured I'd give this stuff a try. I took it for a month with my metformin, about 200 mg a day. At the end of a month I ran out and didn't think anything of it, I was busy with work and kids and such. After about a week, my sugar lvls were up 25 points across the board, my energy lvls were down, I was waking up with leg cramps twice a night and my family actually asked me what had changed in my life that had made my moods so volatile again. The only thing that I'd changed was not taking the lipoic acid. I don't know that it will work for everybody, and my diabetes is very much related to my hormones, I got here via PCOS, but if it makes that much of a difference in a week, I would say it's a supplement worth trying!

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musique913

There are actually studies showing it works too.

 

I take 600mg because that was the level it was said to work best in the study I read, the natural kind as well. I was experiencing pain and cramps in my legs too..and they are gone.

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dgrilli
Benfotiamine...I don't have such problems yet, and I pop the stuff like it is candy today. There are a few threads where benfo is mentioned, but if you search, you may also want to search on "bentofiamine" since sum of uz cant spel. :D

 

This stuff is supposed to be in the miracle category.

 

Good Stuff

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Seagal

R-ALA includes the necessary biotin when taking alpha lipoic acid. If you take the plain ALA be sure to determine how much biotin you will need. I've been taking R-ALA (Insulow) for a couple of years and wouldn't be without it.

 

Benfo is great stuff too! As is chromium picotionate (not picolinate), resveratrol, fish oil, tocopherols, L-carnitine, co-q10 (especially important if you take statins, because it interferes with the natural coQ the body makes),magnesium, zinc, niacin, baby aspirin etc.......don't have my list in front of me, but with all the supplements I take, there is barely room for meals:D

 

Keri

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raz

Hi to all,

I have been a type 2 diabetic for 16 yrs. I have not controlled it that well mostly because I work at a computer and hitting keys doesn't really count as exercise. For me, Neuropathy started only a year ago. After having done some research I began taking B complex and R-ALA for about a month. I still have numbness and very sensitive feet but the stabbing pains and cramps are no more. I will not stop taking these two supplements! I also started walking every day which helps me keep my sugar level under control.

For those of you who haven't seen this, there is big hope for diabetes: Diabetic rats cured with their own stem cells - health - 07 October 2011 - New Scientist

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MCS

At first when my neur was really bad, barely able to drive a car bad, I took 1800mg a day along with Biotin. In addition to that I also took 10grams of L-Arginine. My neuro has completely went away, left with a few numb spots on my feet, numb is better than pain any day. It actually got worse at first, the L-Arginine dilates your peripheral blood vessels allowing fresh blood to reach places it hasn't been in a while.

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Subby

I've been interested in trying this for a while, but it has been hard for me to track down locally, and very expensive when I found it. I recently put in an order with Amazon for 600mg, figuring if I get side effects I can break it in half (if there is a side effect there, I will get it). But, I just realised it is the Time Release version. Do people who've taken this, think this is going to make much difference?

 

I mainly ask because I regret getting the TR version of melatonin. It lasts too long and leaves me groggy. I ordered some normal melatonin this time, along with GABA powder and cranberry supps: these things are all so much cheaper in the US. Just hope my US mail redirect service works.

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algarve7

Clinical trials show the best most consistent results for diabetes with higher doses of about 1200-1800 mg alpha lipoic acid a day. Some clinical trials with lower doses sometimes show some results and others don't. So dose is important as is regular use to prevent complications such as nerve damage from diabetes. I take 600mg oral ALA 2-3 times a day. Injectable ALA is also available, and the best stuff comes from Germany, such as Thiogamma made by Wörwag Pharma which I have had before. This is a manufactured high grade product, not one that is compounded in a pharmacy. Benfotiamine (a vitamin B1/thiamine derivative) is also effective for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy and retinopathy.

 

The multifaceted therapeutic potential of benfotiamine

Pharmacological Research Volume 61, Issue 6, June 2010, Pages 482-488

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661810000605

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Seagal

I've been taking Insulow for many years. It is the R-form of ALA which is about double the amount of the s-ala. It also includes the necessary biotin if you are taking ala.

 

It works best if taken about 15 min. before meals.

 

I just noticed I posted re this in January 2010.........

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algarve7
I've been taking Insulow for many years. It is the R-form of ALA which is about double the amount of the s-ala. It also includes the necessary biotin if you are taking ala.

 

R-form is unstable, so it would be important to get a stabilized form such as Na (sodium) R-Lipoic Acid. I couldn't tell whether Insulow was stabilized or not. The most common form is R/S-ALA. I don't think there is an S-ALA.

 

Regular R/S-ALA is effective at doses around 1200mg or more, so if stabilized R-Lipoic Acid isn't available or too expensive, it's still ok and has been well tested in clinical trials in diabetes patients.

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BIGJEFF64

i take my ALA 600 mg a day which also includes 400 mcg of chromium and 200 mcg of biotin all packed in a capsule from the Vitamin Shoppe

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Subby

I've been taking ALA TR 600mg for a couple of weeks now. I've had extremely smelly urine from the get go: from what I can gather, this suggests I'm passing quite a bit through and may not need as much. Not sure if I can cut these ones in half.

 

I can put up with smelly urine, but since starting I've also had a few times at the gym where I have sweated and stunk so badly I could not believe it. I had to cut my workout short today, I was actually making myself feel sick (and sorry, gym colleagues!) The smell had a strong ammonia overtone. Sites out there seem to jump to ketosis when this question crops up, but I know the smell of ketones very well and this aint it! Also vague suggestions of liver problems, which is a bit more ominous. But, that's the web for you. I can't think of much change lately except the ALA. Anyone else had extremely strong body odour from it? I'm usually not very smelly (though I have my moments of course).

 

It could be unrelated - it could also just be my body transitioning as I have stepped up the exercise some more - but I thought it was worth asking. I'll give it a miss for a time and see if it makes a difference, anyway.

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MCS

According to this if you have smelly urine and sweat its doing its job.

 

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid

 

I've been taking ALA TR 600mg for a couple of weeks now. I've had extremely smelly urine from the get go: from what I can gather, this suggests I'm passing quite a bit through and may not need as much. Not sure if I can cut these ones in half.

 

I can put up with smelly urine, but since starting I've also had a few times at the gym where I have sweated and stunk so badly I could not believe it. I had to cut my workout short today, I was actually making myself feel sick (and sorry, gym colleagues!) The smell had a strong ammonia overtone. Sites out there seem to jump to ketosis when this question crops up, but I know the smell of ketones very well and this aint it! Also vague suggestions of liver problems, which is a bit more ominous. But, that's the web for you. I can't think of much change lately except the ALA. Anyone else had extremely strong body odour from it? I'm usually not very smelly (though I have my moments of course).

 

It could be unrelated - it could also just be my body transitioning as I have stepped up the exercise some more - but I thought it was worth asking. I'll give it a miss for a time and see if it makes a difference, anyway.

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algarve7
I've been taking ALA TR 600mg for a couple of weeks now. I've had extremely smelly urine from the get go: from what I can gather, this suggests I'm passing quite a bit through and may not need as much. Not sure if I can cut these ones in half.

 

I can't speak for the Time Release ALA, but 1800 mg ALA over a number of months never gave me any odour problems that I can speak of. As far as I know the clinical trials on ALA never use the TR type for diabetes etc. Any reason why you choose it over a non-TR ALA?

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Subby

I haven't read the details of the clinical trials. I get the TR mainly for convenience reasons (picking from a certain store etc, as I jumped through hoops to get a batch of things imported into Australia) and I didn't/don't know of a reason that alpha lipoic acid released over a longer period of hours should not work in regards to detox or perhaps neuropathy. I'm not taking a great deal and I don't particularly have any aims of blood sugar aide here: as an insulin dependent diabetic replacing my entire insulin needs rather than dealing with the tip of the iceberg, it would probably only have a minor role to play, if any.

 

What I did find, is that while I thought I read this was the R type, there is no mention of that on the label, nor on the internet on double checking it. It's Natrol Time Release 600mg. Maybe it has the inferior type in it and this is a cause, though I still can't see a lot of reference to exceptionally bad sweat out there (thanks for the link though, MCS. That's something.)

 

It's still possible something else is causing these events of particularly bad odour - or that it is the detox effect that MSC's link talks about.

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algarve7
I haven't read the details of the clinical trials. I get the TR mainly for convenience reasons (picking from a certain store etc, as I jumped through hoops to get a batch of things imported into Australia) and I didn't/don't know of a reason that alpha lipoic acid released over a longer period of hours should not work in regards to detox or perhaps neuropathy. I'm not taking a great deal and I don't particularly have any aims of blood sugar aide here: as an insulin dependent diabetic replacing my entire insulin needs rather than dealing with the tip of the iceberg, it would probably only have a minor role to play, if any.

 

The clinical trials mainly show ALA is effective in preventing and reversing neuropathy. So I would mainly take it for this purpose in mind, rather than as a blood sugar aid. Some trials using 300 or 600mg didn't always show a significant effect.

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