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Can ALA help diabetes?

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There's some evidence that ALA may benefit people with type 2 diabetes. A few studies suggest that alpha-lipoic acid supplements may help the body use its own insulin to lower blood sugar. And ALA may help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that can be caused by diabetes, especially given by IV. More research is needed on the effectiveness of taking ALA supplements by mouth for diabetic neuropathy.

Don't take ALA if you take insulin or other medications to lower blood sugar. It's possible that it can enhance the effect of these drugs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Talk to your doctor first.

From: Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Linus Pauling Institute: "Lipoic Acid."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Alpha-lipoic acid."

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter: "Alpha Lipoic Acid."

Drugs.com: "Alpha-Lipoic Acid."

How Stuff Works: "Alpha Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Diabetes and CAM: A Focus on Dietary Supplements."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 17, 2019

SOURCES:

Linus Pauling Institute: "Lipoic Acid."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Alpha-lipoic acid."

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter: "Alpha Lipoic Acid."

Drugs.com: "Alpha-Lipoic Acid."

How Stuff Works: "Alpha Lipoic Acid and Weight Loss."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Diabetes and CAM: A Focus on Dietary Supplements."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 17, 2019

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What conditions can ALA help?

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