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Why do people take alpha-lipoic acid?

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We have strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements improve type 2 diabetes symptoms. For example, several studies have found that they can improve insulin resistance. Studies also found that alpha-lipoic acid supplements can help with nerve damage caused by diabetes or cancer treatment. 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.

From: Alpha-Lipoic Acid WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site, “About Herbs: Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Natural Standard Patient Monograph, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Mijnhout, G. , April 2010; vol 68: pp 158-160. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by David Kiefer on October 17, 2016

SOURCES:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site, “About Herbs: Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Natural Standard Patient Monograph, “Alpha-lipoic acid.”

Mijnhout, G. , April 2010; vol 68: pp 158-160. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by David Kiefer on October 17, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the effects of long-term use of alpha-lipoic acid?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.