Alpha Lipoic acid & Type 2 Diabetes
Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA) has long been known to be effective as an antioxidant, and there has been some very interesting research with it pertaining to the type 2 diabetic patient. Much of the research has demonstrated the effectiveness of Lipoic acid's ability to protect the diabetic patient from the ravenges of high glucose levels. This is due to the fact that high levels of glucose produce high levels of oxidative stress which can damage tissues.
Alpha Lipoic acid is unique in that it can quench both fat soluble and water soluble oxidative ions. Most other antioxidants work on one or the other, but not both. Over the years we have recommended Lipoic acid for those who only want to take one antioxidant. Lipoic acid covers both fats or lipids as well as the water soluble O2 radicals.
In the latest study on Lipoic acid, as published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, patients were evaluated for glucose status and oxidative markers. These included fasting glucose, Hgb A1c, and other markers. The patients were given randomly assigned doses of ALA ranging fro 300 mg/day to 1200 mg/day. The researchers observed beneficial results on glucose levels as well as oxidative stress levels in a dose dependant progression. Only slight side effects were observed in the higher doses.
So, if you are a type 2 diabetic or have been told you are insulin resistant, pre-diabetic state, you can benefit form taking ALA. One thing to note if you decide to take ALA, if you take it for a prolonged time you will want to also take biotin as the ALA will interfere with your ability to absorb and utilize biotin, which is a very necessary nutrient for the hair, skin and nails.
Something else to be aware of with Lipoic acid is the different forms. The most common form you will encounter is the alpha form. There is also the R or reduced form. Research has demonstrated that the R form is more beneficial for the neuropathies due to diabetes. Clinically we have seen some very good results with helping the neuopathies with the R Lipoic acid. The alpha form has been effective in the management of glucose and HgbA1c levels.