I am interested to hear any experiences from people who have triend Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is a supplement that has been tested to prevent and reverse nerve damage and lower blood sugars.

I was really excited to try it-- so I bought it (in a body building shop!! I never thought that I would go into one of those). It was pretty expensive, but I wanted to give it a try. Now I was too afraid to take the first one before bed in case it would really cause hypoglycemia....

So I decided to ask first-- has anyone taken it? In what dose and how often? Any side effects or things that I should watch out for?

Tags: acid, alpha, hypoglycemia, lipoic, supplement

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Hey Kristin,

I've been taking alpha lipoic acid since I was diagnosed with T1 this summer--it's made a *huge* difference or me. I'll need to check exactly what I take when I get home, but I do know that it's a time-released formula. Here's a study that was done specifically with the time-released form (treatment in the study also involved benfotiamine, a form of vitamin B1):
http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37598

Within the first week of being on this, I saw a big difference in my numbers and was able to reduce my insulin dosage substantially. It is expensive, but it's been totally worth it for me.

Will let you know more later!
Colleen
Thanks so much Colleen!! I wonder if I should reduce my insulin dose before starting it?
Alright, here's the info about my alpha lipoic acid:
ALAmax CR (controlled-release) by Xymogen
I take two tablets/day--roughly one at breakfast and one at dinner. Each tablet is 400 mg.
Again, it's by no means cheap, but it has been well-worth it for me. From what I understand, the controlled-release aspect of it is important, so this one might be worth checking out if the brand you found isn't.

As per reducing your insulin dose, if you did at all, I would probably only reduce it very slightly, so that you can really just wait and see how you react to it--since everyone is different after all. You may just want to leave your dose as is and see how if affects you, but test more often so you can keep a closer eye on your numbers and then adjust your insulin from there.

Best of luck! Let me know how it goes for you :-)
Kristin - I take R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (called Insulow) with evening primrose oil, as recommended by Dr. Bernstein in his book. It's considered a universal antioxidant so it probably has other beneficial effects like preventing free radical damage. I also take Metformin, B vitamins, chromium, fenugreek, bitter melon, lutein, gymnema sylvestre extract and flaxseeds, basically, anything that's suppose to be good for diabetics, I will try them out [let's just say I spent way too much money on buying supplements, gym outfits, blood glucose monitors within the last couple of months]. The thing is, I think exercising has probably helped me the most. But I do believe in taking good supplements, so for Christmas, I'm making a gift basket for my glucose intolerant sister - it will be exercise bands, pedometer, R-ALA, fenugreek, chromium and gumnema sylvestre, low carb snacks and a bar of Lindt 85% dark chocolate just to make her smile, along with copies of books on diabetes & prediabetes! I don't want her to get diabetes like me!
Hi Kristen,
I believe in it and my doctor has asked me to take it.
There are many great supplements out there to help us control our diabetes more "naturally". I take the ALA and also Chromium Picolinate. Jarrow Formulas makes something called Glucose Optimizer that is also a great supplement. Sometimes its hard taking all these things but I look at it this way, its better than taking a shot.
Be aware that Alpha Lipocic Acid can initiate depressions. This is my personal experience and I heard about this tendency from others as well. Some might be prone to this tendency and others will not have any issue. It has positive effects in the prevention and repair of nerve damages. Therefore I recommend that you tell your partner about this possibility. He should watch for sings of depression or mood swings since you will not realize this development in the early stages.
Thanks for the heads-up, Holger. I don't think I've had an issue from the ALA, but I've dealt with depression for a long time so it'll be good to watch out for.
I also read that taking ALA makes your A1c level lower than you average blood sugar level (so the A1c is not a good test of average blood sugar if you take ALA). Does anyone know about this?
I believe I've heard this too. According to the study abstract I linked to above, ALA reduces the glycation process (specifically the formation of advanced glycation end products, which, if I have my science right, are what elevate A1c levels). So, not only can it reduce insulin resistance but also potentially reduce complications resulting from elevated A1cs.
Hi Kristin. What next, pumping iron? LOL
I use flax seed oil that is fortified with extra alpha lipoic acid and I take primrose oil .I notice I wasn't getting that "tingling"and burning feeling in my toes.
Other foods tha have alpha lipoic acid are brewer's yeast, rice bran, spinach,peas, brocccoli,and brussel sprouts . Also , other componds is brussel sprouts and broccoli are able to prevent damage in blood vessels caused by AGE end product.

P.S. See you in the gym!
I've been taking ALA for a while (400 mg twice a day). It does work great for neuropathies, but I haven't found that it has reduced my insulin to any significant extent & it hasn't caused hypoglycemia. Maybe I'm not taking enough, Don't take on an empty stomach because some people experience an upset tummy.

I order from Swanson vitamins. Will have to check out Puritan's prices--thanks, Renee. Don't know if either of them ship overseas.

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