The Power Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid IVs for Neuropathy
Alpha-lipoic acid is known for helping people with neuropathy, but how you take is also of vital importance.
By Shiraz Abbas
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant (similar to a vitamin) that is found in food sources like spinach and broccoli. The supplement is usually taken for diabetes, but it has been shown to help with a wide-variety of neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy and CIDP.
Alpha-lipoic acid is usually taken by mouth and is known to treat symptoms of nerve pain, burning and numbness in the legs and arms that are associated with neuropathy.
The antioxidant is important because it helps restore levels of vitamins C and E in the body which are critical for immune function and inflammation regulation. We previously wrote about the benefits of vitamin C and vitamin E for CIDP type neuropathy.
A 1999 study found the consumption of alpha lipoic acid as beneficial for women suffering from neuropathy. It concluded as follows:
Women, thinner and younger patients tended to benefit more from the treatment in terms of nervous conduction velocity improvement. In conclusion, alpha-lipoic acid seems to be efficient and safe in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, improving both clinical manifestations and nerve conduction velocity. Placebo controlled clinical trials are needed to further define the role of this new medication in the treatment of diabetic neuropathies.
Not everyone taking the supplement find benefit. However, a 2012 study found that if alpha lipoic acid is taken intravenously (e.g. through an IV), its benefits increase and widen exponentially:
When given intravenously at a dosage of 600 mg/day over a period of 3 weeks, alpha lipoic acid leads to a significant and clinically relevant reduction in neuropathic pain (grade of recommendation A). It is unclear if the significant improvements seen after 3–5 weeks of oral administration at a dosage of >600 mg/day are clinically relevant.
If you suffer from any kind of neuropathy and alpha lipoic acid capsules haven’t worked for you, you may want to consult with your doctor and see if you can have alpha lipoic acid given to you through an IV.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.