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Ala For Neuropathy -any Experiences Or Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by NicoleC1971, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all wise folk who have experience of diabetic neuropathy. Can anyone recommend a brand that has worked for them? Following research on this forum I have order a book called the Anti Oxidant Miracle for my father in law who is now disabled by the lack of sensation in this feet which all assume to be neuropathy. I understand ALA may help but feel ill equipped to walk into Holland and Barrett and buy some though I do understand that you get what you pay for when it comes to supplements. Any advice would be appreciated. As a result of not using his legs for fear of falling over his muscles have wasted and he has aged rapidly. He is taking pain medication already but his medical team are collectively shrugging their shoulders.
     
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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Sorry to hear this. I have never bought it so can't help with brands and you are probably aware but for the benefit of those who may not be the r-ALA is the one to go with rather than the plain ALA. Sending best wishes.
     
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  3. Alison54321

    Alison54321 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You do get what you pay for, up to a point, but some supplements are silly prices.

    It's worth having a look on Amazon, as well. I often buy them from there, because though I love Holland and Barrett, their supplements can be expensive, and not always the best version.

    As far as I understand you want r-alpha lipoic acid, but others probably know more than me.

    Red fruits are also good because they contain bioactive compounds that are neuroprotective. Including strawberries, still time to buy them.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997385/

    I'm also a big big fan of the placebo effect, so if you can sell the value of anti-oxidants to him in a very positive way, hopefully that will give him a bit more confidence, and get him moving a bit.

    People are told so often that there is nothing can be done about these complications, it's very negative, hopefully your positive outlook will help.
     
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  4. Crocodile

    Crocodile Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I used the Bulk Nutrients brand of R-ALA. While it didn't cure my neuropathy it has reduced it to levels that are not causing me any problems. Keeping tight control of blood glucose is necessary to stop it coming back. R-ALA won't compensate for poor management. It only helps with good management. If he's on pain medication for neuropathy it has got to a nasty stage. Give it a try. It worked OK for me. Hope it works for you too.
    Glenn
     
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  5. MrsGruffy

    MrsGruffy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My GP suggested R-ALA to me a few years ago. She said that it was prescribed in Germany to anyone with peripheral neuropathy. I stayed on it for 2 years, but didn't see any improvement. I then did some research and found that a lot of the evidence was based on IV infused R-ALA and that there's not a lot of evidence to support it in capsule/tablet form. To be honest, the best improvement in my peripheral neuropathy is from keeping my BG low by strictly following a LCHF diet and/or losing weight. I can't really separate those 2 because they go hand in hand. All that being said, I have read a lot of accounts of people claiming real improvement to their neuropathy by taking R-ALA. It just unfortunately didn't work for me.
     
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  6. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    Poor man.
    Yes r-ala is great for numb toes. I buy mine from Amazon. Just R version thou. Everyone needs more or less of it. Body weight I believe influences its potency too.
    Try 1 3x daily then increase after few months if no improvement. It can start getting expensive thou.
    I cannot afford it constantly. I pick my times of giving myself a few months worth of it once I've stocked up.
     
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    #6 ickihun, Aug 14, 2018 at 11:12 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  7. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much. I am sorry that you can't get what you need. I suspect my f-i-l would pay quite a lot to get some relief though so your experience is encouraging.
     
  8. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks Alison. Yep. Agree that having a positive option to try could work wonders for his confidence.
     
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  9. J_T3

    J_T3 Type 3 · Member

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    I use AOR's High Dose R-Lipoic Acid. It's available in Canada through Amazon but I notice their UK site doesn't list it. In the UK the iherb website does carry it. Supplement brands vary widely in distribution.

    You definitely want the R- version. ALA is made by your liver, is non-toxic and safe, and has long been recognized as a potent antioxidant. More recently it has been demonstrated to have neuro-protective benefits, but any research reports documenting positive results are recent. Prior to 2012 published research was equivocal: studies showed little conclusive benefit in general, & specifically for neuropathy. Despite that, ALA was approved in Germany in 1966 (intravenously I think) as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy. All research done before 2012 utilised the synthetic form of ALA (S-ALA), as the natural form (R-ALA) was not shelf-stable and was massively more expensive. So the upshot is that S-ALA (sold as just "ALA") doesn't work. This is the cheap stuff you'll find in most ALA supplements.

    Subsequent research on R-ALA - the natural form your liver makes - became possible once a process was discovered to manufacture it cheaply in a shelf-stable format, and multiple studies have since demonstrated conclusively that it has neuro-protective qualities. The wikipedia page for ALA notes "Gastrointestinal absorption is variable and decreases with the use of food. It is therefore recommended that dietary LA be taken 30–60 minutes before or at least 120 minutes after a meal. Maximum blood levels of LA are achieved 30–60 minutes after dietary supplementation."

    Note that many supplement manufacturers sell R-ALA products that are actually a mix of R- & S- versions of ALA. There will always be a little S-ALA in any product: its almost impossible to eliminate. You want a product with as little S-ALA as possible: under 5%. The synthetic form of ALA doesn't help at all, but worse, appears to interfere with bioabsorption or efficacy of the natural form of the chemical. So if the supplement you take has much S-ALA in it, you're wasting your money & won't see any benefit.

    The web site for one manufacturer (Geronova: see their website; I'd provide the link but this forum seems to kill submissions that do that) describes in detail the problems with manufacturing a shelf-stable version and claims that most commercially-available R-ALA supplements degrade (polymerize) almost immediately, making them non bio-available, something they've found a way to counteract. I can't comment. I notice a difference within 24-48 hours if I suspend twice-daily use of the R-ALA referenced above, but it is possible I'd find Geronova's product even more effective. See their comments on fragility of R-ALA products: keep this stuff away from heat. I do intend to try Geronova's product, but it's pretty expensive.

    Aside from not taking R-ALA with food, you may improve efficacy by taking Acetyl-L-Carnitine with it: I've seen multiple studies document this.

    Unfortunately R-ALA isn't cheap. OTOH its cheaper than many medications, and there is no medication yet demonstrated to stop or reverse neuropathy (at least, none officially endorsed by the FDA/NIH). And the cost of untreated neuropathy is horrific, as you know.

    I have largely reversed substantial Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) and thoroughly disabling dementia (MCI, technically) - both almost certainly caused by a metabolic problem, a kind of diabetes. R-ALA was one of four things in the protocol that achieved recovery. I'm happy to document the rest, but it makes for a much longer response - more than you were specifically asking for here. BTW, if you achieve success, expect it to take time (5 years for me so far: 3 to see really significant reversal of the PN). Nerves absolutely can heal, but it's slow.
     
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  10. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your very informative and detailed response. I have found Gernova on Uk Amazon and will order it along with Acetyle-L-Carnitine; I'd like to understand how the latter helps the former but would love to hear any further details of your own recovery that you can offer to the forum. My father in law is 79 and well off enough to think of buying a disability scooter but if there is some immediate relief and hope for the future then I feel a testimony of your experience would be much appreciated.
     
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