Alpha lipoic acid supplements may provide benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics and reducing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that protects against cellular damage, states WebMD.
Studies demonstrate that alpha lipoic acid supplements lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes by enhancing the body's ability to use its own insulin. Alpha lipoic acid also reduces diabetic nerve damage. Alpha lipoic acid supplements have been used for many years to provide relief from diabetic neuropathy symptoms such as burning, pain, tingling and numbness. One large study demonstrated that large doses of intravenously administered alpha lipoic acid were effective for relieving neuropathy symptoms, explains WebMD. Alpha lipoic acid benefits both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics as it prevents other complications of the disease, such as macular degeneration, cataracts and reperfusion injury, reports Drugs.com.
The antioxidant effects provided by alpha lipoic acid are beneficial for aids patients with compromised immune systems and low glutathione levels. A small pilot study showed that administering 150 mg of alpha lipoic acid to 10 HIV-infected patients three times daily increased their glutathione levels. Alpha lipoic acid also improved the T-helper lymphocyte to T-helper suppressor cell ratio in some patients. Additionally, a study carried out in 33 HIV-infected patients with a history of unresponsiveness to highly active antiretroviral treatment showed that blood glutathione levels increased significantly after six months of treatment with alpha lipoic acid, according to Drugs.com.