Q:

What are the common dosages and side effects of alpha-lipoic acid?

A:

Quick Answer

While there is no established dose for alpha-lipoic acid, studies show that 600 to 1200 milligrams daily are helpful for treating diabetic neuropathy, according to WebMD. Side effects are rare, but the supplements can cause a rash, nausea or lightheadedness, and alpha-lipoic acid ointment may irritate the skin.

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Full Answer

A study showed that after three weeks of daily doses of 600 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid, pain and numbness in the legs and arms of Type 2 diabetic participants was greatly reduced, states WebMD. It has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and help with the symptoms of dementia. Studies often use intravenous alpha-lipoic acid instead of oral supplements. Because the antioxidant can reduce blood sugar, diabetics are advised to consult their doctors before using alpha-lipoic acid, as monitoring blood glucose levels during use may be required. Individuals with thyroid conditions or thiamine deficiencies are also counseled to consult with physicians before beginning alpha-lipoic acid supplementation.

Alpha-lipoic acid may interact with drugs used to treat osteoarthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure, cautions WebMD. It may decrease the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs and interact negatively with tranquilizers and anti-inflammatory medications. Because conclusive evidence as to alpha-lipoic acid’s safety is not available as of 2015, pregnant or nursing women and children should not use the supplement.

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