Given the rising epidemic of diabetes and its devastating complications, natural strategies that support healthy blood sugar (glucose) and protect against oxidative stress offer hope for many individuals. Metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL, increases one’s risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Widely known as a potent and effective antioxidant, lipoic acid demonstrates a multitude of unique properties. Regulated as a drug in several European countries, lipoic acid is an important component of every informed individual’s health maintenance regime.
Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, and Diabetic Neuropathy
Overwhelming evidence now suggests that lipoic acid may be critical for not only maintaining optimal blood sugar levels by helping the body to use glucose, but also for supporting insulin sensitivity and key aspects of cardiovascular health. According to a recent studies, lipoic acid can help relieve several risk factors that often precedes full-blown types 2 diabetes. This review revealed that lipoic acid reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance, improves the lipid profile, and reduces weight. Scientists are encouraged by lipoic acid’s potential as a therapeutic agent for individuals with metabolic syndrome. Even after complications of diabetes have manifested, lipoic acid offers help. It has been found effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs as a result of the toxic effects of high glucose levels on the nervous system in diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is characterized by numbness, tingling, and pain best described as burning in the extremities. A large study involving patients with type 2 diabetes revealed that lipoic acid significantly improved symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, including sensations of burning, tingling, itching, and pain. Just five weeks of oral supplementation with lipoic acid significantly improved the stabbing pain, burning pain, and numbness of the feet in patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
Benefits of ALA
Based on evidence from animal and human studies, lipoic acid offers the following essential health benefits:
- Reduces stress in the body via powerful antioxidants
- Improves several components of the metabolic syndrome
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Improves the lipid profile
- Reduces weight
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Improves diabetic neuropathy
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