- Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is a naturally occurring compound that’s made in the body. It serves vital functions at the cellular level, such as energy production.
- As long as you’re healthy, the body can produce all the ALA it needs for these purposes. Despite that fact, there has been a lot of recent interest in using ALA supplements.
- ALA is an antioxidant.
- Diabetes: ALA may have at least two positive benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes. A few studies have suggested that alpha-lipoic acid supplements may enhance the body’s ability to use its own insulin to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
- ALA may help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy — nerve damage that can be caused by diabetes.
- In Europe, ALA has been used for years to provide relief from the pain, burning, tingling, and numbing caused by diabetic neuropathy. In particular, one large study strongly suggested that large intravenous doses of ALA were effective at relieving symptoms.
- Side effects from using ALA supplements appear to be rare and mild, such as skin rash.
- ALA should not be used without a recommendation from your doctor if you take insulin or other medications to lower blood sugar. It’s possible that it can enhance the effect of these drugs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Discuss the use of supplemental ALA with your doctor first.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Medications for cancer (Chemotherapy) interacts with ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID: Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if this interaction occurs.
Minor Interaction Be watchful with this combination:
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID: Alpha-lipoic acid might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking alpha-lipoic acid along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. But more evidence is needed to know if this interaction is a big concern. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
- Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Acetate Replacing Factor, A-Lipoic Acid, Acide Alpha-Lipoïque, Acide Alpha-Lipoïque R, Acide DL-Alpha-Lipoïque, Acide Lipoïque, Acide Thioctique, Acide 1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoïque, Acide 1,2-dithiolane-3-valérique, Acide 5 Valérique (1,2-dithiolan-3-yl), Acide 6,8-dithiooctanoïque, Acide 6,8-Thioctique, Acido Alfa Lipoico, Alpha-Lipoic Acid Extract, ALA, Biletan, Extrait d’acide Alpha-Lipoïque, Lipoic Acid, Lipoicin, R-ALA, R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid R, S-Alpha Lipoic Acid, (R)-Lipoic Acid, R-Lipoic Acid, RS-Alpha-Lipoic Acid Thioctacid, Thioctan, Thioctic Acid, 1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid, 1,2-dithiolane-3-valeric acid, 6,8-dithiooctanoic acid, 6,8-thioctic acid, 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl) valeric acid.
Source: WebMD, “Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)”, www.webmd.com/diet/alpha-lipoic-acid-ala