Am Fam Physician. 2016 May 1;93(9):786.
Does alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) improve diabetic peripheral neuropathy?
Intravenous (IV) ALA can improve neuropathy symptoms when administered for three weeks, but symptom improvement with oral ALA is not clinically significant. (Strength of Recommendation: B, based on two meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials [RCTs].) There is no evidence evaluating long-term treatment.
Hyperglycemia can increase production of free oxygen radicals. Increased levels of free radicals have been associated with diabetic complications. Antioxidants such as ALA could theoretically be effective in treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy. A meta-analysis of four RCTs (N = 653) evaluated the effectiveness of ALA vs. placebo
1. Mijnhout GS, Kollen BJ, Alkhalaf A, Kleefstra N, Bilo HJ. Alpha lipoic acid for symptomatic peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:456279.
2. Han T, Bai J, Liu W, Hu Y. A systematic review and meta-analysis of α-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012;167(4):465–471.
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