Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy...your options

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Diabetes

            We have found that patients with complications of diabetes frequently need alpha-lipoic acid. The statistics for diabetes are now daunting in the U.S. One out of every three U.S. adults – that’s 73 million people – have diabetes or its precursor, impaired fasting glucose. Nearly 20 million Americans have full-blown diabetes and the other 50+ million have prediabetes. What is really amazing is that 1/3rd of these individuals do not even know they have the disease.1 Each year, some 82,000 people lose a limb to diabetes. It is the foremost cause of blindness, as it causes 24,000 people to go blind each year. Women have become especially prone to diabetes: 9.3 million females have been diagnosed with diabetes this year. In 2005, diabetic women’s risk of dying from a heart attack has gone up 27%, while non-diabetic women saw a 27% drop in their risk.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been proven to reduce the risk of hereditary diabetes (juvenile) by protecting the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas from the free radical damage caused by autoimmune reactions (a mistaken response by the body in which it attacks one of its own cells, tissues or organs).
            And there is more exciting news for all diabetics: alpha-lipoic acid also improves glucose control in adults with either type-1 (insulin dependent) or type-2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes.
            Since almost all the damaging effects associated with diabetes (heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney damage and neurological injury) are associated with free radicals and lipid peroxidation, we can see why alpha-lipoic acid is so effective. More and more studies demonstrate that alpha-lipoic acid dramatically improves the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (polyneuropathy), which can include intense burning pain, muscle atrophy, weakness and aggravating numbness. The nervous system (that includes the peripheral nerves) is highly dependent also upon the B vitamins for proper function, and B vitamin deficiencies are very common among older Americans.

            One of the major complications of diabetes is blindness, which occurs when free radicals damage the eye’s retina. Other retinal diseases (such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa) are also linked to this same type of injury. Experimental studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid can protect the retina against this danger, thereby preventing blindness.
            Alpha-lipoic acid also lowers blood sugar, removes mercury, arsenic and cadmium from the body (including the brain), increases the level of CoQ10 and glutathione in cells and controls the expression of some genes. Because of all these fantastic effects, alpha-lipoic acid – when combined with other nutrients and cell protectors that you may need as discovered during your applied kinesiology examinations – greatly increases your potential to recover from your health problems.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and the Aging Brain

            When it comes to aging, the hot research topic right now is something called mitochondrial decay. This is the gradual decline in the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy for cells. It occurs in everyone over age 50 – though for some it happens faster than others.
            Chronic afflictions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and arthritis accelerate this deterioration, and many researchers suspect that it is the cause of many diseases associated with aging.
            Research has found that aging is to blame for a decrease in one particular substance that is among the cell’s most important means of protection against free radical damage – glutathione. This is mainly because the enzyme needed to manufacture glutathione deteriorates as we get older. Alpha-lipoic acid has shown the ability to restore brain glutathione to youthful levels.
            Low brain glutathione is associated with all of the neurodegenerative ailments, including Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. One other exciting finding is that alpha-lipoic acid reduces the damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
            By removing mercury and other heavy metals from the brain’s neurons, alpha-lipoic acid protects the organ against a number of harmful effects. It also binds free-roaming iron and copper, effectively preventing them from generating harmful free radicals and lipid peroxidation products. Interestingly though, it does not interfere with the normal function of these essential trace minerals.
            Alpha-lipoic acid has no toxic side effects and is a natural compound found in the body. I have had quite a few type-2 diabetics who were able to get off or reduce their medications after taking alpha-lipoic acid. Using this substance, most insulin-dependent diabetics will be able to control their blood sugar with significantly lower insulin requirements. The best results come when you follow the diabetic-diet and correct all of your other physical and metabolic problems as well. For the type-2 diabetic, alpha-lipoic acid is even more effective.
            If a sufferer begins using alpha-lipoic acid as soon as the diabetes is diagnosed, nerve damage can be prevented altogether. The amount used in most studies was 600 mg. a day in divided doses, but it may take 3 months to produce full benefits. However in my own clinical use of alpha-lipoic acid, I frequently find that patients with neuropathy of the feet and hands get relief within just one week!

Applied Kinesiology significantly helps us to choose
the most appropriate nutrition for your needs

Applied kinesiology testing methods improves the selection and administration of nutritional adjuncts to our patients’ health care; they also give us a crucial tool to combat many chronic disorders in your eco-system. I think this alpha-lipoic acid support will help you.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits

q  Another powerful antioxidant
q  Lowers blood sugar
q  Removes a host of poisons from the body (i.e. mercury, arsenic)
q  Proven to reduce the risk of diabetes (by protecting insulin-secreting cells)
q  Improves glucose control for diabetics
q  Fights nerve damage symptoms (burning pain, muscle atrophy, numbness)
q  Speeds wound healing in diabetics especially
q  Guards against mitochondrial decay and other age-related problems
q  Also fights neurodegenerative disorders
q  Works against hypertension

1)     Cowie C, Rust KF, Byrd-Hoyt DD, et al, “Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose in Adults in the U.S. Population,” National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002, Diabetes Care 29 (June 2006):1263-1268.

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