In my world, lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid, ALA, or thiotic acid, has been getting a lot of love. I’ve been using it for several years myself, and, according to the latest research, I’m glad that I have.

Lipoic acid is a fatty acid found inside every cell, and is needed by the body for energy-it converts blood sugar into energy. Lipoic acid is also a powerful antioxidant, especially beneficial to the liver, as it neutralizes potentially harmful chemicals also known as free radicals. The neat thing that makes lipoic acid so valuable is that it works in both water and fat, and it recharges vitamin C and glutathione. Glutathione is the most important antioxidant for the liver.

Lipoic acid is synthesized in the body, and can also be found in small amounts in foods; spinach, peas, Brussels sprouts, rice bran and organ meats. Therapeutic doses are easily available at any health food store.

I recently gave a lecture on low back pain and took questions at the end. An elderly woman stood and asked if I had heard of using lipoic acid for neuropathy and other nerve issues. To be quite honest, I hadn’t. She went on to explain that she had contracted shingles, a painful nerve virus, caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, and that she had come down with it a week after getting the shingles vaccine! And, lipoic acid had helped speed her healing. A few others in the crowd said that they too had had their conditions helped by lipoic acid. One had itching, another had peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes, still another lauded lipoic acid’s effect on her glaucoma.

I decided to look at lipoic acid further.

Lipoic acid has been the subject of numerous research and clinical trials:

Liver protection; improve liver circulation; treat chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis, jaundice, and hepatitis. Treat diabetes and neuropathy; histidine metabolic disorders; aid in various forms of poisoning-mercury, mushroom, potassium cyanide, and streptomycin.

It has also been used to treat coronary atherosclerosis, to lower cholesterol, prevent organ dysfunction, accelerate chronic wound healing, reduce iron overload, and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sounds like a pretty good supplement to add to your daily ritual.

I’m going to try lipoic acid on a client of mine who has terrible itching due to two major strokes and the resultant nerve damage.

An update on my client with Parkinson’s and the coconut oil. I’ve noticed little if any change to date.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.