Herbal Supplements

What is alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) used for?

A Answers (1)

  • Strong scientific evidence for the use of ALA for these conditions:
    • Neuropathy (nerve pain or damage): Several studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an effective treatment for neuropathy (nerve pain or damage) associated with diabetes.
    • Type 2 diabetes: Several studies have shown that ALA may help control and improve blood sugar levels. Additional studies on this topic are needed. Diabetes is a serious illness and should be treated under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.
    Unclear scientific evidence of the use of ALA for these conditions:
    • Antioxidant: ALA may increase the production of glutathione and help repair cell damage. Most studies support the antioxidant effects of ALA. Additional research is needed in this area.
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Early research suggests that ALA and gamma-linolenic acid may benefit symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly in the early stages of the disease. Additional research evaluating ALA alone is needed.
    • Cognitive function (associated with HIV): ALA has been studied as a treatment for cognitive impairment (problems with mental function) caused by nerve damage in HIV patients. More high-quality studies are needed.
    • HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy: In HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy, ALA improved white blood cell function. Additional research on this topic is needed.
    • Kidney disease: ALA may improve the blood vessel lining function, possibly benefiting patients with end-stage kidney disease. More research is needed in this area.
    • Migraine: ALA may help prevent migraines. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
    • Pain (burning mouth syndrome): ALA has shown mixed results as a treatment for burning mouth syndrome, a condition that causes the mouth to feel hot or tingly. Additional research is needed.
    • Peripheral artery disease: ALA may reduce pain associated with exercise in people with peripheral artery disease. Additional studies are warranted.
    • Wound healing (in people undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy): ALA may reduce tissue damage caused by long-term exposure to high levels of oxygen. More research is needed in this area.
    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information visit

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Does alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) help with neuropathy?