Alpha-lipoic Acid

Naturopaths at the Nardella Clinic of Calgary employ intravenous Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA) to address neurological issues typically associated with chronic diseases.

What is ALA?

ALA is an antioxidant that has the ability to activate other antioxidant molecules and helps to prevent the oxidation of other molecules, which can in turn, damage cells. Therefore, ALA also protects cells from the free radicals that can cause cell death.

ALA itself is fat soluble, which allows it to penetrate and cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and extinguish free radicals through its antioxidant activity. Its molecular structure comprises a fatty acid molecule bound by two atoms of sulfur.

In the red blood cells, ALA can promote glutathione synthesis. Glutathione is another antioxidant that is produced in our bodies, which works on more than just nerve tissue. ALA has the ability to work synergistically with other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Nardella Clinic Naturopaths use ALA to help with nerve-related symptoms (i.e. tingling, numbness and in particular, pain). Diabetic-induced peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain) is a common symptom that ALA can benefit. In neuropathy related to diabetes, chronic infection or chemotherapy, ALA scavenges the free radicals causing oxidative damage on the peripheral nerves and promotes glutathione regeneration to protect the nerve lining from inflammation.

Naturopathic Doctors also know that there may be advantages to using ALA for neuropathy from chemotherapy and radiation, chronic infection such as Lyme disease, chronic kidney and liver disease, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, alcoholism and much more.

Multiple Sclerosis

ALA may also help with the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The theory is that ALA prevents immune attack on the myelin sheath of nerve cells by altering the movement of immune cells to the central nervous system.

Thyroid Conditions and Diabetes

Additional research is showing that ALA can also be beneficial in patients with hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid conditions. Interestingly, research is also showing that ALA can help to improve blood vessel dilation in patients with Type II Diabetes.

Naturopathic Care

One group includes those naturopathic patients on the “platin” group of chemotherapeutic agents, which tend to cause a lot of peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage in the fingers and toes. In this case ALA is administered away from chemotherapeutic agents to ensure that efficacy of these medications is not compromised. Another group of naturopathic patients that may benefit includes those with Lyme disease that has manifested in the nerves leading to pain and numbness and tingling.

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