Why Doctors Should Be Mandated to Give This Powerful Antioxidant to Diabetics
- Published on: 13 November, 2015
- Last update: 20 September, 2018
What if a single antioxidant was proven to decrease the side effects that diabetics get, such as early heart attacks, early Alzheimer’s, early cataracts, early phlebitis, gangrene, and amputations?
What if this same antioxidant was able to help stabilize blood sugar, smash insulin resistance, and limit inflammation? Too good to be true?
Meet R-lipoic acid, a supplement I read about in Suzanne Somer’s incredible book Tox-Sick, and have been taking almost every day since. R-lipoic acid is the biologically active form of alpha lipoic acid (ALA), an antioxidant produced in minute quantities by our bodies. It’s also found in organic grass-fed organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart — but when’s the last time you had some of those on your plate? My grandmother was always trying to get me to eat liver because she knew of the endless benefits, but I’m afraid our generation (understandably) hasn’t quite developed a taste for it.
While reading Tox-Sick, I learned that R-lipoic acid is imperative for diabetic patients. In fact, Dr. Sherry Rogers M.D. says it should be criminal for doctors not to prescribe it! I completely agree. If one single antioxidant can do so much for patients, including helping them avoid pharmaceuticals, why on earth would doctors refrain from administering it? It’s so simple, yet the implications of ignoring it are so severe. “R-lipoic acid as a remedy is not taught in the schools where people are getting their medical degrees, because we don’t look for the cause and the cure,” says Dr. Rogers.
Too Good to Be True?
I put Dr. Rogers sentiments to the test and told a friend whose aunt is diabetic that she should try it out. I decided to write this blog today because she has been on it for a little over a month, and the results have been nothing less than amazing. When she started, her blood sugar was incredibly high (we’re talking almost 400), and today it has never been so stable. It never goes over 120, and most days hits as low as 90. Now this is something worth talking about!
Benefits of Lipoic Acid
ALA has many beneficial functions, but it’s most commonly known as one of the most effective free radical scavengers out there, and the only one that can easily get into your brain! Dr. Sherry Rogers says that lipoic acid reverts the brain to more youthful levels by working with acetyl-l-carnitine to move fatty acids into our good old gray matter.
She also brings up the excellent point that ALA is more necessary than ever in our modern industrial society, because guess what? Phthalates (the carcinogens present in all conventional cleaners, lotions, body sprays, deodorants, and plastic packaging) completely destroy your body’s stores of this important brain nutrient.
Alpha lipoic acid also has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and glutathione, which are absolutely crucial for liver detox, skin health, heart disease prevention and so much more.
On top of all of this, ALA is proven to balance blood sugar (as I mentioned), modify gene expression to reduce inflammation, and chelate heavy metals. I think of it as a daily gentle detox that helps my body excrete the bad (metals) and hold onto the good (vitamin C, etc).
The science agrees: Lipoic Acid is a powerhouse for diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Overwhelming evidence now suggests that lipoic acid is critical for maintaining optimal blood sugar levels by helping the body to use glucose. It is also shown to be highly useful for supporting insulin sensitivity and key aspects of cardiovascular health.
According to a recent scientific review (1), lipoic acid can help relieve several components of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of abnormalities and risk factors that often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Another recent study of 36 patients with coronary artery disease found that a combination of lipoic acid with acetyl-L-carnitine reduced blood pressure and improved endothelial function of the brachial artery (2). This nutrient pair may therefore be an effective strategy for supporting healthy blood pressure levels, particularly in the context of metabolic syndrome, which could help to prevent the development of diabetes and other disorders in the future.
In fact, when I take lipoic acid myself I usually take it with a tablespoon of acetyl-l-carnitine; not only because of the study I just mentioned on heart health, but also because of their synergistic effect on mental focus. Once again, Dr. Sherry Rogers taught me via Tox-Sick that these two nutrients can make your brain revert to more youthful levels. Acetyl L-Carnitine and R-Lipoic Acid taken together are crucial for moving the fatty acids into the brain and restoring brain function. Your brain can then immediately use those fatty acids as fuel. As I mentioned before, phthalates and plastics deplete both from your brain in the first place.
Anyway, back to some final tidbits about the science of ALA. Last year, research revealed the incredible effects of administering lipoic acid in terms of improving insulin sensitivity in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes. Lipoic acid produced significant improvements within only four weeks of supplementation (3). It has also been proven to reduce diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs as a result of the toxic effects of high glucose levels on the nervous system in diabetes.
Dr. Berkson, Liver Health, Cancer & ALA
Dr. Berkson has both an MD degree and a PhD, although the PhD came first. For 23 years he was the principal FDA investigator for the intravenous use of alpha lipoic acid. He is also the expert consultant to the Centers for Disease Control on alpha lipoic acid and liver poisoning. Dr. Berkson has published scientific papers in medical journals throughout Europe, and is an active scientific writer, researcher, and speaker. He is the author of 4 books, including The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough.
Here is an excerpt from an interview he did with honestmedicine.com:
“I was a resident in internal medicine in a teaching hospital in Cleveland Ohio, and one day the chief of medicine came by and said, ‘I am very upset with you.’ And I said ‘Why?’ (I thought he was kidding). He said, “You have no deaths on your service. Most people have seen several deaths by now and you haven’t seen any.” I told him that I really try to keep people alive. He said, “It’s very unusual. I’m going to give you two people who will surely die. They have acute and fulminant liver disease. They ate poisonous mushrooms, and the expert on liver disease said we cannot get a transplant for them; nothing can save them. So I want you to go upstairs, watch them die, take notes and present this to grand medical rounds.”
I went upstairs and I looked at these two very sick people. And as a medical doctor, especially in internal medicine, you’re supposed to follow the orders of the chief, just like a private would follow the orders of a sergeant. But I had six years of education above my medical training, for a masters and a PhD in microbiology and cell biology, and I was always looking for new things. So I called Washington and spoke to the head of the National Institutes of Health in Internal Medicine, Dr. Fred Bartter, and I asked him, “Is there anything in the world that he knew of that might regenerate a liver?” And he said he was studying alpha lipoic acid because he knew it would reverse diabetic neuropathy and other complications of diabetes. But when he gave it to people, it seemed to regenerate their organs. It seemed to stimulate their stem cells and to start growing and regenerating new organ tissue.
He sent the lipoic acid to me. I picked it up at the Cleveland airport about three hours later. The commercial pilot handed it to me. I ran back to the hospital and injected it into these two people for a period of two weeks. And in two weeks, they regenerated their livers fully. And they’re still alive and well, in their 80s, thirty some years later.
I was all excited. Washington was all excited. But the chiefs were not happy with me. They said, “We told the families that these people were going to die… that there was no hope. And now they’re alive and well. You know, it makes us look bad. And you did something without asking us for permission.” And I said, “You told me that these people were my responsibility, so I did what I thought was correct.” I asked if they wanted to know what I did, and they said no. They said, ‘This is not an approved drug. And it’s not on our formulary. And you did not follow orders like a good internal medicine doctor.'”
How sad that the hospital chief was not even curious as to what he did to save their lives – all because it wasn’t an “approved drug” that would make the drug companies (and the hospital) money!
Later in his career, Dr. Berkson met with a woman who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and metastases to her liver. She went to a large university medical center. They told her that nothing could be done. He started her on intravenous alpha lipoic acid four days a week, and also gave her low dose naltrexone, which modulates the immune system (at bedtime). He first saw her in December, and by May there was no sign of cancer. The tumor in the pancreas was gone, and the metasteses in the liver had disappeared.
Using Lipoic Acid Safely & Warnings
Scientific studies showing the health benefits of lipoic acid have used doses ranging from 300 mg to 1,800 mg per day. I personally only take one 240mg capsule a day. For optimal effects, some nutritional practitioners recommend co-supplementing with biotin and vitamin B complex (which I get through a multivitamin). Always talk to your practitioner before adding a new supplement to your regimen. As lipoic acid may lower blood glucose levels, individuals with diabetes or glucose intolerance should have their blood glucose monitored while taking lipoic acid. As you saw with my friend’s aunt, her blood sugar was drastically reduced, so her doctor will (thankfully) have to cut down on her medication. If you’re on any anti-diabetic medication your doctor may have to adjust your dose in order to avoid hypoglycemia.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid using lipoic acid until more studies are available.
Do not take R-lipoic acid if you have “silver amalgam” (mercury) fillings in your mouth. As I mentioned earlier, lipoic acid is a heavy metal chelator. This is a great thing for healthy individuals with high-functioning elimination organs, but unfortunately, mercury from “silver” fillings lodges in those organs over time, thus weakening their detoxification abilities. Taking lipoic acid if you have mercury fillings will further displace the metal in your body and cause more harm than good. If you’re looking to get your fillings out, please only see a trained biological dentist that knows the mercury removal protocol. I found my dentist on iaomt.org.
(1) Pershadsingh HA. Alpha-lipoic acid: physiologic mechanisms and indications for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Mar;16(3):291-302.
(2) McMackin CJ, Widlansky ME, Hamburg NM, et al. Effect of combined treatment with alpha-Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine on vascular function and blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease. J Clin Hypertens.(Greenwich.). 2007 Apr;9(4):249-55.
(3) Kamenova P. Improvement of insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid. Hormones (Athens). 2006 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-8.