Twenty-four percent of 716 people with diabetes who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement daily for three weeks felt an improvement in pain, burning and numbness in their feet due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by high blood sugar) compared with 16% of 542 diabetics taking a placebo.

Theory: Alpha-lipoic acid neutralizes the damage caused by small molecules that accumulate when blood sugar is elevated.

If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy: Ask your doctor about taking 1,200 mg to 1,800 mg daily of controlled-release alpha-lipoic acid, available at most health-food stores. Taking alpha-lipoic acid may alter insulin or drug requirements.

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