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ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID IV
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA, thioctic acid) is an endogenous, potent antioxidant that is purported to be useful in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, diabetic neuropathy, dementia secondary to Alzheimer’s disease or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, glaucoma, amanita mushroom poisoning, and alcoholic liver disease. Studies supporting the use of ALA in the treatment of diabetes and diabetic neuropathy are available. The majority of studies are short in duration (e.g., 3—5 weeks) and were completed with a small number of study participants; however, small studies of both 6 months and 24 months duration have been completed in patients with diabetic neuropathy. ALA has been used extensively in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in Germany since 1959. Studies supporting the effectiveness of ALA in other purported indications in humans are lacking or inconclusive. Further investigations of ALA in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, HIV-related dementia, or liver diseases are needed before it can be recommended for use for those conditions.