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Over-the-Counter Supplements for Nerve Damage

Over-the-Counter Supplements for Nerve Damage Over-the-Counter Supplements for Nerve Damage

Many different conditions can lead to nerve damage, also known as neuropathy. "Neuro" refers to nerves, and "pathy" means abnormal. Diabetes is responsible for 30 percent of all cases, according to The Neuropathy Association. Tumors, autoimmune disorders, heredity and toxins are some of the other causes. The symptoms of neuropathy include tingling, pain, weakness and numbness in the feet and hands. Some supplements may help. Consult a qualified health care practitioner for more information about their use.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant present in every cell of the human body. Like other antioxidants, it helps protect cells from the damaging free radicals that can cause conditions from aging skin to coronary heart disease. Alpha-lipoic acid is a kind of super antioxidant. It helps regenerate other antioxidants as they become depleted in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid is widely used in Europe for nerve damage. Preliminary studies have shown that it works better than placebo at easing the symptoms of nerve damage, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Use alpha-lipoic acid under the supervision of a qualified health care professional.

Vitamin B12

In "The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide: Dietary Supplement Resources for the Clinician," physician Robert Alan Bonakdar recommends vitamin B12 for symptoms of nerve damage. Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal nerve conduction in the body. Bonakdar states that several clinical trials of vitamin B12 in patients with nerve damage showed that it conferred significant benefits. However, it remains unclear whether or not vitamin B12 benefits only those who are deficient in this nutrient. Consult a qualified health care professional before adding vitamin B12 to your regimen.


A review of clinical trials published in the "Annals of Pharmacotherapy" concluded that the dietary supplement acetyl-L-carnitine should be recommended to patients with nerve damage. They recommend that acetyl-L-carnitine be used early on in their course of treatment for maximum benefit. The authors recounted clinical trials of this supplement in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Acetyl-L-carnitine was shown to lower pain scores and improve nerve conduction. In one trial, the supplement even helped to regenerate the nerves. Despite its promise, acetyl-L-carnitine should not be regarded as a substitute for advice and treatment from a qualified health care practitioner.

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