Neuropathy is an insidious, progressive condition that is related in large part to impaired circulation, which causes inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the nerve tissues. Nerve damage—especially if it’s related to diabetes (called diabetic neuropathy)—often has serious consequences.
The good news is that there are several natural therapies that have been shown to be effective in the prevention and treatment for neuropathy. Here are a few that I recommend.
Natural Treatments for Neuropathy
Alpha lipoic acid, also called lipoic acid or ALA, is a vitamin-like antioxidant that is both fat- and water-soluble. This allows it to enter all parts of the cell to neutralize free radicals. Studies show that daily doses of 600 mg or higher of ALA reduce pain, burning, numbness, tingling and other symptoms of neuropathy. I suggest starting with 600 mg and building up to 1,200 mg, taken in divided doses, after two or three months, if necessary.
Benfotiamine, a fat-soluble, highly absorbable form of thiamine (vitamin B1), has been shown to reduce pain and improve nerve conduction velocity. Benfotiamine works by blocking three of the major biochemical pathways that damage blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to pain and numbness in the extremities. The usual dose of benfotiamine is 300 mg twice a day in treatment for neuropathy.
Oligonol®, a proprietary blend of lychee fruit and green tea extracts, boosts microcirculation and enhances peripheral circulation. In one study, participants experienced a significant improvement in blood flow to the upper body and its extremities (arms, hands, fingers, etc.) within just 30 minutes of taking 50 mg of Oligonol®. I recommend taking 50–100 mg per day.
Evening primrose oil, which contains the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), has been shown to support optimal nerve function. In one double-blind study carried out in seven medical centers, 480 mg of evening primrose oil taken daily for one year proved beneficial to patients’ nerve health. Other studies have utilized doses up to 6,000 mg per day with good results in treatment for neuropathy. I suggest starting with a dose of 500–1,500 mg of evening primrose oil per day.
Now it’s your turn: Have you used any of these supplements before?
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