Often, when researchers are excited about a potential breakthrough for disease treatment, it involves a new prescription drug that will continue to line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. But occasionally, researchers find that something we've had available to us all along can be tremendously helpful for people suffering from various conditions.
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have found that an antioxidant may help people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). For the study, the researchers divided 51 participants into two groups for a two-year randomized double-blind study. Twenty-seven of the participants received 1,200 mg of alpha lipoic acid a day. While this is a very high dose, the results of the small study indicate that such doses are safe. The only "potential" side effect they noted was a mild upset stomach. The rest of the participants received a placebo.
The researchers used MRIs to determine if the antioxidant reduced the rate of whole brain atrophy. They found that the lipoic acid worked shockingly well, outperforming the placebo by 68%. Compare that to the prescription drug Ocrevus, formulated for the primary progressive form of MS. It slows whole brain atrophy by only 18%. This pilot study also indicated that lipoic acid could improve walking times and fall rates.
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The results of this study were so promising that the researchers are preparing for a larger clinical trial to test this antioxidant further in more people with MS. In the meantime, these results suggest that lipoic acid is worth a try for people with secondary progressive MS and may benefit others as well.
You can purchase lipoic acid over the counter, online and in most pharmacies. You also can find it in Advanced Nerve Support , which contains not just alpha lipoic acid but four other vitamins and nutrients that will benefit your nerves. Because MS affects the sheath covering of nerve fibers, exposing them to damage, nutrients that help support the nerves are particularly beneficial. However, anyone who wants to support their nerves as they age can benefit from Advanced Nerve Support.
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant, and I'm glad to see it being put to use in this way. Stay tuned for more information once the final outcomes of the clinical trials are released.
Better Health and Living for Women,
Rebecca Spain, Katherine Powers, Charles Murchison, Elizabeth Heriza, Kimberly Winges, Vijayshree Yadav, Michelle Cameron, Ed Kim, Fay Horak, Jack Simon, Dennis Bourdette. Lipoic acid in secondary progressive MS. Neurology - Neuroimmunology Neuroinflammation, 2017; 4 (5): e374 DOI: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000374.>