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lipoic acid side effects:detox or mineral deficiency?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by lizw118, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Hi all
    After completing more than a year of methylation protocol I decided to start taking ALA. I take a sustained release kind twice a day. A few years ago a metametrix test showed that I have high arsenic and cadmium, so I am hoping the ALA might help with those. It has helped many of my symptoms to a certain extent, which I think might be related to blood sugar issues.
    However, I also have some side effects. These get worse if I take too much. The worst side effect is depression. I also have POTS wose than usual. The other day I had to get a lot of blood drawn and felt really weak and dizzy after that. I think that I might be getting low on iron now because of the ALA, so I am trying to supplement iron. The iron supps help the dizziness, but make me feel worse in other ways. This is all really confusing and I am trying to sort it out. Will these symptoms go away? Am I detoxing? Or is this something else? I tried taking R-lipoic acid and felt worse, btw, so I guess I can't tolerate high doses.
    Thanks
    Liz
     
  2. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    If you have high levels of other toxic metals, you probably also have some degree of mercury on board. Depression following infrequent dosing of ALA is very common, and it may result from moving Hg into the brain, something ALA and R-LA does.

    I would expect you to have more symptoms when starting the supplement and then in the first few hours after the blood levels of the LA fall, as the metals redistribute to other, often more sensitive tissues. The symptoms may feel like "adrenal" symptoms and dizziness is pretty common. ALA's half-life requires it to be taken frequently if there is any chance you have a significant burden of mercury. Taking it every three hours, 24 hours a day is ideal. Sustained release formulations are not acceptable alternatives. You didn't describe your iron symptoms, but if you are experiencing the pro-oxidant effects of iron, I would expect you to experience significant fatigue.

    Lipoic acid will raise glutathione and has a number of tremendous qualities as a supplement. You will notice that a good number of people take this without apparent problems. Actually, it is the supplement that is restoring my health, but only because I take it according to the half-life, and at dosages that I can handle. In my opinion, there is no obvious explanation for your symptoms unless you are re-distributing heavy metals. The R-LA is more bioavailable, hence the greater redistributive effects. Be careful.
     
    jeffrez likes this.
  3. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Yes, ALA is one of the supplements I value the most. Amazing for my POTS (Autonomic Neuropathy)
     
  4. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the comments.
    Vegas, I do take the sustained release kind. My dose is 300 mg once in the morning and once at night. Maybe that is simply too high of a dose? Do you think I should switch to the non-sustained form and dose every three hours, but with a smaller dosage each time?
    After I had blood drawn I was feeling extremely fatigued and dizzy and pale. I felt like it tipped the balance into iron anemia for me, maybe.
    Thanks
    Liz
     
  5. adreno

    adreno Homo neanderthalensis

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    A ferritin test should be able tell you if you have low iron levels. Remember that ALA can also lower blood sugar, which could account for some symptoms, like fatigue and dizziness.

    I would also avoid the time released version. It is possible that ALA actually works mostly as an pro-oxidant, by producing a hormetic effect. For hormesis to work, it must be short periods only. A prolonged pro-oxidant effect is bad news.
     
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  6. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    I'm confused, Adreno. Why would ALA cause hormesis? I thought it was supposed to be an antioxidant? Also, isn't it somewhat expected to have detox symptoms on it at first or not? Does this mean my glutathione isn't as high as I think it is?
     
  7. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Lizw, does taking it at night keep you awake? I take at least 600 per day, but earlier. If I take some in the afternoon, I get energy and cannot sleep for a while.
     
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i thought ALA improved insulin sensitivity which shouldnt lower blood sugar lower then normal, but with cfs/me nothing would suprise me.
    I have used ALA for years and find it a good supp, i use it for its antioxidant and liver protection effects.

    good luck,
    cheers!!!
     
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  9. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Sallysblooms,
    Luckily I have not had problems with it keeping me up when I take it before bed. I take a lot of Magnesium at bed time and usually that helps me sleep. I find that if I can't sleep it's usually related to being low adrenal and I raise my hydrocortisone dose the next day just a little. It's great that you can tolerate 600 mg. Your glutathione levels and methylation must be in good shape!
    Liz
     
  10. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Yeah, my understanding was the same about the insulin sensitivity. Maybe it can lower blood sugar in people with high blood-sugar though (?) I believe the benefits I am seeing from ALA are due to the insulin sensitivity. There were actually a few days where I did not crave sugar 24-7 but ugh this headache and these joint aches!
    Liz
     
  11. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Liz, I have to take that much and need more daily for POTS. But I seem to do best with 600-700mg daily. My doctor would like me to take more, but I just seem to be too alert with more. My CFS is doing great!
     
  12. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Wow, that is incredible Sallysbloom. I take like 2-4mg and I can definitely feel it. Get much worse fatigue, might still have Hg to detox.

    Have you heard of the Cutler "low dose frequent chelation" protocol, Liz? Like the others are saying, according to that method, the ideal way to take LA if you have any body burden of mercury at all appears to be low doses in 3hr intervals around the clock for 3 days, then take 11 days off to replenish minerals (or is it 4 days on, 10 days off? it's been so long since I did it that I honestly don't remember). But I would definitely avoid any timed-release ALA, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, lol. Be careful!
     
  13. adreno

    adreno Homo neanderthalensis

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    I haven't researched it deeply, but it is my understanding that ALA can have a hormetic effect:
    http://www.geronova.com/content/greatest-recent-finding-lipoic-acid
     
  14. adreno

    adreno Homo neanderthalensis

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    Maybe you're right. I don't know how someone with low, or borderline low, blood sugar would react to it.
     
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    just having an educated guess as the medication called metformin works by improving insulin sensitivity and its extremely rare that it causes low blood sugar although it does lower high blood sugar. So guessing ALA has a similar effect, but blood sugar should be kept an eye on if starting ALA and have hypo episodes???

    cheers!!!
     
  16. Emootje

    Emootje Senior Member

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    I posted here Dr Rountree's lecture about hormesis.
    If you have the strength and the time (90 min), I would recommend to listen to his lecture.
    It completely turned around my view on anti-oxidants.
    I learned that we need short-acting pro-oxidants like ALA...
     
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  17. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Thanks. I will look at the lecture. I know that hormesis works by turning on heat shock factor genes, etc. and all of the body functions that work when the diet is very sparse, so you might be onto something. I also think too many anti-oxidants might not be a good thing because a lot of cell signaling happens with R.O.S.s Weird thing is that there is a theory about insulin reception and disease/aging, where if the insulin receptor is knocked out, longer life and better health might result. I wonder how ALA plays into this. It seems just the opposite
     
  18. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Yes this is what I would like to do now. I have some R lipoic acid immediate release that is 100 mg and I am emptying a lot of the capsule out and taking them every three hours. However I still think the dose might be too high. I can't find any commercial supplements that are less than 50 mg. Does anyone know of any?
    Liz
     
  19. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    So many reasons l love taking ALA. Decreasing insulin resistance and function and glycation is important. Antioxidents are so important and it works with C and E. I love it for the energy is helps with and it is so good for collagen in the skin. I really think it is great for the skin, helps the body be able to repair. ALA has been wonderful working with Befotiaimine for the healing of my nerves/neuropahty(POTS.) Good for the brain and energy.
     
  20. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    Livingnetwork (South Africa) will formulate any dose you want. Alternatively, Kirkman labs makes a 25 mg capsule.
     

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