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Nutrition Hotline – Nutrients for Neuropathy

Source: Better Nutrition, Dec, 1999
Author: Shari Lieberman

Q: From N.R., Stratford, Conn.: I am suffering from very painful idiopathic polyneuropathy. I’ve been given drugs for it which do not work and cause side-effects. Are there any nutrients that may help?

A: Most of the research on nutrients and neuropathy has been done on patients with diabetes or AIDS. High doses of vitamin B-12 (500-1000 mcg/day) have been shown to be of benefit, and alpha-lipoic acid (300-1200 mg/day) appears to significantly relieve the pain. Essential fatty acids from fish oil (EPA/DHA), evening primrose, black currant, and GLA-rich borage oil have also shown therapeutic benefit. Animal studies have suggested that acetyl-L-carnitine may also benefit patients with neuropathy. I have used lecithin granules or phosphatidyl choline (PC) capsules with excellent results.