FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter October 2006
Diabetic Neuropathies and Carnitine
Diabetic peripheral neuropathies (DN) can be extremely debilitating and difficult to deal with. The Townsend Newsletter just published this study which shows the use of carnitine in the treatment of diabetic neuropathies.
Some 1,257 patients with diabetic neuropathy were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, placebo or acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) at a dose of 500 or 1,000 mg
3 times a day for 1 year. Efficacy end points were sural nerve morphometry, nerve conduction velocities, vibration perception thresholds, clinical symptom scores, and a visual analogue scale for the most bothersome symptom, most notably pain.
RESULTS: Data showed significant improvements in sural nerve fiber numbers and regenerating nerve fiber clusters. Nerve conduction velocities and amplitudes did not improve, whereas vibration perception improved in the study. Pain as the most bothersome symptom showed significant improvement.
The 500 mg(tid) dose seem to work better for sural nerve regeneration and the 1000mg (tid) dose worked better on pain , which would point out the need for individual dosing and monitoring of the patient.
At Comp Med we use carnitine as part of a program for DN, which would include other nutritional interventions and the use of a pulsed LED red light array on the feet. This has the effect of increasing circulation to the periphery.
Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith