Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Is Alpha Lipoic Acid Safe?

Monday, 20 Sep 2010 11:01 AM


You’ve said that alpha lipoic acid may cause problems with thyroid function. Should it be avoided? It appears to help with my blood sugar, but maybe it isn’t worth the risk.

Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:

I use a lot of alpha lipoic acid to aid in detoxification of mercury and other heavy metals. Furthermore, it is an important antioxidant that helps keep other antioxidants in their reduced state.

In more than 17 years of using lipoic acid, I have found three patients who experienced inhibited thyroid function. I have found one study reporting a decreased conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into active thyroid hormone (T3).

However, if you begin taking alpha lipoic acid, you should have your thyroid levels checked after a few months of therapy. If there is no problem with thyroid conversion, there is no further need to check for problems with alpha lipoic acid.




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