Dr. Kornfeld’s Recommended Supplements
- Alpha lipoic acid, a fat and water soluble antioxidant which can protect nerve cells from further damage and assist in the repair of damaged nerve cells. He suggests starting with 300mg with each meal, unless otherwise determined by a healthcare professional.
- L-arginine in the amount of 250mg three times daily. L-arginine is an amino acid which helps improve blood flow, an important step in repairing nerve damage. Dr. Kornfeld notes that patients with a history of herpes should not take this amino acid because it has been implicated in an increase in outbreaks.
- Dr. Kornfeld reports that supplementing with omega-3s and omega-6s can greatly improve diabetic peripheral neuropathy because nerve cells depend on these fats for repair and healthy function. He notes that a blood test is often used to examine red blood count (RBC) levels of these fats to determine specific needs and that omega-3s and omega-6s need to be in ideal balance.
- A balanced B vitamin complex may help with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Make sure the B complex has synergistic levels of B vitamins and not just every B vitamin in the same dose and that the complex has adequate levels of folate in it (400 mcg). Dr. Kornfeld notes that high levels of B6 may worsen symptoms over time and thus he advises to be careful not to take too much.
- Benfotiamine, an important B-vitamin derivative, has proven helpful in many cases of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
- Vitamin B12 can also be given by injection weekly, and this will increase your levels more rapidly if they are not improving orally.
Dr. Kornfeld agrees with Dr. O’Neal’s recommendation to stay away from drinking alcohol because it can block the body’s proper use of thiamine, folate, and vitamin B12 – and it can only worsen symptoms of neuropathy.