Neuropathy refers to nerve-related disorders that can cause unpleasant or painful symptoms.
It can be a complication of diabetes or a common side effect of chemotherapy.
However, neuropathy is treatable with the right combination of drugs, lifestyle changes, and treatment.
There are several traditional supplements that are helpful in the treatment of neuropathy.
1. Fish Oil
Because of their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to repair nerves, fish oil supplements are effective in preventing neuropathy complications. It also helps relieve discomfort and muscle soreness.
It is available in an optional form. You can take up to 5,400 mg of fish oil a day. A study explored the potential of fish oil on diabetic peripheral neuropathy (1).
The anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil help to reduce pain and discomfort. The neuroprotective effects of fish oil supplements can help stimulate the outgrowth of neurons.
These results are encouraging. However, to elaborate on these findings, we need more studies.
2. B Vitamins
B vitamins are useful because they promote the safe functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins B-1 (thiamine and benfotiamine), B-6, and B-12 should be included.
Benfotiamine is like vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine. It is efficient in reducing pain, inflammation, and nerve damage.
However, vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated. Vitamin B-6 can help protect the nerves.
You need to take over 200 milligrams (mg) of B-6 per day. Higher amounts can also cause damage to the nerves and cause neuropathic symptoms (2).
Research suggests that vitamin B supplements can prevent neuropathy complications (3). This could be because B vitamins promote nerve tissue regeneration and improve nerve function.
Studies show the value of benfotiamine combined in the treatment of neuropathy complications (4, 5).
According to these studies, the discomfort was reduced and the condition improved.
However, a small study found that people with type 1 diabetes who took 300 mg of benfotiamine daily had no significant improvement in nerve function or reduction in inflammation (6).
Curcumin is an herb best known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. It can help relieve tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.
It is available in additional forms, and you can take 1 teaspoon (3 grams) of turmeric powder with 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper. You can also add turmeric to tea, curries, egg salads, and smoothies.
An animal study in mice that took turmeric supplements for 14 days decreased chemotherapy-induced neuropathy complications (7).
It had a positive impact on pain, swelling, and loss of function. The levels of antioxidants and calcium in mice improved. However, to expand on these results, we need more human studies.
4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplements can be effective in the treatment of diabetes and cancer-induced neuropathy complications.
It can reduce blood sugar levels, enhance nerve function, and ease painful symptoms in the legs and arms, such as discomfort, itching, tingling, prickling, numbness, and burning (8).
You can take up to 1,200 mg per day in capsule form. Alpha-lipoic acid has a positive effect on the conduction of nerves and decreases neuropathic pain.
A small study shows that alpha-lipoic acid is useful in protecting people from diabetic neuropathy and oxidative damage (9).
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an antioxidant and amino acid. It can increase energy, create healthy nerve cells, and reduce neuropathic pain.
A standard dose is 500 mg twice daily. According to the study, peripheral neuropathy complications, cancer-associated fatigue, and physical conditions were improved after consuming acetyl-L-carnitine supplements (10).
Participants had 3 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine per day for 8 weeks. They observed significant differences in just 12 weeks between the groups.
We do not intend these supplements to replace any treatment plan approved by the health care provider for neuropathy complications.
Such supplements may be superior to other treatment options, as they have fewer side effects.
In other ways, these supplements can also support your overall well-being.