December 27, 2004
DETROIT--Further benefits of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) for diabetics were uncovered by Wayne State University researchers in an analysis of two randomized, placebo-controlled trials published in the current issue of Diabetes Care (28:89-94, 2005) (http://care.diabetesjournals.org).
Databases from two 52-week randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical, diabetic neuropathy trials testing two doses of ALC (500 and 1,000 mg/d) were evaluated, involving 1,257 intention-to-treat patients (93 percent of enrolled patients). The efficacy end points studied included sural nerve morphometry, nerve conduction velocities, vibration perception thresholds, clinical symptom scores, and a visual analogue scale for most bothersome symptoms--most notably, pain. The two studies were evaluated separately, then combined.
Data showed significant improvements in sural nerve fiber numbers and regenerating nerve fiber clusters. Nerve conduction velocities and amplitudes did not improve, but vibration perception improved in both studies. Pain, noted as the most bothersome symptom, showed significant improvement in one study and in the combined cohort supplemented with 1,000 mg/d ALC.
The researchers concluded the two studies demonstrate ALC treatment is efficacious in alleviating pain and improving nerve fiber regeneration and vibration perception in patients with established diabetic neuropathy.
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