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LDN & Alpha lipoic acid

Here is an article from Dr. Mercola's site about LDN and Alpha lipoic acid. I have never looked into Alpha lipoic acid before as I did not know it could be helpful for Crohn's. Apparently it is a precursor to Gluthione, which someuse for Crohn's.

See the video and full article at:


I first became aware of the alpha lipoic regimen by Dr. Burt Berkson in the late 90’s. Early on in his career, while an internist, he was given several patients who were expected to die from hepatitis C. His job was more or less to simply baby sit them in the ICU and watch them die.

But Dr. Berkson was a rebel at heart and he simply couldn’t do that. Instead he called an associate at the National Institutes of Health and found out how he could treat them. He learned that alpha lipoic acid had some impressive experimental support. Remarkably, although these patients were expected to die within a few weeks, they all completely recovered!

However not all went well for Dr. Berkson as he made his superiors look foolish and they simply could not tolerate that so rather than embrace his findings, they actively suppressed the results and made his life miserable for showing them up.

This was a pivotal moment in Dr. Berskson’s career and caused him to make choices that eventually led to where he is at now. Since then, Dr. Berkson has lectured all over the world on this topic, and published a study on the use of antioxidants for the treatment of hepatitis C.

His first book, The Alpha-Lipoic Acid Breakthrough was published in 1998.

As many of you already know, I am not fond of recommending many supplements, but I do believe that antioxidants make sense for many of us.

Why You Need Antioxidants

Your entire body, including your DNA, is under endless, daily assault from a variety of sources, from poor diets to pollution. Think of your cells, including your brain cells, each getting hit by free-radicals thousands of times a day. This violent process is called "oxidation,” which damages your cells.

Enter antioxidants. They include vitamins and other nutrients that target free radicals.

Food, particularly fruits and vegetables, is a powerful source of these valiant protectors, and your body produces some itself. Their role is to limit the damage to your cells, which can slow down disease and signs of aging.

In the case of alpha lipoic acid, your body does produce it in minute quantities, but most of it comes from your diet. Some of the best natural sources include grass-fed red meat and organ meats.

The Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has many functions, but it’s one of the most effective free radical scavengers, and the only one known to easily get into your brain.

It also has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and glutathione. So, when your body has used up these antioxidants, if there’s ALA around, it helps regenerate them.

You may not know this, but glutathione is another very important antioxidant. You can get it from supplements, but the only form that works effectively is the reduced form, which is difficult to absorb when taken orally. It is much more cost effective to supplement with precursors, or items like alpha lipoic acid that regenerates glutathione.

Alpha lipoic acid also recycles coenzyme Q10 and NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).

But, if that wasn’t enough, this powerful antioxidant is also:

* A great modifier of gene expression to reduce inflammation
* A very potent heavy metal chelator
* An enhancer of insulin sensitivity

The benefits of ALA can appear near miraculous. For example, according to Dr. Berkson, Russia has successfully used ALA intravenously to reverse ischemia reperfusion injuries by injecting it right after a heart attack or a stroke.

And people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome tend to do much better when taking lipoic acid, as it enhances insulin sensitivity.

There’s even been quite a bit of research showing it can restore T cell function. T cells are a type of white blood cells that are of key importance to your immune system, and are at the core of adaptive immunity, the system that tailors your body's immune response to specific pathogens.

What Health Conditions Can be Treated With Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Clinically, alpha lipoic acid seems to be a useful supplement in treating hepatitis C. It can also be used for painful nerve conditions in diabetes, and may help slow down the aging process itself through its reduction in free radicals.

Dr. Berkson uses ALA along with low dose naltrexone (LDN) for the reversal of a number of more serious health conditions such as:

* Lupus
* Rheumatoid arthritis
* Dermatomyositis (an inflammatory muscle disease)
* Autoimmune diseases

Most of his patients normalize in about one month on this combination of ALA and LDN.

What is Low Dose Naltrexone?

Naltrexone (generic name) is a pharmacologically active opioid antagonist, conventionally used to treat drug- and alcohol addiction – normally at doses of 50mg to 300mg. As such, it’s been an FDA approved drug for over two decades.

However, researchers have found that at very low dosages (3 to 4.5 mg), naltrexone has immunomodulating properties that may be able to successfully treat cancer malignancies and a wide range of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease, just to name a few.

As explained on the informative website www.lowdosenaltrexone.org, when you take LDN at bedtime -- which blocks your opioid receptors for a few hours in the middle of the night -- it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function.
Hey Dan,

Do you take this? I just did a forum search for "Lipoic Acid" because I'd read an article regarding the combined usage of LDN and Alpha Lipoic Acid and wanted to learn more. I haven't been able to find anything about recommended dosages.

Thanks for letting me pick your brain today.
Hi Everyone:

I have actually made an appt with Dr. Berkson in May 2010. I will be going out to his clinic in New Mexico for 2 weeks of IV ALA treatment. I will let you all know what he recommends as far as dosing and supplements.

Sorry Rhonda, I just saw your question.

No I just take LDN, and I have only read and seen some U-tube video's on Dr. Berkson's treatment methods. His thinking is somewhat similar to mine, so I think I can learn a thing or two from him.

Chris, is this treatment for Crohn's?

I am very interested on his treatment and thinking on the disease.

Hi Dan:

Yes, he is going to treat my Crohn's. He uses IV ALA in conjunction with LDN to treat Crohn's as well as various supplements. I am not sure of the details, they of course will not tell you that over the phone. But I am excited. It is a huge out of pocket expense, but as I plan on having children in the next few years, I want to get as healthy as possible. And I am willing to pay or try almost anything so that I can do that.

As I said, I will definitely share my experiences in detail with the group. I am on a cancellation list so if appts earlier than May open up, I will be flying out sooner than May (I hope)!

Hi Rob:

I don't know what brand of ALA that Dr. Berkson recommends, as I have not seen him yet. But I will keep you all posted on what happens after I meet with him in May. One interview of Dr. Berkson did say that the best brands get their ALA from a german pharma company. So the key is to find out where the supplement companies source their ALA. I was thinking about reaching out to some of them. If I find out I will let everyone know.

phillycrohns said:
Hi Everyone:

I have actually made an appt with Dr. Berkson in May 2010. I will be going out to his clinic in New Mexico for 2 weeks of IV ALA treatment. I will let you all know what he recommends as far as dosing and supplements.

Hi Chris! I was searching the web for Dr. Berkson and found your post and this forum. I made an appointment with Dr. Berkson last summer (August 2009). The first appointment they had was for March 2010. I can hardly believe it is finally almost here. I will be seeing Dr. Berkson for heart failure and type 2 diabetes. I've read his three books, but have never spoken with another patient or potential patient. Would appreciate any feedback you've heard or read.

Thanks, John
Hi Roadrunner:

Sorry for taking so long to respond to your post. I haven't been on line for a while, and then I had problems posting to this forum, which have just been resolved.

I am guessing that you are now in New Mexico. Not sure if you are checking the forum, but if you are, I would love to hear about your experience. My personal email is: greenqueennyc@gmail.com if you would rather send me a private email.

I am scheduled to be treated by Dr. Berkson in mid-May for my Crohn's. I will receive 2-daily ALA IVs and 1 daily B-12 injection, in additional to myriad tests and consults with Dr. Berkson. I can't wait! I am already on LDN for my Crohn's, which the Dr. also uses to treat autoimmune conditions, but am still having intermittent flares and other symptoms. I am hoping the treatment by Dr. Berkson will give me the final push I need into (hopefully) remission or something like that. I plan on having children in the next 2 years, so I would like to get as healthy as possible.

I have not yet made my hotel reservations, so any tips you can give me about staying in Las Cruces would be helpful. I did receive a list from the doctor's office, but it would be great to hear a first-hand opinion.

Good luck with your treatment and I hope to hear from you soon!!