Lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine May Decrease Back Pain

Published: August 11, 2012

In this study, 64 people with acute backache and moderate sciatica were given either 600 mg a day of lipoic acid or 1,180 mg/d of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) for 60 days. Greater improvements were found in patients who received lipoic acid compared to ALC in both pain and on nerve testing. 71% of those on lipoic acid needed less pain medicine as opposed to 45.5% of patients taking ALC. The authors conclude that, "Thioctic acid (lipoic acid) 600 mg/day appears to be at least as effective as ALC in the treatment of sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc and may be associated with an improvement in symptom scores and reduced need for analgesia."


"Thioctic Acid and acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc: a randomized, double-blind, comparative study," Memeo A, Loiero M, et al, Clin Drug Investig, 2008; 28(8): 495-500.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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