Vision Improved with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid?

It’s been two months since I started using R-Alpha Lipoic Acid or R-ALA. About a week ago I was sorting my weekly supply of vitamins and natural supplements and noticed I could read the labels on the bottles with my glasses.  In the recent past I had to use a magnifying glass or glasses to read the labels. I had to use the magnifying glass while wearing my glasses. 

Oddly enough my recent vision diagnosis was due to old age and not diabetes. A specialist diagnosed me with aged-related macular degeneration (AMD). He prescribed a lutein supplement to halt the spread of the disease. However, both the specialist and my eye doctor told me my eyes would only correct to 20/30. In the past the eyes were correctible to 20/10. I never thought I would have to use a magnifying glass to read labels on bottles or recipes in small print. 

I’d taken billberry for several years. Many people have reported success with this blueberry like supplement. It stopped the floaters I’d developed in my eyes within a month after I started taking it. Bilberry is diabetic friendly. It doesn’t lower blood sugar but it promotes healthier arteries and blood vessels thus improving circulation. 

On the other hand, R-ALA lowers my blood sugar. I don’t know if this will work for everyone, but 100 milligrams twice a day works for me. If I wake up in the morning with a glucose reading between 150-170, a 100 mg R-ALA capsule will help lower my blood sugar within an hour. If I add a 400 mg eucommia capsule my blood sugar is 110-120 within an hour. 

Until I discovered R-ALA eucommia was the most effective for lowering my blood sugar. However, too much eucommia can cause diarrhea or mild stomach upset. I usually take a 400 mg capsule at night because my highest reading of the day is when I wake up.  

The bad news for me is the combination has extended the range and amount of food I can eat. This has led to increased calories and a recent return to my milkshake diet and heavier workout program.  

Was my vision improved with Alpha-Lipoic Acid? I started using it after the doctor prescribed the lutein supplement and it was the only change I made in my supplement schedule. The change was dramatic. I’m certain it lowers my blood sugar and may work for others. As reported in previous posts experiments have shown R-ALA effective for diabetic neuropathy.

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Kindle Made a Mistake

All the reviews for my Kindle book, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks, since the second edition publication in April have been positive except two. Of the total 35 reviews, most of the negative ones appear before the second edition. Most of those complained of the book’s brevity. I took this to heart and doubled the content for the second edition.

One negative review appeared within minutes after Kindle uploaded the second edition. Why?

Kindle made a mistake. It uploaded only the cover and a few pages of the book. The person who bought the book was justifiable in her anger so she give it a one star review. Kindle remedied the problem swiftly. However, appeals to the reviewer to revise or delete the review went unheeded.   

 Kindle’s publication of random review headlines on the sales page damage the book’s sales. These review headlines include the one star review from the disgruntled customer and unfavorable reviews before I published the second edition. The one favorable review in the three headlines summaries was written following the second edition publication.

Kindle says there is nothing they can do about this because headline summaries are automatic and random. Unfortunately the summary headlines have an adverse effect on book sales. The summaries disappeared for about two weeks and book sales returned to a normal level. As soon as the summaries reappeared about a week ago, sales took a nosedive.  

I understand Kindle’s policy and appreciate their support for independent writers. I also understand the huge publication volume they check and why they must have “no exception” policies. However, it would be easy to delete the coding for the damaging headlines.  They did it once before but refuse to do it again.

If you decide to buy the book I hope you’ll consider the review headlines are not an accurate reflection of the book’s second edition.

Thanks for reading along.

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Alpha Lipoic Acid and Diabetic Eye Health

In an earlier blog post I wrote about some of the benefits of alpha lipoic acid and how it can strengthen nerves and help prevent nerve damage. It helped erase the tingling in my feet after my type 2 diabetes diagnosis. 

I also mentioned in that post that alpha lipoic acid could help diabetic eye health by preventing diabetic retinopathy. Much of the information on the Internet mentions alpha lipoic acid but further digging reveals it’s R-Alpha Lipoic acid that is most effective.  

There have been several studies in recent years on R-Alpha Lipoic acid (R-ALA). According to one report on a 2011 study by Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, the supplement “has produced a significant beneficial effect on the impaired mitochondria biogenesis and on the continued progression of diabetic retinopathy.” In other words, R-ALA has the power to regenerate healthy cells not only for eye health but for other body organs like the pancreas. 

R-ALA has many side benefits according to Web-MD. It helps in weight loss because it improves blood sugar levels 

Applying a cream with 5 percent of the supplement may reduce fine lines. Some reports suggest taking the supplement orally has the same effect. 

Several sources including Dr. Mercola’s website reports R-ALA can slow the spread of Alzheimer’s. WebMD reports at a year’s treatment needed. 

WebMD published over 100 reviews from people who used R-ALA all with good results. Most of the reviews reported the supplement eliminated diabetic nerve pain.  

A medical student wrote, “As a medical student I was surprised from the efficiency of Alpha Lipoic Acid in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in a 90 y.o DM paitent who has already lost one of her legs as a result of the disease. ALA gives her and also for one of my relatives a dramatic relief in pain.” 

A woman listed between the ages of 25-34 wrote, “After taking 2 pills a day for a few days, I immediately felt the difference. The pain had been so severe, I couldn’t sleep. I noticed a difference in the severity of the pain after the first few days. I have now been on these pills, taken once in the morning and once in the evening, for over a month and I have NO pain. This has truly changed me.” 

The only side effect I found was a possible skin rash. I began taking the R-ALA about two weeks ago and noticed about a 10 percent drop in my morning glucose readings after just a few days. However, I noticed itching on my hands and arms. This could be a reaction to some recent gardening as this happened before.


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Please Review my Book

As my Kindle book “Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less than Six Weeks” enters its first year of publication it’s sold over 3,000 copies. I’m so grateful to those who purchased it and thankful for those who took the time to review it or send me private thanks and comments. 

I recently published the second edition with twice the content as the original. There is more information in the book besides the milkshake diet I used to reverse my diabetes. The new edition features herbal remedies as well as handy instructions for calculating nutritional information for your recipes. If you haven’t bought the book, I believe you will find at least one item or more to help you manage your type 2 diabetes. We know that type 2 diabetes is an individual disease. What works for me may not work for you. There are a few remedies in the book that didn’t work for me as well as for others.  

You don’t need a Kindle reader to download and read a Kindle eBook. You can download software for almost any electronic device including laptops, PCs and smartphones. It’s a simple download and you can be reading an eBook in minutes. You can download the software here.


If you already bought the book, please consider writing a review. It doesn’t have to be long. A sentence or two is fine. Your input is valuable. Even negative reviews helped me make some changes and add more material. Good reviews do give the book a higher position on Amazon search and of course that’s helpful for book sales. Just click on the book page and scroll down to the “Review” section. Simply click on the box reading “Write a customer review.” The book page is here.

You can go directly to the “Write a review page” here.


Thanks for reading along! Please review my book.


Bilberry for Diabetic Eye Health

I began taking bilberry supplements for diabetic eye health about the time of my type 2 diabetes diagnosis.    Adding lutein to the bilberries could have provided better control for my macular degeneration. However, I credit bilberry supplements and alpha lipoic acid for fighting diabetic retinopathy and improving my diabetic eye health. 

Bilberries grow in Europe and look like small blueberries though darker. They’re related to huckleberries that grow wild in some parts of North America. Europeans have used bilberry extract to promote eye health for years. There is a World War II legend British RAF pilots ate bilberry jam before bombing missions and it increased their accuracy. Nothing was ever proven, but it makes an interesting yarn. 

According to information on the University of Maryland Medical Center website, bilberries have strong antioxidants.  The compounds in bilberries help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation in all parts of the body.  

Anecdotal evidence points to night vision improvement for those using bilberry extract. I’ve had terrible night vision over the years, but believe bilberry has improved mine even as I age. Some of the reviews on for bilberry products report dramatic improvement in night vision. 

Recent research suggests bilberry extract can help control and lower blood sugar. I’ve found no evidence it lowers my blood sugar. 

Bilberry supplements are a staple in health food stores. You can buy it as a liquid extract, tea or in capsules. According to WebMD, a typical dose of dried berries is 20-60 grams daily. A dose of 160 mg of bilberry extract taken twice daily is used for people with diseased retinas. 

Like any other supplement, check with your doctor and use caution. According to some of the medical websites, don’t use bilberry with blood-thinning medications like warfarin or even aspirin. The websites also suggest a halt at least two weeks before surgery. 

In the next post we’ll take a look at alpha lipoic acid for diabetic eye health.


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Diabetic Eye Health and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Diabetic Health experts recommend a thorough eye examination every year. I missed a couple of years and paid the price. The good news was there was no hint of diabetic retinopathy.  However I had the beginning of age-related macular degeneration. 

I made an ophthalmologist appointment a few weeks ago because of recent vision decrease and occasional blurring when I awoke.  

I thought the problem was diabetic related until the eye exam. It included an Amsler Grid exam which tests the eyes’ focus on a vertical and horizontal grid. If the lines appear wavy in the center, that suggests a problem. This is a test for age-related macular degeneration or AMD.  

I saw wavy lines with each eye so the doctor took some pictures and sent me to a specialist. I was a little annoyed with the clinic which has several practitioners because they had never given me this test before. I mention this because if you are keeping your yearly appointments and are over age 45 make sure they give you this exam. 

Age-related macular degeneration is hereditary. There is no reversal, though vitamins and minerals can halt its progress. There are two forms of the disease; dry and wet. The dry form develops slowly but can turn to the wet form which needs special treatment.  

There are other reasons putting people at risk for AMD. They include smoking and obesity. Women are more at risk than men. 

Vitamins and diet can stanch the dry form from progressing. The young doctor who examined me was an acclaimed AMD doctor. He told me about a National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health study called “Age Related Eye Disease Study” or AREDS. The study discovered a compound of certain vitamins and minerals could slow or stop AMD. A later study last year, known as AREDS2, refined the ingredients. He recommended a supplement branded Focus Select. It has all the ingredients AREDS2 found to slow AMD spread. 

The ingredients in the supplement include vitamins C and E, zinc and copper oxide, lutein and zeaxanthin. AREDS2 also recommended fish oil, which I already used.  

Treatment for the wet form of AMD doesn’t sound pleasant. It includes injections in the eye with a medication to stop leakage and new blood vessel development. This doesn’t sound comfortable though according to my doctor some people recover more vision after treatment. There is also laser therapy and advanced treatments under review.  

People, especially seniors, are at risk for both AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Together they could result in incurable blindness. I’ve taken several natural supplements for the last few years to boost diabetic eye health and we’ll discuss them next time.

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On Sale! Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks

I just published the second edition of my Kindle EBook, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks. The first edition sold over 3,000 copies since its publication in July 2013.

The second edition has double the content including building nutritional information for milkshakes and other recipes. There is more valuable information with chapters on coffee, spices and herbs to aid weight maintenance and glucose control. There is also information on a quick exercise routine to help lose weight faster.

If you just want to lose some weight this little book could be a big help.

To celebrate the second edition, I’ve marked the book price down from $2.99 to $1.99 for five days only… beginning Wednesday, April 23, 2014 through Sunday, April 27, 2014.

If you have friends or family who are diabetic, pre-diabetic or just want to lose some weight, please pass this along. To buy, just click on the link below.

Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less than Six Weeks… Second Edition

Thank you to the more than 3000 folks who bought my first Kindle book, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less than Six Weeks. Since its publication last July it’s sold over 3000 copies.  

Thanks also for the feedback on the book’s Kindle page. Both positive and negative reviews spurred me to write a second edition instead of writing the second book in a series. That way, everyone benefits.  

New readers get more material.  

If you bought the book you can download the revisions at no extra charge after a special review   by Kindle editors. If Kindle believes the changes are extensive, it will send emails to paid customers with instructions on downloading the new manuscript. This will take about four weeks. The additions, including new chapters, double the book’s content. 

To sweeten the deal for new readers I’ve cut the price from $2.99 to $1.99 for five days beginning Wednesday, April 24, 2014 to Sunday, April 27, 2014. To buy the book just click on the book cover in the panel to your left.

Though some of the new material is on, it’s arranged to promote weight loss and glucose management. The book could help change your life if you are overweight, prediabetic or type 2 diabetic. In the first week you can get your blood sugar into a normal range. From one to six weeks, depending on your weight loss and glucose levels, you may reverse the disease and return to a comfortable diet and exercise plan. The book traces my progress of   for six weeks of the diet including fears, motivation and experiments.  

In the second edition discover milkshake “formulas” with tips for building nutritional information for other recipes. Did you know coffee can be an ally for combatting type 2 diabetes? You’ll find valuable information in this book on coffee plus other herbs and spices to help your battle. There is also a chapter on an exercise plan that is less than 20 minutes three times a week. Want more information? The author offers a suggested reading list of books, and cook books. 

To buy the book, look to your left under the “Translator” heading and click on the “Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less than Six Weeks” book cover.  

This is my first post in over a month and I apologize. My intent was to write at least one post every week. However, I’m also a sub-contractor for an international marketing public relations and marketing research firm. First quarter presented a significant increase in my workload. I also spent most of my evenings writing the second edition of this book plus preparing two others for publication. Hopefully, I’ll be back on a more regular blog schedule. Thank you for reading and thanks for your patience.

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More Fast Diabetic Workouts

Research on more fast diabetic workouts uncovered a program similar to It may be where Mel got the idea for his workout which required a steep, intense starting point. Dr. Al Sears developed the program. He is a Florida doctor who is an expert on aging medicine. He’s written several books including P.A.C.E.: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution. I bought the book and started the program last week.

Dr. Sears’ premise is our bodies are not designed for hours of running or hours in the gym. I jumped out of my chair and gave that a “standing O” and a big Amen. According to Sears our bodies are designed for short bursts of exercise with rest in between. He gives examples of our early ancestors who had to run from danger or farm with primitive tools. If you’re a gardener and use a pick or a shovel you probably are familiar with the work pattern. You shovel for a few minutes then rest. Sears believes these periods of recovery are valuable to restore both breathing and heart health. 

He spends more time in the book on case histories and theory of his program rather than the program itself. I found that informative and motivational. He stresses doing the program at your own pace. One of the most striking examples in the book was that of a 56 year old woman who lost 66 pounds in nine months and built 14 pounds of muscles. She started by walking 45 seconds and then resting for a few minutes.  She was comfortable with that. Of course she had to speed up the program to make the significant gains she made. 

Sears recommends doing the program three times a week for best results but notes that once a week or once a month is helpful. 

The first level lasts only 10 minutes each session. You start with four minutes of exercise that increases your breathing and heart rate. Then you rest and catch your wind. The next steps are three minutes and rest, then two minutes and rest. In the last phase you go as hard as you can for one minute. 

You can stay on this level as long as you want then move to the next level which includes 12 minutes of intense exercise with the rest periods. You don’t need any equipment for the first stage. I run in place and go up and down the stairs. On the four minute and three minute segments I work in some pushups and squats. If you want to swim, bike, use a Stairmaster or elliptical machine that works too according to Sears. 

There is more information on his website, but the pages load slowly.

The Amazon reviews on his book give much information.


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Fast Diabetic Workout

Most articles we read on managing type 2 diabetes include at least a passing glance at exercise. I know few diabetics who enjoy exercise especially if it’s lifting weights or strenuous aerobic exercise. I hate working out but try at least two months every year doing resistance training…usually during Lent. That’s coming up soon.

Most articles on diabetic exercise stress that any exercise for a half hour a day is productive. Of course, winter robs us of an opportunity for some heavy gardening, hiking or golf which are my favorite means of exercise. When I golf, I usually walk the course instead of using a cart.  

The lengthy nature trails in our community are great during warm weather but iffy in winter especially with all the snow we’ve had in Northern Virginia this year. I spent several months stuffing a backpack with heavy rocks on my daily walk. I ran out of rocks from my favorite rock pile but collected enough to build a couple of small retainer walls on either side of our entry walk.

Gardening at our place needs much work with a shovel especially some landscaping. However, the heaviest work is done by late spring. 

I do most of the housework and my wife handles most of the cooking. That gives some exercise, but I’ve never been a neat freak. I do a little every day and supplement it with running in place and pushups. I have exercise bands and dumbbells for modest resistance training. 

I’ve tried several workout programs over the years. The best was a program called “Body for Life.” It’s resistance training performed aerobically. The program needs three days of intense aerobics like a Stairmaster for 20 minutes plus three days of 45 minute resistance training. The resistance training consists of 12 exercises that increase in intensity with each set. It was effective but doesn’t grow flowers or veggies nor give the pleasure of a rare 250 yard drive. Walking to a nearby gym and the workout takes least an hour and a half each time. 

Sometimes I spend 12 or more hours working behind a computer screen. If I have deadlines it’s difficult to leave the computer. I’ve learned not to go for more than two hours before doing some push-ups or running in place. Running in place at a rapid level for a minute until my heart rate increases gets excellent results for me. Even once in the morning and once in the afternoon gives me an all-day metabolism burn.  

Recently I noticed these brief exercises were as effective as a half hour walk so I did some research. The web was alive with workouts that only took twelve minutes you needed to do only once a week. I’m all for putting pain behind me as quickly as possible. 

Some current theories suggest shorter, more intense workouts are more productive than hours in the gym. Dr. Mercola has a program he calls Peak Fitness Training or high intensity interval training. According to him this training “gives a natural boost to human growth hormone (HGH) production—which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor—and has been shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat loss, and increase muscle growth.” 

This training has several methods including 30 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 30 seconds of recovery. This was close to my work break exercises. The Mercola article claimed as little as three minutes a week could improve health.   

The best workout I discovered was on a blog named It’s a twelve minute workout that needs no weights or fancy gym equipment…just you and your body. It is intense. I tried it for the first time this week and could do about six minutes or half a workout. After I finished I felt like I’d worked out for an hour. My energy level went up and there was no soreness the next day. I see it as a great supplement to my current modest exercise program, but don’t plan to do it more than three times a week.

If you want a fast diabetic workout, give this some consideration.

This is the 12 minute workout 


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