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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you've heard of alpha-lipoic acid and its being extremely helpful in treating diabetes, liver illnesses, mercury intoxications, or as an anti-oxidant, you may want to know more about it before taking it. This book, by Burt Berkson (MD, PhD) is an excellent answer to your worries. Berkson describes how he got to be interested by alpha-lipoic acid, it's safety record ("FDA"-approved in Germany for 50 years), it's uses, and, perhaps most interesting, his views on medicine.

Not only does Dr. Berkson come across as a very competent and compassionate physician, especially in regards to lipoic acid, on which he is America's leading expert, he is also an outspoken critic of what he correctly sees as problems in modern American medicine. In the first chapter, he describes how he almost ended his career when he saved the life of a dying patient against the wishes of his boss, and how he would do it again. No insurance policy and few doctor's visits can provide the benefits of his invaluable candor, which serves to immunize his readers with a large and healthy level of cynicism about medicine as it is practiced in the United States today.

One thing that this book does not contain is advice on what dosage of lipoic acid to ingest. This may be a sign of great wisdom; in Germany, where Dr. Berkson worked at the Max Planck Institute, and where lipoic acid has been on the market for decades, neurologists who look into whether their patients suffer from a heavy metal poisoning are not regarded with the sort of wonderment and bafflement that mermaids and unicorns otherwise garner. Those with such a heavy metal problem can suffer some extremely unwelcome and perhaps permanent side-effects if they take the sort of dosages that others easily tolerate. By not giving any advice on this subject, Dr. Berkson certainly isn't giving any bad advice on this subject.

I heartily recommend this book.
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153 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
In the introductory of The Alpha Lipoic Acid book, written by Dr. Burt Berkson, my husband John and I, Eunice Goostree, are the people that Dr. Burt were refering to. We ate the Amanita Verna Mushroom and John nearly died. Thioctic Acid, liquid form of Alpha Lipoic Acid is all that saved us. When the chief of staff at the hospital gave up on us, Dr. Berkson KNEW that he could save us and to the amazement of all others, we are alive and well.I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Berkson, his books, his ethics, his compassion and his determination to save his patients even when all of the odds were against him. We love you Dr. Berkson.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I began taking a-lipoic acid and achieving great results before this book was published. It was encouraging to finally read a book that validated my experience with lipoic acid. This book explains a-lipoic acid in layman's terms and sheds light on the value of this nutrient. As a Type I diabetic of 36 years, I have essentially reversed diabetic neuropathy by taking 900 mg of a-lipoic acid per day. I highly encourage diabetics to research a-lipoic acid especially if suffering from neuropathy. This book is a great start.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Berkson has put his research and findings into terms that all can
understand. I had hepititis and recovered, but suffered from minor
liver malfunctions which triggered constipation and poor digestion of
fats. Merely the addition of Alpha Lipoic Acid has helped restore my
liver function and aleviated my problems. I've gained much usable
information from his book about preventing heart disease, a family
problem....I am thankful that I have finally found a supplement that
has helped me with those continuing liver related problems.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
After reading Dr. Berkson's book, I was so impressed, I promptly shared it with co-workers, who, upon reading it, purchased it for themselves.
Perhaps the best review I can give is the comment my physician made during my last visit. "What have you been doing for your liver, your test results show a significant improvement in liver function?"
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I live 5 miles from a University in Amsterdam the netherlands, where Prof. Aalt Bast is doing research on Alpha Lipoic Acid. Nothing I saw ever mentioned in papers of the Diabetes federation of the Netherlands. We have a law in Holland stimulating, if it is not invented here it is not good. By pure chance I was lookong for literature at Amazon.com books. Surprise, surprise I found the book of Burt Berkson on Alpha Lipoid Acid (ALA). I started using ALA three times 50 mg and after 90 pils three times 100 mg. My endurance on Physio Training doubled and my hyperglycemie is half of wat is was in the early morning hours. Grace to amazon.com and the books delivered fast to Holland. The next step if fighting Neuropathie and numbness of my feet and hands. Internet and Amazon.com and Berkson, life-savers. Fred H. van Waaijen, The Netherlands.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Berkson is a marvel. He has taken the time and energy to put his
research and findings into terms that all can understand. I had
hepititis and recovered, but suffered from minor liver malfunctions
which triggered constipation and poor digestion of fats. The Alpha
Lipoic Acid has helped restore my liver function and aleviated my
problems. I've gained much usable information from his book....
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
A historical breakthrough; medically rivetting; inspires real hope....these phrases partially describe the seminal work of Dr. Burton Berkson, in his book The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough. From the "No nonsense, tell it like it is" foreword by Julian Whitaker, M.D.; through the early days of saving the "medically dead" against the insensitive dictates of his chief doctor; to the research journey that ultimately lead to the phenomenal discovery of the efficacy of the life saving properties of this natural cellular substance, Alpha Lipoic Acid; Burt Berkson, M.D.,M.S.,Ph.D., has remarkably woven his twenty plus years of working experience with the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention into a wonderful storytelling format that truely gives hope to any potential liver transplant recipiant or patients experiencing any of a number of chronic diseases ie.,diabetes, AIDS, heart disease, cancer, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's and a host of others. Dr. Berkson has taken the seemingly arcane study of biochemistry and has given it a layman's metamorphosis into BC 101. This essential foundation aptly gives the reader a fundamental understanding of such vitally important concepts as "signal transduction" and "transcription factors"; thus giving the reader the same understanding of the machanics of the diseases mentioned as his or her physician has. Armed with this knowledge, a cancer patient (for example) can better understand why the 5 year survival rate of all cancers are between 11 - 17% and therefore may opt for an integrative medical program that will not harm the immune system, but work with it.
I sincerely hope that the mainstream media will give Dr. Berkson's book the just attention it rightfully deserves and that every medical school includes it as a primer on the effacacy of Alpha Lipoic Acid, the medicine for the new millennium.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
It seems that after twenty years, this integral story vital to our understanding and improving of modern medicine is being told. Everyone interested in health and healing must read this book. In it, Dr. Berkson recounts his tales from his own personal experiences from treating patients dealing with a wide array of health problems with this amazing antioxidant. The author explains the mechanisms of alpha lipoic acid and the significance it can play in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and numerous other diseases. Dr. Berkson also diagnoses an easy to follow and effective protocol to healthy living. The author is obviously the premier authority in this field and spins his tale with remarkably clear and engaging prose. The message of this book is simple: alpha lipoic acid has saved lives before and, as more people are educated on it's uses, there are many more lives that will be saved and improved. A must read for anyone remotely interested in the exciting field of modern integrative medicine.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I live 5 miles from a University in Amsterdam the netherlands, where Prof. Aalt Bast is doing research on Alpha Lipoic Acid. Nothing I saw ever mentioned in papers of the Diabetes federation of the Netherlands. We have a law in Holland stimulating, if it is not invented here it is not good. By pure chance I was lookong for literature at Amazon.com books. Surprise, surprise I found the book of Burt Berkson on Alpha Lipoid Acid (ALA). I started using ALA three times 50 mg and after 90 pils three times 100 mg. My endurance on Physio Training doubled and my hyperglycemie is half of wat is was in the early morning hours. Grace to amazon.com and the books delivered fast to Holland. The next step if fighting Neuropathie and numbness of my feet and hands. Internet and Amazon.com and Berkson, life-savers. Fred H. van Waaijen, The Netherlands.
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