Sodium Dichloroacetate

is a sodium and dichloroacetic acid salt. The compound's formula is Cl2 CH COONa.


The molecule's structure is similar to that of table salt and vinegar. The substance occurs in powder form, is white in color, and is soluble in water under normal circumstances. Because sodium dichloroacetate is not patented and has no transportation constraints, it may be freely marketed without severe rules. Normally, the chemical is manufactured in labs. However, minor amounts are found in the environment as a byproduct of water chlorination. DCA may also be found naturally in a number of red algae, including Asparagopsis taxiformis.

What is the chemical formula for DCA?

For almost 40 years, sodium dichloroacetate has been utilized in the treatment of children with inherited mitochondrial diseases. Its pharmacology has been widely researched. DCA has been studied in cells, animals, children, and people for a variety of illnesses, either alone or in conjunction with other treatments.

How DCA works

DCA has been studied and utilized in patients for over 40 years. The most crucial aspects of its working mechanism have been thoroughly observed over this period. Nonetheless, the basic query of how Sodium dichloroacetate works might leave the majority perplexed. To put it simply, DCA may assist return our metabolism's anomalies to normal. The word "metabolism" refers to the total of all chemical reactions that occur inside a living body and keep us alive. Which compounds are beneficial and nourishing are determined by our metabolism. It also decides which compounds are toxic and must be eliminated.

Some disorders alter the normal functioning of our metabolism. Certain illnesses, including as congenital lactic acidosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and endometriosis, develop as a result of these alterations.

Story of DCA

Sodium dichloroacetate is an enthralling chemical. Contributions to its research started in the 1970s. It gradually evolved into a lateral thinking exercise, bringing individuals from all around the globe together.

How DCA works?

Similarly, aberrant metabolism gives malignancies with distinct benefits. The imbalance of the cellular microenvironment not only promotes tumor development and metastasis, but it also aids malignancies in evading the immune system and natural "planned" cell death (apoptosis).

Sodium dichloroacetate dosage

There are two basic methods for administering DCA: orally or intravenously.

DCA safety and side effect prevention

Sodium dichloroacetate is considered to be a fairly safe treatment. There have been no recorded cases for DCA to be a cause of death.

DCA resource - news, research, applications, and suppliers

Hundreds of published studies, some of which were financed by the FDA, sought to determine if this medicine might be used to treat a variety of incurable disorders. 

On the other hand, since DCA is regularly found in the water around us, governments such as the United States and Australia have funded scientists to research the safety of this unknown molecule.

Soon after, DCA gained prominence as a medication that may aid in the treatment of a broad range of disorders. It is still the sole drug available for treating children with hereditary mitochondrial metabolism abnormalities.

DCA has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of diabetes, high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). References 1, 2, and 3.

The chemical has found a home in scores of clinical studies with patients over the last several decades. Sodium dichloroacetate studies show efficacy in treating common but difficult-to-treat illnesses such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, and malignancies. References 1, 2, and 3.

DCA is now not only often observed in current clinical research, but it is also utilized to treat patients in alternative medicine clinics across the world. Furthermore, sodium dichloroacetate is often prescribed to patients as an off-label medicine in primary care.

Dichloroacetate has been used to treat infants with congenital lactic acidosis since 1983. DCA enhances the quality of life and survival of people with serious mitochondrial illnesses.

The medicine does this by activating the Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex enzymes found in our mitochondria. Normal cellular metabolism may resume after aerobic glucose and lactic acid oxidation is restored.

Children who utilize DCA had lower blood lactate concentrations and hence experience less severe systemic metabolic acidosis. This enables these young patients to have better lives, particularly when combined with additional medical measures.

Above all, prior clinical studies that used DCA for the treatment of children diseases played an important role in defining the best and safe therapeutic doses.

During the many years of development, the drug's adverse effects and long-term safety were thoroughly examined, allowing for a rapid transfer to treating other medical diseases.

Since 1987, DCA has been studied to help manage the outcomes of ischemic strokes and heart attacks. Several critical processes were shown to be critical in assisting recovery from severe medical situations.

Dichloroacetate, in essence, reduces post-hypoxic lactate buildup in injured tissue, lessening the likelihood of a disastrous result. DCA dramatically enhances the function of the wounded heart after a myocardial infarction.

The anticancer action of sodium dichloroacetate was identified in 2007. Surprisingly, this incredible discovery occurred by chance.

Dr. Evangelos Michelakis' research team was looking at sodium dichloroacetate as a new technique to treat cardiac problems. During the examination, scientists discovered that chemical imbalances inside tumor cells and mitochondria might be a possible target for DCA treatment of neoplasms.

To put this finding to the test, the researchers implanted brain, breast, and lung cancers in rats. After the DCA treatment, the majority of cancer cells perished, and some tumors shrank within hours. The compound's activity did not damage healthy cells.

DCA, on the other hand, might have mild to severe adverse effects. Age, genetics, dosage strength, dosing schedule, and if protective dietary supplements are employed with the DCA program all influence risk.

The good news is that if someone does encounter negative effects, they are just transitory and will go away once the DCA is stopped.

DCA side effects are classified into two types.

• Neurological issues.

1) Neuropathy of the periphery. It commonly appears as tingling ("pins and needles") in the mouth, hands, or feet. Neuropathy may proceed to numbness or weakness in the hands and feet if neglected and mistreated. Normally, this takes months to develop. The negative effect is reversible and usually fades after a few weeks or months of discontinuing DCA. Supplementation with Vitamin B1, Alpha-lipoic acid, and other natural dietary supplements may help to prevent/reduce the recurrence. Previous chemotherapy treatments, diabetes, drunkenness, infections, or autoimmune illnesses may all enhance the chance of getting peripheral neuropathy from DCA.

2) Insomnia, mental fogginess, disorientation, or mood swings. These adverse effects may occur momentarily after DCA administration and normally diminish within a few hours. Taking medicines that impact the central nervous system, such as tetrahydrocannabinol, benzodiazepines, opioids, antipsychotics, or other comparable pharmaceuticals, might increase the risk, particularly if adverse responses from prior prescriptions are present. Large intravenous DCA dosages may sometimes produce moderate post-infusion drowsiness. Supplementation with Vitamin B1, Alpha-lipoic acid, and other natural dietary supplements may help to prevent/reduce the recurrence.

• Gastrointestinal and liver.

1) Nausea and heartburn These are brief and unusual adverse effects caused by a direct irritation of the mucous membrane of the upper gastrointestinal tract by sodium dichloroacetate powder or solution. They may, however, be felt while consuming DCA pills. If you have stomach pain after consuming DCA, a fast remedy would be to take proton-pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, or Pantoprazole. Those with a history of stomach or digestive issues are more likely to have the adverse effect.

2) Mild asymptomatic increase of liver enzymes. A rather uncommon adverse effect of long-term DCA use. The patient's blood tests may reveal a rise in AST and ALT values. However, the rise is generally small, and the elevation may be returned to baseline levels by temporarily using DCA or taking natural liver health supplements such as milk thistle or essential phospholipids.

If you want to learn more, check out the whole article on DCA safety and side effects.

Use with caution.

The most essential thing one can do to prevent/reduce the possibility of neurological adverse effects from Sodium dichloroacetate is to take preventive supplements. These supplements are also used to treat neurological toxicity in hospitals and naturopathic clinics (etc. diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy).

• Thiamine or benfotiamine (Vitamin B1) (Necessary) (twice daily, before/after breakfast and lunch)

The key neuroprotective component of the DCA regimen is Vitamin. Long-term metabolism of significant amounts of sodium dichloroacetate may result in excess chemicals and oxidative stress, which can injure the cells that support our peripheral nerves.

Vitamin B1 supplementation is essential to prevent this. It is thought that thiamine or benfotiamine, like other metabolic neuropathies, may help regulate DCA-induced stress on the peripheral neurons.

Thiamine is the most common and least expensive type of Vitamin B1 supplementation. Benfotiamine, a lipid-soluble form of thiamine, however, penetrates the target more effectively, has a greater neuroprotective impact, and takes less to get the same effect.

Supplementing with vitamin B1 may also help avoid additional neurological negative effects related with long-term DCA usage.

• Alpha-Lipoic acid (ALA) (Necessary) (twice daily, with/after breakfast, lunch, and supper)

-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that is present in all cells and is generated in our bodies. The chemical is used to both prevent and treat diabetic neuropathy.

Because ALA is a powerful antioxidant, it acts as a molecule that protects neuronal tissues from the oxidative stress caused by sodium dichloroacetate. (Ref.)

It also indicates that ALA should be avoided two days before and seven days after chemotherapy to prevent diluting the drugs' effectiveness.

Taking ALA is also not advised two days before and fourteen days after radiation.

• Acetyl L-carnitine (Recommended) (twice daily, with/after breakfast, lunch, and supper)

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) enhances peripheral nerve tissue development and regeneration. As a result, ALC supplementation seems to be a viable alternative for anybody following the DCA program.
The supplement has no interactions with other medications, making it an appealing alternative to Vitamin B1 and ALA. ALC, on the other hand, may enhance the effects of Warfarin, a blood thinner.

Check out the complete article on DCA side effect avoidance for more information on how to have a safe experience.

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