Burt Berkson, MD, PhD

Speaker, 48th Annual International Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference

Integrative Medical Center
1155 Commerce Drive, Suite C
Las Cruces, NM 88011


Dr. Burt Berkson practices integrative medicine at the Integrative Medical Center of New Mexico and is an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University College of Medicine, former adjunct professor New Mexico State University, and Clinical Assistant professor at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has also worked as a researcher and professor at several institutions including the Max Planck Institute, the University of Illinois, and Rutgers University.

In addition to his MD training (PhD professor to MD program Autonomous University Mexico and Case Western Reserve Affiliated Hospitals), Dr. Berkson earned a Master of Science degree, and a PH.D. in the biological sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Dr. Berkson is an active scientific writer, researcher, and speaker. In addition, He is has worked as the CDC expert consultant on lipoic acid and hepatic poisoning and former FDA lipoic acid principal investigator as a prescription drug. He is also the medical mycology expert for the State of New Mexico poison control centers.

In 2007 and 2012, Dr. Berkson was invited to lecture at the National Cancer Institute on his lipoic acid/low dose naltrexone therapies that correct mitochondrial dysfunction in various malignant diseases. For more information Google Berkson, NCI.

Berkson has authored and co-authored many scientific papers and has written four books; The Alpha-Lipoic Acid Breakthrough (Random House-Crown, 98), All About the B Vitamins (Avery, 98), Syndrome X (John Wiley, 2001, with co-authors) and A Users Guide to the B Vitamins.

Presentation Abstract

The Mitochondrion, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Human Disease Modification

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) sits in the intersection of the cytoplasm and the mitochondrion, glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, and anaerobic and aerobic energy metabolism. Mitochondrial Pyruvate Dehydrogenase (PDH) with its key ALA converts pyruvate into Acetyl CoA, which then enters the Krebs cycle. So, without ALA there is the no energy produced in the eukaryotic cell.

ALA is an excellent antioxidant; It recycles other antioxidants; it chelates heavy metals; it stabilizes NF kappa B transcription factor so that it helps to inactivate deleterious genes; it helps people with diabetes mellitus by increasing the sensitivity of their cells to insulin, effectively lowers blood sugar, and reverses diabetic neuropathies, and it has many more essential functions.

The first large scale clinical human studies using ALA in the United States were carried out by Fredrick C. Bartter, Burton M. Berkson, and associates from the National Institutes of Health in the 1970’s. They administered ALA to 79 people with severe liver damage at various hospitals around the United States and 75 recovered full liver function. Dr. Berkson was appointed as the FDA principal investigator and he went on to use it successfully for the reversal of chronic liver disease.

In combination with low dose naltrexone and other agents, Dr. Berkson has used ALA to treat various cancers for which no other effective treatment exists (Google: Berkson National Cancer institute}.

In this presentation Dr. Berkson will discuss the biology of ALA and its relationship to the mitochondrion, and its potential use in treating various diseases.

Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame

Inducted 2019