Supplements For Parkinsons Research Explained
Eating a balanced diet is usually the best advice for getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to keep our bodies healthy and working well.
Theres no clear scientific evidence that people with Parkinsons should take supplements but it is an active area of research. So in this blog we round up the current research on the supplements we get asked about most.
As always, please bear in mind that the information provided here describes emerging research and should not be treated as medical advice, so before deciding to take supplements of any kind, speak to your doctor or specialist.
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Supplements And Homeopathic Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
There is little evidence that supplements and other homeopathic treatments can help with the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. In fact, many supplements can have adverse effects when mixed with certain medications. Iron pills, for example, can decrease the absorption of levodopa, a common drug given to Parkinsons patients. If you must take an iron supplement, your doctor will suggest you space them out to limit their interference with other medications.
Supplements that have been found to improve the general health of those with Parkinsons disease include:
- Coenzyme Q10: An antioxidant currently being used in clinical trials.
- Creatine: An amino acid that can be used as an energy source for muscles and the brain.
- Vitamins C and E: These are both antioxidants that one study found delayed the need for medication in newly diagnosed patients.
- Curcumin: An antioxidant found in turmeric with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
You may also want to ask your doctor about herbal treatments for Parkinsons disease symptoms, such as depression, insomnia and anxiety. Some Parkinsons patients find St. Johns Wort to be helpful at easing the non-motor symptoms of the disease.
Vitamin E Vitamin C And Natural Foods
Scientists have also examined Vitamin E, Vitamin C and health foods to evaluate oxidative properties. Vitamin E can fight damage in the brain caused by free radicals and has been suggested to lower the risk of PD. However, researchers conducted an extensive and thorough study more than 10 years ago and failed to find any evidence that Vitamin E slows the progression of PD or manages symptoms.
However, a recent study published in Neurology, revealed that those with high Vitamin E and C consumption might be associated to a lower risk of PD. Additional research is still needed to better understand this association. Vitamin E has few side effects, and many people with PD continue to take it in high doses of 400 IU or more.
Researchers are also examining if health foods, such as fermented papaya and blueberries, play a role in slowing nerve cell death. Scientists are optimistic about the research, but do not have conclusive data at this time to recommend these supplements to treat PD.
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The Benefits Of Alternative Treatment
There is no cure for Parkinsons but genetic testing can be done to assess your risk for early diagnosis. In conventional medicine, Parkinsons treatment is focused on slowing down the progression of the disease through medications that either imitate dopamine in the brain, convert to dopamine in the brain, or slow down the breakdown of dopamine.
The problem with these medications is that they often have their own set of side effects that can be equally as debilitating to live with as Parkinsons symptoms with hallucinations being the one of them. But the question is, can you live with Parkinsons without medication? If so, can Parkinsons disease be reversed naturally?
In functional medicine we aim to both slow down progression and put symptoms into remission without the need for medication. While sometimes medication is necessary, we look for solutions that offer the least amount of side effects that are still effective at addressing symptoms. Sometimes a combination of medication and natural solutions are needed depending on how far along Parkinsons has progressed and sometimes alternative solutions can be enough to be effective.
In Summary Reduce Your Stress
The most important thing we can do for our long-term health, both physical and cognitive, is to reduce the stress in our bodies. All stress physical, emotional and chemical causes inflammation and long-term damage throughout the body.
Whether youre seeking Parkinsons prevention techniques or ways to alleviate symptoms, any of the above dietary and lifestyle practices can have long-term health benefits. Drinking green tea, eating organic, local vegetables, and regular aerobic exercise all significantly reduce the long-term cumulative damage done by stress.
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Be Careful When Buying Mucuna
A consumer may purchase capsules of 200 mg of levodopa with a 15% concentration or 800 mg tablets with a 50% concentration, and these are two completely different products. Sometimes patients have bought the product on eBay knowing nothing of their provider, and they receive a package whose content is not guaranteed and whose concentration is not safe. The patient then will then dilute the material in water without knowing how much to measure out. Always use Mucuna extracts that are dispensed by known, reliable suppliers. In the final chapter, we give a brief description of some of these.
What Exactly Is Gaba
GABA is an amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABAâs natural function is to reduce the activity of the neurons to which it binds. It inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, calming nervous activity. This can make a person feel more tranquil and give him or her sense of wellbeing.
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Neurologists In Ghana And Zambia
I applaud the laudable deeds of neurologists who have opened clinics for patients in Ghana and Zambia where they have already served over 100 patients. There they cannot prescribe Sinemet because it costs a prohibitive dollar and a half each day per patient meanwhile Mucuna pruriens grows spontaneously all around them. With the collaboration of the local authorities, they began to systematically prepare seeds of Mucuna
High Levels Of Parkinsons Drug Levodopa Found In Natural Supplements
A new research letter published in the journal JAMA Neurology has reported some dietary supplements can contain extraordinarily high levels of a molecule called levodopa, which is often used in drug treatments for Parkinsons disease. The research found volumes of levodopa in some supplements dramatically vary from nearly nothing to, in some instances, higher levels than commonly prescribed in pharmaceutical formulations.
Levodopa, aka l-DOPA, is an amino acid that serves as a natural precursor to a variety of different neurotransmitters, including dopamine. One of the most exciting medical discoveries of the 20th century was the finding that levodopa can effectively help improve motor symptoms of patients suffering from Parkinsons disease.
In the context of Parkinsons disease, levodopa therapy is combined with another enzyme called carbidopa. This novel combination of molecules improves the ability for levodopa to cross the blood-brain barrier, and reduces some unpleasant systemic side effects that can accompany taking levodopa alone.
Being a naturally-occurring amino acid, levodopa can also be found in a number of plants and herbs. One especially potent source is a bean called Mucuna pruriens. The seeds of this plant can contain anywhere from 3% to 6% levodopa, so it has often been sold as a natural dopamine-boosting dietary supplement.
The new study was published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
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Medications For Parkinsons Disease
After youve received a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on the diseases progression at the time you were diagnosed. Current pharmaceutical treatments include:
- Levodopa is a primary treatment for movement, tremors, and stiffness. Levodopa helps nerve cells make dopamine. This medication is also taken with carbidopa so that levodopa can reach the brain and stop or reduce side effects from the drug, such as vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure.
- Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine in the brain but are not as effective as levodopa in controlling symptoms like muscle movement and rigidity.
- Catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. They are taken with levodopa and slow the bodys ability to get rid of levodopa.
- MAO B inhibitors block monoamine oxidase B , a brain enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This allows dopamine to have longer-lasting effects.
- Anticholinergics aid in reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.
- Amantadine was first developed as an antiviral agent and can reduce involuntary movements caused by levodopa.
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. It is used for people taking carbidopa and levodopa but who experience off symptoms.
These drugs can have a variety of side effects. Be sure to discuss your medications with your doctor so you understand how and when to take them, what side effects may occur, and when to report any concerning side effects.
Chinese Herbal Products For Non
- 1Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- 2Department of Nursing, Meiho University, Pingtung, Taiwan
- 3Department of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- 4School of Chinese Medicine for Post Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- 5Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
- 6Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
- 7College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
- 8Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
- 9Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
- 10Kaohsiung Medical University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- 11Fooyin University College of Nursing, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Objective: Combinations of Chinese herbal products are widely used for Parkinsons disease in Taiwan. Thereby, we investigated the use of CHPs in patients with PD.
Chaihu-Jia-Longgu-Muli-Tang and U. tomentosa DC. are the most commonly used CHPs for PD in Taiwan. Our results revealed the preferences in medication prescriptions for PD. Further studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness of these CHPs for ameliorating the various symptoms of PD, their adverse effects, and the mechanisms underlying their associated neuroprotective effects.
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Summing Upthe Best Dopamine Supplements Of 2021
Dopamine is a critical neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in our mental health as well as our physical health. When you have low levels of dopamine, you may experience a loss of motivation, symptoms of depression, and an inability to focus. It can also lead to low libido.
As with any supplement, speak to your doctor before you try any dopamine supplements listed above.
The Best Alternative Treatments For Parkinsons
Research is continuing to examine the mechanisms behind Parkinsons to find possible cures and ways to ease symptoms. Because of this extensive research, there are many promising natural Parkinsons treatment options. While our knowledge around these Parkinsons natural treatment options are still evolving, these are supported by the most research.
Currently, cannabis is the natural treatment for Parkinsons that is getting the most attention, and for good reason. Also known as marijuana, cannabis contains cannabinoid compounds like THC – the one with the psychoactive properties – and CBD that includes many of the health benefits of THC but without the psychoactive properties.
Early studies on both THC and CBD have found cannabis to be a promising therapy for improved motor function and neuroprotection in patients with Parkinsons. As anecdotal evidence for cannabis and Parkinsons continues to emerge, it has prompted more research to be done on its effects.
In functional medicine, we understand that food is foundational and the foods you eat on a daily basis can either fuel disease or facilitate health. Multiple studies have connected the ketogenic diet – a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet – to significant improvement in Parkinsons disease symptoms.
5. Massage therapy
6. Tai chi
9. Alexander Technique
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Natural Homeopathic Treatments For Parkinsons Disease Really
Many people find it hard to believe in natural treatments for Parkinsons disease, and with good reason. If you have been newly diagnosed, you will likely find information on natural, homeopathic treatment for Parkinsons disease all over the Internet. But do these treatments work or are they just a scam? Lets explore the more credible natural treatments for Parkinsons disease while dispelling some of the myths.
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Natural Remedies For Parkinson Disease
Uncontrollable tremors, memory loss, foggy thoughts, sleep disruptions, difficulty to speak Parkinsons Disease is a severe condition that degrades the life quality of millions around the world. Conventional medicine can be helpful, but many people who suffer from the disease dont enjoy the side effects or the thought of consuming chemicals on a daily basis.
Parkinsons disease is a degenerative illness of the nervous system that results in loss of intentional movement and impaired motor functioning. Parkinsons disease symptoms affects smooth, natural movements of the body, and can make it hard to perform everyday tasks like speaking properly, walking, swallowing and sleeping.
With Parkinsons, the area of the brain that controls muscular movements receives less dopamine than usual. Dopamine is an important chemical necessary for not only coordinating proper body movements, but also things like learning, increasing motivation and regulating moods. This is one reason why depression and other mood changes often affect those with Parkinsons.
What causes Parkinsons, and is it curable? There is no specific known cause, but some aggravating factors include exposure to certain chemicals and toxic water, plus inflammation of the brain. While there is no cure for Parkinsons , there are medications available to boost dopamine in the brain and help manage symptoms.
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Foods That Are Hard To Chew
Many people with Parkinsons have difficulty with chewing and swallowing foods. A person needs medical help if this is the case. A speech and language therapist may be able to help a person overcome this issue.
However, if a person is finding certain foods hard to chew and swallow, they may wish to avoid these foods.
Such foods include:
- dry, crumbly foods
- tough or chewy meats
If a person does wish to eat chewy meats, they could try using gravy or sauce to soften them and make eating easier.
They could also try chopping meat into smaller pieces or incorporating meat into casseroles, which can make it more tender.
Having a drink with a meal can also make chewing and swallowing easier.
Foods High In Saturated Fat
Although the specific role of saturated fat in Parkinsons is still being studied, research suggests that a high dietary fat intake may increase your risk of this disease .
Generally speaking, diets high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease. As such, you may wish to keep these foods in moderation (
- some baked and fried foods
Conversely, a very small study notes that the keto diet which is high in fat is beneficial for some people with Parkinsons. However, a low fat diet also showed benefits. Overall, more research is needed .
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The Problem Of Volume
Mucuna is more effective, more rapid, and durable however, to achieve a dose that will offer the same relief as Sinemet or Madopar, it would be necessary to prescribe large amounts of seed powder dissolved in liquid . The need to consume seed powder several times a day would soon overwhelm the patient, and the treatment would be abandoned as too cumbersome.
The solution to the problem can be found in concentrated extracts. This allows for the presentation of Mucuna in tablets or capsules, facilitating the application of different doses of the product and making it easy to manage daily consumption of Mucuna in the amounts deemed necessary. There is another choice that requires the cooperation of the neurologist: Mucuna could be used in association with carbidopa to achieve greater efficiency with less seed powder.
Commonly Used Single Chinese Herbal Products For Parkinsons Disease
U. tomentosa DC. was the most commonly used single herb for PD treatment it relieves Gan Yang excessive and endogenous Gan wind according to Chinese medical theory. U. tomentosa DC. has protective effects on dopaminergic neurons by reducing reactive oxygen species generation it increased glutathione levels and inhibited caspase-3 activity in a PD cell model .
The second most commonly used single herb was G. elata Blume. G. elata Blume decreased L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine -induced dyskinesia in a PD mouse model by inhibiting phosphorylated extracellular regulated protein kinases and FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog B expression, which are abnormally activated by long-term use of L-DOPA . G. elata Blume ameliorated the rotation behavior in PD rats and enhanced the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase positive neurons in the midbrain ventral tegmental area, displaying a neuroprotective effect on tyrosine hydroxylase positive neurons . Another study in a cell model of PD revealed that a compound isolated from G. elata Blume had neuroprotective effects by reducing apoptosis and oxidative stress via activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 /anti-oxidant response element /heme oxygenase-1 signaling pathway .
TABLE 6. Possible mechanisms underlying the effects of frequently used Chinese herbal products for Parkinsons disease, ranked by prevalence of use.
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Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.
Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.
Foods containing iron
The following foods are good sources of iron:
- certain fortified foods