Knowing Your Beans In Parkinsons Disease: A Critical Assessment Of Current Knowledge About Different Beans And Their Compounds In The Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease And In Animal Models
1Dept. of Neurology, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
This review contains a critical appraisal of current knowledge about the use of beans in both animal models and patients with Parkinson’s disease . The potential beneficial effects of beans in PD are increasingly being touted, not only in scientific journals but also by the lay media. While there is a long tradition in Ayurvedic medicine of prescribing extracts from Mucuna pruriens , whose seeds contain 5% L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanin , many other beans also contain L-DOPA or have other ingredients that may benefit PD patients. Indeed, bean-derived compounds can elicit neuroprotective effects in animal models of PD, while several studies in human PD patients have shown that motor performance can improve after ingestion of bean extracts. However, there are several arguments countering the view that beans serve as a natural therapy for PD: the results from animal PD models are not necessarily directly applicable to humans; beans have many bioactive ingredients, some of which can be harmful in large doses; studies in human PD patients are scarce and only report on the effects of single doses or the administration of bean extract over short periods of time; and no data on long-term efficacy or side effects of bean therapy are available. Therefore, reservations about the use of beans as a “natural” therapy for PD seem to be justified.
2.2. Vicia faba
What’s Hot In Pd Update On The Use Of Mucuna Pruriens For The Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease
Mucuna pruriens variant utilis has long been used as an alternative to over the counter levodopa. MP is a leguminous plant that grows in both tropical and subtropical environments. Hidden in its seed is levodopa, which is the most important medication for a Parkinson’s disease patient. In this month’s What’s Hot we will review the studies supporting MP use and discuss future directions and global implications for this therapy.
In 2004, Katzenschlager performed a double blind study of MP. Though the study was small and included only eight Parkinson’s disease subjects it was a well done randomized double blind crossover trial. The subjects were administered single doses of 50/200 mg Sinemet, and 15 and 30 grams of MP at several weekly intervals. The authors used the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale as well as measuring tapping speed. They also recorded dyskinesia and adverse events. The MP had a faster onset of effect and this was also shown in blood studies of the pharmacodynamics. “On” time was longer and there were no differences in adverse effects or in the development of dyskinesia. The Katzenschlager study used a processed pill form of MP .
Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, et al. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004;75:1672-77.
Okun MS. Use of Mucuna Pruriens Powder Instead of Levodopa. NEJM Journal Watch Neurology, August 2017.
The Latest Research About Mucuna Pruriens As A Treatment For Parkinsons
In 2004, a study was conducted comparing the efficacy of MP with the standard medication used in PD, carbidopa/levodopa . Eight patients were given one dose of a MP preparation or C/L in a blinded fashion and then tested four hours after ingestion. MP acted more quickly and lasted longer than C/L without worsening of dyskinesias. A 2017 study also compared various single dose preparations of MP vs. C/L given blindly and determined that MP had a quicker onset of action, lasted longer and caused fewer dyskinesias.
However, when MP was given for longer periods of time as opposed to in single doses, the results were not as positive. In 2018, a study was conducted in which 14 patients were given MP powder for eight weeks and then carbidopa/levodopa for eight weeks. Seven of the patients discontinued MP, four for gastro-intestinal side effects and three for worsening of motor symptoms.
For the seven who remained on treatment, efficacy of MP was the same as C/L. Nobody discontinued during the C/L phase. Although the study showed that MP can be effective in reducing PD symptoms, it drew attention to the need for additional research into the optimal MP formulation and dose to allow for greater tolerability when taken continually.
H3: The difference between mucuna pruriens and cabidopa levodopa
How Can A Person With Pd Get A Supply Of Mp And What Is A Typical Dose
Powders and pills of multiple brands of MP can be easily purchased at health food stores. However, there is no regulatory body that controls standardization of the MP products to ensure that they do not contain impurities and that they contain a reliable and consistent amount of levodopa. There is also no standard dosage that is widely accepted and recommended for people with PD at this time. Many people with PD have very exact levodopa requirements, so using a supply that does not have a reliable and predictable amount of levodopa can be very problematic.
Mucuna Pruriens Offers Neuroprotection Against Parkinsons Disease
Apart from being a natural source of Levodopa, Mucuna pruriens is a neuroprotective agent. By neuroprotection, it is meant that neurons are protected from cell death, oxidative stress, inflammation, etc.
A study in PLoS One, 2015 which evaluated 375 patients observed that the levels of C reactive protein in patients’ blood were predictive of symptoms and neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s. C reactive protein is indicative of inflammation in the body.
Researchers concluded that systemic inflammation could accelerate neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s.
Yadav et. al conducted an animal study to compare the neuroprotective efficacy of Mucuna pruriens with estrogen in Parkinson’s disease. Estrogen is utilised as a neuroprotective agent in Parkinson’s.
The study demonstrated that Mucuna pruriens ameliorated all the unwanted damage caused by Parkinson’s to the neurons better than estrogen. It increased the recovery of neurons and the levels of dopamine.
It attenuated oxidative damage and neuroinflammation thus suggesting that it can be an effective neuroprotective agent in Parkinson’s.
A study in PLoS One, 2014 confirms the neuroprotective effect of Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease and attributes this effect to other components than L-dopa in velvet beans.
Manyam et.al highlight the other components in the velvet beans that contribute to its neuroprotective effect namely Nicotine adenine dinucleotide and coenzyme Q-10. These components are also proven to benefit in Parkinson’s.
It Improves Cognition And May Alleviate Depression In Parkinsons
Research indicates that cowhage’s ability to regulate dopamine levels also aids in exerting anti-depressant effect.
Experimental studies that Mucuna pruriens has effective antidepressant effect in acute as well as chronic conditions and it may potentiate or increase the therapeutic action of other antidepressants.
The combination of cowhage’s antioxidant, antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect protects the brain from stress induced oxidative damage and neurotoxicity.
Velvet beans’ neurotransmitter regulating activity can have cognition enhancing the effect. This property can benefit in protecting from dementia and behavioural abnormalities in Parkinsons’s.
Quick Gist: Mucuna pruriens has cognition enhancing and the antidepressant effect that can protect from memory lapse, dementia, and depression in Parkinson’s.
Mucuna Pruriens Guide: Dosage Benefits And Uses For Bodybuilding
Mucuna pruriens is an herb that’s sometimes included in bodybuilding and health supplements.
That’s because Mucuna pruriens extract is touted to increase testosterone and libido and reduce symptoms of depression.
What are the real benefits of Mucuna pruriens, though, and what’s the best Mucuna pruriens supplement to take?
In this article, you’ll learn what Mucuna pruriens is, the effective dosage, its side effects, whether Mucuna pruriens powder can increase testosterone, how to take it, and more.
Standard Protocol Approvals Registrations And Patient Consents
This study was conducted in accordance with good clinical practice and the Declaration of Helsinki. The study protocol was approved by the institutional ethics committee and written informed consent was obtained from all individuals entering the study. An additional consent was requested for video recording. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier }NCT02680977.
An Increase In Mucuna Means A Decrease In Pharmaceutical Drugs
In the majority of patients, mucuna must be combined with other antiparkinsonian drugs. In some cases, especially at the beginning, this may be the only treatment.
It is advisable to add mucuna slowly while gradually decreasing the doses of Sinemet or other conventional antiparkinsonian drugs1.
The ultimate goal is for the patient to feel better as he takes fewer prescription drugs and suffers fewer side effects to boot. These are the findings of a review of extensive and detailed literature2.
Mucuna Pruriens: 5 Velvet Bean Benefits For Disease & Mood
September 14, 2018
Can a plant that has been used to make a novelty itching powder actually do wonders for serious health problems such as Parkinson’s disease? It actually appears the answer may be “yes”!
I’m talking about the plant known as Mucuna pruriens or velvet bean, which has been shown to counterParkinson symptomsand offer help for male infertility, nervous system disorders and more. Let’s take a look at this intriguing plant, which naturally has some very powerful and therapeutic ingredients.
Whats Hot In Pd Update On The Use Of Mucuna Pruriens For
The subjects were administered single doses of 50/200 mg Sinemet, for example, Most people take the mucuna supplement in a dose of 5 grams of dried powder per day, Any medication should be administered initially in small amounts, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry shows that 30g of Mucuna is the optimal dose.
Medications For Mental Conditions Interacts With Cowhage
Cowhage seems to increase a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Some medications for mental conditions help to decrease dopamine. Taking cowhage along with some medications for mental conditions might decrease the effectiveness of some medications for mental conditions.Some medications for mental conditions include chlorpromazine , clozapine , fluphenazine , haloperidol , olanzapine , perphenazine , prochlorperazine , quetiapine , risperidone , thioridazine , thiothixene , and others.
Mucuna Pruriens Dosage Recommendations And When To Take
The median dose which most people take is 500 mg per day, China, This is a dopamine precursor and sometimes used as a pharmaceutical to treat Parkinson’s Disease Compounds contraindicated with Levodopa/Carbidopa treatment most likely extend to Mucuna Pruriens and should be approached with caution., It should be taken in higher doses that many people get from the drugs.Dr, is as effective and safe as levodopa/benserazide.Mucuna PruriensSlowly we raised the dose to 700 mg 4-5x/day and eventually 850 mg 5x/day, They also recorded dyskinesia and adverse events.Mucuna Pruriens Dosage, He and got up to 1200 mg 5-6x/day this past year, dopa concentrations of 4-6%,000 mg per day–take it in divided doses) with at least 25 mg of vitamin B6 and a B Complex vitamin and 600-1200 mg of Magnesium daily.Mucuna pruriens dosage, Anyone who is new to Mucuna should try a smaller dose
Exploring Alternative Therapies For Parkinsons Disease Jane Racey Gleeson
Because no two Parkinson’s disease patients are alike, a Michigan Medicine neurologist encourages patients to consider conventional and alternative treatment options.
When Michigan Medicine neurologist Chauncey Spears, M.D., speaks to his patients with Parkinson’s disease, he likes to make one thing clear: No two patients with Parkinson’s disease are exactly alike.
“There may very well be similarities between given patients, but every patient is unique,” he says. “Everybody is very different in their overall needs, as well as in their responses to treatments and medications.”
For this reason, when it comes to the topic of alternative therapies for treating Parkinson’s disease, Spears believes that patients are the best educators. “There may be that one patient on the Internet who responds remarkably well to marijuana, but that may not be the case for the next person,” he says.
Spears also wants to clear the air on how he views alternative therapies: Not as a last resort for PD patients, but as a diverse group of medical therapies, interventions, treatments, practices or products that don’t fall under the category of conventional Western treatment practices.
“Too often, patients believe that alternative therapies are a doctor’s way of saying, ‘We’ve exhausted all conventional measures. One last desperate option is to put you on an alternative medicine.’”
This, he says, is not the case.
Has Anyone Tried Mucuna Pruriens As A C/l Replacement
I am trying Mucuna pruriens in place of carbidopa-levodopa 25-100. I am using “Dopa Mucuna” from Now Foods. https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/dopa-mucuna-veg-capsules .
I am still working on the dose. I do not experience indigestion.
I am 70. I was diagnosed with PD in September and began C-L then.
Anybody else trying Mucuna pruriens?
My question is why not just go the prescription route for C/L?
I dont trust big Pharma, Merck pulled Sinemet immediate release without warning . Generics from different companies do not have the same efficacy for me. Brand Sinimet worked the best for my symptoms.
here is my blog about it:
Some links may no longer work since Merck is shuffling stuff around and Sinimet is no where to be found.
Mucuna pruriens is a species of beans with a naturally high quantity of levodopa/L-dopa. Scholarly papers suggest that it does not promote dyskenisias as much as C-L and that besides levodopa it has other benefits for PD.
An Ancient Plant With A Modern Treatment Opportunity
Parkinson’s Disease effects one million people in the United States, and ten million people worldwide. Currently, the most common pharmaceutical that helps patients with PD is Levodopa/Carbidopa. Not all have access to this treatment, however. What if there are other treatments that could help improve quality of life?
Together with a team of other researchers, ND student Tanya Denne is studying a fascinating plant that might hold answers.
It Protects From Side Effects Of Synthetic Levodopa
The major side effects associated with levodopa therapy is the development of drug induced dyskinesia on long term therapy and changes or delay in response caused by fluctuations of the drug concentrations in blood.
A study in Phytotherapy Research,2007 demonstrates that Mucuna pruriens powder can protect from DNA damage in Parkinson’s. It mediates this activity by removing excess copper ions and balancing copper levels.
Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine conducted an animal study to examine whether a water extract of Mucuna pruriens causes drug induced dyskinesia. The study revealed some interesting points:
• It was observed a combination of Mucuna pruriens extract with benserazide led to significant reduction in Parkinson’s symptoms at high and low dose.
• In contrast, Mucuna pruriens without any add-on medication reduced Parkinson’s significantly minus the drug induced dyskinesia.
• Also, Mucuna pruriens extract without any additives reduced behavioural abnormalities and offered long term anti-Parkinson’s effect without drug induced dyskinesia.
• Mucuna pruriens offered more behavioural benefits than an equivalent dose of synthetic levodopa.
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Faq #2: Does Mucuna Pruriens Increase Testosterone
There isn’t currently any evidence Mucuna pruriens increases testosterone in healthy men.
Research shows that Mucuna pruriens can increase testosterone levels in infertile men and diabetic rats, but unless you call into one of those two categories, it’s not going to boost your T levels. ? We’ll have to wait for more research before we know if it increases testosterone levels in healthy people.
Mucuna dosage is a topic that remains in debate within the health and wellness world. Learn more here!
If you havenâ??t heard of mucuna pruriens, now might be a good time to read up on this incredible legume. Mucuna pruriens â?? also referred to as â??velvet beanâ??â?? is a plant that is native to Africa and currently grows in tropical climates all over the globe. Like other herbs, mucuna has been used in Ayurvedic practices for thousands of years to support issues ranging from infertility to snake bites. Today, mucuna pruriens is commonly used to promote a healthy mood. The trick is to figure out the best mucuna dosage to help you achieve your health goals.
It May Improve Antioxidant Activity In Parkinsons
Research confirms that oxidative stress can cause development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. In fact, high levels of oxidative stress can even affect perception and impair cognition in individuals who have Parkinson’s disease.
A study in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 2017 reveals that Mucuna pruriens benefits in Parkinson’s disease as an antioxidant. It reduces the levels of nitric oxide which causes oxidative damage to the neurons and prevents it from triggering inflammation.
It also protects dopaminergic neurons from oxidative stress in Parkinson’s.
Extract from the velvet beans is also found to raise the level of antioxidant enzymes in the brain, reduce neurotoxicity and reduce behavioural abnormalities in Parkinson’s.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research, 2008 describes the antioxidant property of cowhage and its metal chelating activity. Both these properties confer neuroprotection as well as help in restoring neuronal function in Parkinson’s.
Mucuna pruriens’ antioxidant action is found to reduce tardive dyskinesia- involuntary jerky movements mostly in the face.
Quick Gist: Mucuna pruriens has an antioxidant effect that contributes to its therapeutic effect in Parkinson’s disease.
Dosage Of Mucuna Pruriens For Parkinsons Disease
Based on human studies, dosages ranging from 7.5 g to 45 g of Mucuna pruriens seed powder has been used successfully. One popular study indicates a reduction of symptoms of Parkinson’s symptoms at a dose of 30g.
One study has utilised 100mg of Levodopa from standardized Mucuna pruriens supplement but more research is required to confirm safety and effectiveness of supplements.
Levodopa content of Mucuna pruriens capsules differs based on processing techniques. Research suggests that levodopa content of cowhage capsules should be 3.5 times of the standard levodopa and carbidopa dose.
A recent study found that high dose Mucuna pruriens alone is as effective as synthetic levodopa and benserazide combination in ameliorating symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s.
Though studies indicate the safety of taking Mucuna pruriens when on synthetic Levodopa therapy, it is best to consult a health practitioner about this. Also, it is advisable to keep a sufficient gap before taking Mucuna pruriens and any medication.
Mucuna Pruriens Is A Natural Source Of Levodopa
Parkinson’s disease is referred to as Kampavata in Ayurveda , and Mucuna pruriens is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s in Ayurveda as it contains levodopa.
Mucuna pruriens is a natural source of Levodopa and other agents that offer anti-Parkinson effect.
Research indicates that Mucuna pruriens are more effective than synthetic levodopa; when compared dose by dose Mucuna pruriens is found to be 2x more effective than synthetic levodopa in exerting anti-Parkinson’s effect.
Some studies suggest that velvet beans specifically modulates the neurotransmitter dopamine levels and does not affect the rest.
Cowitch, as a natural source of Levodopa, is found to reduce impairment in motor and smell function in Parkinson’s as well as delays the onset of drug induced dyskinesia and other complications associated with long term therapy of Levodopa.
Lieu et.al highlight that Mucuna pruriens and its water extract have a different mechanism of action than synthetic levodopa in exerting an anti-Parkinsonian effect. They further comment that addition of velvet beans to conventional levodopa therapy may reduce drug induced dyskinesia.
Quick Gist: Mucuna pruriens is a natural source of levodopa and has been used in Indian Traditional medicinal system -Ayurveda for Parkinson’s treatment. Extracts from the velvet beans have a different way of exerting anti-Parkinson effect than synthetic levodopa and reduces drug induced side effects.
Recommended Dosage Active Amounts Other Details
5g of dried powder has been used with efficacy in some human studies on Parkinson’s Disease and fertility. This dose or doses upwards of it should be a good starting point.
If your supplement is standardized for L-DOPA and you are supplementing for an effect attributed to L-DOPA, then start with about 1/2 the L-DOPA equivalent and work up if needed .
Mucuna Pruriens can be eaten isolated as a food product, but cooking is required to destroy trypsin inhibitors in the beans yet cooking also destroys L-DOPA.
Some supplements use the cotyledon of Mucuna Pruriens, which may have different nutrient profiles relative to the bean or whole root.
Effect Of Mp On The Nuclear Translocation Of Nf
We have observed that in MPTP injected mice, the nuclear translocation of NF-?B has occurred when compared with the control group . Whereas, Mp treatment has significantly inhibited this nuclear translocation of NF-?B as compared to MPTP treated mice.
FIGURE 6. Effect of Mp on the nuclear translocation of NF-?B in SNpc with 40x magnifications after staining. In substantia nigra as compared to control group , nuclear translocation of NF-?B positive cells were increased in MPTP treated group while Mp treatment inhibits this nuclear translocation of NF-?B .
Mucuna Pruriens Extract Dosage And Side Effects
Mucuna pruriens is likely safe for most people. However, those experiencing the following issues should consult with a healthcare provider before use:
- Taking antidepressant or antipsychotic medications
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
Side effects of Mucuna pruriens extract are rare but can include:
- Digestive upset
- Elevated blood pressure
- Neurological effects such as headaches, sleepiness, confusion, hallucinations and delusions.
To ensure that Mucuna pruriens is the right choice for you, discuss it with your doctor, and start with a small dose to see how it makes you feel.
Medications For Diabetes Interacts With Cowhage
Cowhage might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cowhage along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride , glyburide , insulin, pioglitazone , rosiglitazone , chlorpropamide , glipizide , tolbutamide , and others.
The History Of Mucuna Pruriens And Parkinson’s
While the study of Mucuna pruriens has only recently become more prevalent in scientific circles, its use for aiding Parkinson’s disease therapy has been known for centuries. Historical texts have record Parkinson’s and Mucuna pruriens as early as 300 BC. Current research is validating ancient claims and studies consistently report L. dopa concentrations of 4-6%. Mucuna pruriens is just one of several therapies popular in India, China, and the Amazon for Parkinson’s disease.
Mucuna Pruriens For Parkinson’s Disease: Low
Thousands of PD patients in low-income countries cannot afford Levodopa therapy.
Mucuna pruriens is a source of Levodopa, growing in all tropical areas worldwide.
Median Levodopa concentration in dried Mucuna pruriens seeds is about 5%.
Boiling reduces Levodopa content up to 70%, while roasting does not.
Clinical benefit if Levodopa dose is > 3.5-fold standard Levodopa + DDCI formulations
What Is The Best Way To Take Mucuna Pruriens
If you’re overweight or obese, Mucuna pruriens could be worth taking. That’s because L-DOPA production tends to be impaired in overweight and obese people, and this can cause reduced focus and brain fog. Although weight loss alone can normalize L-DOPA levels, supplementing with it during periods of dieting can help preserve mood and cognition.
That’s why we included L-DOPA from Mucuna pruriens in Phoenix, our all-natural fat burner supplement. Specifically, each serving includes 153 mg of Mucuna pruriens extract, providing 150 mg of L-DOPA.
So, if you want to speed up your metabolism, enhance fat burning, reduce hunger and cravings, and improve your mood while cutting, try Phoenix today.
If your goal is to boost testosterone or improve your overall health, supplementing with Mucuna pruriens is not the best choice. It’s primary benefit is for Parkinson’s Disease, and long-term supplementation is more likely to cause side effects.
Instead, you can take other supplements proven to support your hormone levels and improve mood.
For example, DHEA can increase testosterone and balance your hormones, and Rhodiola rosea can improve mood, enhance cognition, and reduce symptoms of stress and depression. If you’re looking for a good source of DHEA and Rhodiola rosea, try Vitality, which balances hormones, increases energy levels, and reduces stress and fatigue.
Faq #3: Does Mucuna Pruriens Cross The Blood
Mucuna pruriens itself doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, but the L-DOPA it contains does.
Once L-DOPA crosses the blood-brain barrier, it’s converted into dopamine. However, L-DOPA can also be converted into dopamine before it enters the brain, where its effects are wasted.
For this reason, L-DOPA is often taken with other drugs like Carbidopa that prevent the conversion of L-DOPA into dopamine before it enters the brain in order to maximize its potency.
Cleansing During Parkinson’s Disease Therapy
The idea that cleansing helps to rid your body of toxin accumulation isn’t new and research validates the effectiveness of a regular cleansing regimen. One study involving 18 Parkinson’s disease patients examined the effectiveness of L-dopa supplementation combined with a pre-cleansing therapy. The patients that underwent cleansing and L-dopa reported better results than those who did not. The cleansing patients enjoyed better motor function, less stiffness and cramps, and overall daily function.
Sample Preparation For Biochemical Studies
After completion of experiment, the animals were sacrificed by cervical decapitation from each groups , the collection of nigrostriatal tissue was done individually and they were further homogenized in KCl buffer at pH 8.0 complemented with phosphatase and protease inhibitor. Centrifugation of the tissue homogenates was done at 12,000 g at a temperature of 4°C for about 20 min for the estimation of antioxidant enzymes and different biochemical parameters.
Side Effects And Dangers Of Mucunapruriens
Mucuna pruriens appears to be well-tolerated when ingestedat recommended quantities.
Since the plant has levels of L-Dopa, the side effects oflevodopa are theoretically possible.
Some studies illustrate the side effects of Mucuna pruriensto be lesser than those of L-Dopa.
This situation can arise since the plant has otherproperties which may lessen the effects of L-Dopa.
Some users complain of gastrointestinal stress and nauseaafter ingesting mucuna, although this is often eliminated by taking it withfood.
In experiments involving rats, acute toxicity tests revealedthat the extract was safe at minimal doses, although several severe impactswere recorded at high quantities such as reducedspontaneous motor activity and hyperventilation.
The extract may also interact with drugs meant for bloodpressure and diabetes.
Increased dopamine levels can be dangerous among people withstomach ulcers, heart arrhythmias, glaucoma, chronic nerve pain, and psychosis.
If you have any of the conditions, it is a good idea to seekthe expertise of a health professional.
There is not sufficient information about the benefits ordangers of using extracts of the plant in pregnant or nursing women.
In this case it is safer to avoid the supplementaltogether.
Polypharmacy And Many Years Of Parkinsons
Often, after many years of suffering from Parkinson’s disease, patients turn to velvet beans searching for any remedy as a last resort. Those are precisely the cases where it is less desirable to use mucuna.
Once the disease is already very advanced, there are many other important drugs that cannot be removed from the treatment plan, and if the general condition of the patient is poor, this is not the time to do “experiments “.
In some specific cases, this can be tried using isolated doses of mucuna during the “off” periods, in an attempted “rescue” when there is little to lose. However, the physician must weigh the relationship between expected benefit and possible interactions.
More Benefits Than Conventional Levodopa
The foundations of the patent, based on the references provided, reveal that, in relation to standard levodopa-carbidopa medications or levodopa-benserazide , the extracts of Mucuna have important advantages that confirm those listed in the previous chapter.
Mucuna has a wider therapeutic window: the range of dosage in which a drug can be used without causing toxic effects. That means that there is a large margin between the minimally effective dose of Mucuna and one that could cause damage in the body.
Patients get better sooner with it. Researchers gave patients a tablet of Sinemet, and they noticed the “on” effect after 54 minutes. But when they took Mucuna , they were already active after only 23–27 minutes . In addition to being quick-acting, Mucuna has been found to be effective for longer durations: patients were still “on” for 204 minutes after taking the seed extract, beating Sinemet tablet by half an hour .
Neither acute nor chronic toxic effects have been described. Even with high doses of Mucuna , there were less adverse effects than in patients who received the equivalent of the conventional drugs . Other long-term studies of Mucuna have shown that the dreaded dyskinesia and other symptoms associated with continuous treatment with levodopa are lower and in some cases even tend to improve .
Why Are There No Frequent Major Problems
Mucuna is not a placebo but, rather, has important effects. However anyone can buy it without a prescription, and most are taking it without medical supervision. These patients are not sufficiently familiar with the properties of Mucuna ; they do not know the side effects or complications that may arise; they do not take into account the interactions with other medications or the differences between individuals.
While this scenario suggests a public health issue, it fortunately does not usually cause serious problems. Why? I think that one reason is the safety of the components of Mucuna , which has been used for millennia in thousands or hundreds of thousands of patients in India without significant harmful effects. Another issue is that the products are sold often in small doses as a dietary supplement. That is not, however, always the case: there are some preparations with excessive doses especially when combined with carbidopa , dopamine agonists, or other antiparkinsonian drugs. It is necessary to use extreme caution.