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Parkinson's Disease HOL-emblem1-web.GIF (3556 bytes)

Nutritional Supplements for Parkinson's Disease

To prevent or correct possible nutritional deficiencies, take a high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement daily. Choose a form that is easily digested, such as a soft gel-cap.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. It helps both to strengthen and relax the nervous system. Take 500 milligrams up to three times daily for up to three months in a row.

Acidophilus and bifidobacteria are friendly bacteria that ensure a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are especially helpful for preventing constipation, which is often a problem for people with Parkinson's disease. Take a probiotic supplement as recommended on the product label. If you are allergic to milk, select a dairy-free formula.

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that also helps to "recharge" other antioxidants in the body. Take 50 to 100 milligrams three times a day.

Calcium and magnesium are imperative for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Take a multimineral supplement that supplies 500 milligrams of calcium and 250 milligrams of magnesium, as well as trace minerals, twice daily.

Coenzyme Q10 is an oxygenating antioxidant that helps prevent free-radical damage and important for cell renewal. Take 30 milligrams two or three times daily.

People with Parkinson's disease often do not utilize nutrients effectively. To insure complete digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in the food you eat, take a digestive-enzyme supplement with each meal.

Evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil contain valuable essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are often deficient in people with Parkinson's disease. Take 1 tablespoonful (or 500 to 1,000 milligrams) of either or both twice daily.

Green-foods supplements supply chlorophyll and important trace minerals. Take a green-foods supplement as directed on the product label.

Marine alginate concentrate and N-acetylcysteine may help in the process of chelating (binding to) heavy metals in the body so that they can be excreted. If you or your health-care provider suspects heavy metal toxicity, take 500 milligrams of marine alginate concentrate three times a day and 500 milligrams of N-acetylcysteine twice daily.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogren (NADH) is an enzyme that helps to improve neurotransmitter function. Take 10 to 25 milligrams twice daily for beneficial effects in patients with Parkinson's Disease. The most noticeable results are found to occur after intravenous rather than after intramuscular administration.

Phosphatidylserine is a type of lipid important for normal brain function and the effective transmission of nerve impulses. Low levels of phosphatidylserine are associated with Parkinson's disease. Take 50 milligrams of phosphatidylserine three times daily.

Soy Lecithin is rich in phosphatidylcholine. Choline is a vital building block for acetylcholine. Take 3 tbsp. three times daily.

Pine-bark and grape-seed extracts fight free-radical damage and have anti-inflammatory properties. Many people consider Parkinson's disease to be a consequence of degeneration of nerve cells due to free-radical damage. Take 25 to 50 milligrams of either three times daily.

The B vitamins are very important for brain and nerve function. Take a B-complex supplement so that you are getting 25 milligrams of each of the major B vitamins three times a day from all sources. In addition, take 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and pantothenic acid three times daily, between meals, plus 100 milligrams of niacinamide twice daily (morning and evening).
Note: If you are taking L-dopa, talk to your physician before taking any supplemental B vitamins, and do not take additional vitamin B6, as this vitamin interferes with the action of L-dopa.

Vitamin C and the bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals. Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times daily for one month. Then gradually increase your intake to the highest level you can tolerate. Vitamin C may help "on-off attacks" (two to five years on levadopa results in shortened positive response time to treatment) and other side effects of levadopa.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free- radical damage. Choose a product containing mixed tocopherols and start by taking 200 international units daily, then gradually increase the dosage until you are taking 400 international units in the morning and another 400 international units in the evening. Recent clinical trials have put a big question mark on the usefulness of Vitamin E for treating Parkinson's Disease. But many experts suggest taking Vitamin E for its other benefits even if it doesnot affect Parkinson's Disease directly.

Note: If you have high blood pressure, limit your intake of supplemental vitamin E to a total of 400 international units daily. If you are taking an anticoagulant (blood thinner), consult your physician before taking supplemental vitamin E.

Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E. It also helps to increase circulation and tissue oxygenation, thereby limiting damage to nerve cells. Take 200 micrograms of selenium daily.

A study with four patients with Parkinson's disease who were given injections of 100 mg. of neotrophin 1 (complex glycoproteins, derived from snake venom) resulted in dramatic improvement after a period of six to eight weeks.

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