Vitamin Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

 

 

 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) also termed as paralysis agitans, is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system, marked by gradual loss of the ability to control physical movements. It results from the destruction of brain cells that are primarily responsible for the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine and most often affects people over the age of 50.

Insufficient production of dopamine prevents the execution of smooth and controlled movements, thus leading to symptoms like trembling, slurred speech, loss of flexibility of muscles, slowness of movement and gait, difficulty while walking and cognitive decline.

 

Even though, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, a multidisciplinary approach involving lifestyle changes, healthy eating habits, regular physical activity and medications can work in concert to help you manage the symptoms of the disease in a better way, thus enabling you to enhance the quality of your life.

Vitamins for Parkinson’s Disease

 

Vitamin B6

Pharmaceutical treatment used for treating Parkinson’s disease aim at obtaining an optimum trade-off between achieving a good control over the symptoms and minimizing side-effects related to the use of these drugs.

The role of vitamin B6 in maintaining a healthy nervous system, through its ability to improve blood circulation to the brain and promote the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine has been well established by studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

A study published in 2010 in the journal “The British Journal of Nutrition” has established a strong link between the deficiency of vitamin B6 and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Although, vitamin B6 may not be very efficient in reversing the damage done to the brain cells, it can certainly help in the second stage of the treatment by helping patients cope with the side-effects associated with many drugs used to treat PD.

However, it has been recommended to limit your vitamin B6 intake to 100 grams per day, since an overdose can cause negative side effects like loss of sensation, balance and co-ordination. Hence, vitamin B6 can be more beneficial, if obtained through the consumption of foods like fish, chicken, turkey, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, nuts, beans, legumes, etc., rather than obtaining it through the intake of over-the-counter supplements, which have doses of vitamin B6.

Antioxidant Vitamins

Oxidative stress, a phenomenon induced by the buildup of free radicals in the body has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurological disorders, one among them being Parkinson’s disease. These free radicals are specifically toxic for brain cells and are generated as a response to metabolic reactions, stress, injury, infection, etc.

Hence, anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin C and E have been shown to exert a neuroprotective effect by scavenging free radicals and preventing neuronal damage that leads to the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease.

Vitamin C

Being one of the most potent anti-oxidant agents, vitamin C or ascorbic acid has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect, which aids in attenuating the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Besides aiding in the development of new neurons, vitamin C also plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters that are crucial for reversing cognitive decline.

 

A few small scale studies have shown that a daily intake of 1000mg of vitamin C can potentially reduce the need of medications used for treating Parkinson’s disease.

However, sufficient amount of evidence supporting the beneficial properties of vitamin C in treating the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease is still lacking and hence more studies are needed for determining the role of vitamin in slowing down the progression of PD. Olla express a presion

Foods fortified with vitamin C include citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, red bell peppers, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, blue berries, etc.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E plays a major role in preventing degenerative mental disorders by neutralizing the effects of harmful free radicals that are produced as a result of oxidation of fatty acids in the body. Epidemiologic investigations conducted by De Rijk et al and Golbe et al showed that a high intake of vitamin E could considerably lower the rate of incidence of Parkinson disease.

However, higher dosages of vitamin E, exceeding 800 international units have been found to be potentially harmful for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and hence it is often advised to avoid taking vitamin E supplements, as they come with a very high dosage.

Hence, dietary intake of vitamin E through food sources like almonds, hazelnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, turnips, kale, mustard green, spinach, avocados, broccoli, papaya, olives, etc., is considered to be a safer alternative for obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin E that is sufficient enough for mitigating the symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases.

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has generated a ray of hope for treating Parkinson’s disease. In addition to the role that vitamin D plays in bone metabolism, it also exerts a neuroprotective effect through its antioxidant properties, which protect nerve cells from getting damaged and also through its ability to absorb calcium, which is required for the conduction of nerve impulses.

Moreover, the highest density of vitamin D receptors is found on Substantia Nigra, a region in the brain, which is highly specialized for the production of dopamine, thus making it a good candidate for slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. A study published in Finland, which was followed up for about 29 years in people over the age of 50, showed that higher levels of vitamin D was associated with a 65% decrease in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Hence, it has been recommended to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D through sun exposure for about five to fifteen minutes, four to six times a week. Although, not in high amounts, vitamin D can also be obtained through the dietary intake of fatty fish like salmon, herring, cod liver oil, liver, eggs, etc.

It is important to bear in mind that Food and Drug Association (FDA) has not yet confirmed the role of vitamin supplements as being beneficial or detrimental for alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

They have been theoretically tried by conducting small scale studies but these pilot clinical examinations have not produced any beneficial results. Hence, it is important to seek advice from a professional health care provider, before including any vitamin supplements in your treatment regimen.

Also, it has been reported that these supplements, when used in excess amounts can interact with the medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease and hence it is important to inform the doctor about taking vitamin supplements to avoid any supplement-drug interactions, which can elicit severe side effects.

Photo Credit: https://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/parkinsons-causes

Vitamin Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Vitamin Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) also termed as paralysis agitans, is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system, marked by gradual loss of the ability to control

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2024-04-06

 

Vitamin Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease
Vitamin Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

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