Finest Nutritional vitamins for Parkinson’s Illness
If you have Parkinson’s disease, you may be wondering whether vitamins could be helpful for the condition. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the area of the brain that controls movement. When these nerve cells are damaged or die, dopamine production is reduced, which leads to movement problems.
Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include tremors at rest, hand tremors, other body tremors, slowness in movement (bradykinesia), rigidity of the limbs, and problems with gait and balance.
This article discusses various vitamins that may be beneficial for Parkinson’s disease and what the evidence is for their use. If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, discuss any vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies with your doctor before taking them.
10,000 hours / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Parkinson’s disease mainly affects people around the age of 60, with 50% more men developing the disease; however, a small percentage – 4% – is diagnosed under the age of 50. About 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the United States each year.
Vitamins for Parkinson’s Disease
Aside from traditional pharmaceutical treatments, your doctor may recommend vitamins with antioxidant properties for Parkinson’s disease. While it is best to get these from food sources as part of a healthy, balanced diet, some people may need to take nutritional supplements. These vitamins include:
- Vitamin B12
- vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E.
Please note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate vitamins and other dietary supplements. Not all brands of vitamins and supplements are created equal. Make sure you research the different brands.
Also, keep in mind that many vitamins can cause serious or life-threatening side effects when taken in large doses. Before using any multivitamin supplements, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and possible allergies.
Vitamin B12 and Folate
Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant. It helps keep red blood cells and nerve cells healthy, and helps produce DNA. Sources of vitamin B12 are typically red meat, chicken, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and breads, and nutritional yeast.
Researchers discovered that patients with early-onset Parkinson’s disease had lower levels of vitamin B12, which reduced motor and cognitive functions. In some cases, taking a multivitamin containing vitamin B12 slowed the loss of these functions.
Folate (vitamin B9) is found in organ meats (such as liver and kidneys), yeast, and green leafy vegetables. Folate plays several roles in the body and in the brain.
Both vitamin B12 and folic acid are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are seen in various cognitive disorders. Studies show that Parkinson’s patients who take levodopa to treat this condition are also more likely to have elevated homocysteine levels.
In a metadata analysis, the researchers examined the correlations between cognitive function (ability to think and think), homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 levels in patients with Parkinson’s disease. They discovered that patients with cognitive dysfunction had high levels of homocysteine and lower levels of folate and vitamin B12.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Vitamin C is found in fruits, vegetables, and the liver of animals. Vitamin E is an antioxidant found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, peppers, and avocados.
An 18-year study tracked 41,058 subjects in Sweden. There were 465 cases of Parkinson’s disease within this population. The researchers rated vitamins C and E to determine whether antioxidants and total non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (NEAC) are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The study’s conclusion found that taking high levels of vitamin C or vitamin E reduced the risk of Parkinson’s by 32%.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that is produced by the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It can be found in some foods such as fatty fish meat and their liver oils, beef liver, and egg yolks. It is found in small amounts in cheese as vitamin D3 and in mushrooms as vitamin D2. Certain foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, plant-based milk, and cereals.
A Finnish study with 3,173 participants examined the relationship between vitamin D levels in middle age and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Fifty of the participants developed Parkinson’s disease over a follow-up period of 29 years. Your vitamin D levels have been determined.
The researchers found that participants with higher vitamin D levels had a 65% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s than those with the lowest vitamin D levels. The study suggested that low mid-life vitamin D levels may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
After you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, your doctor will create a treatment plan based on how the disease was going at the time of diagnosis. Current pharmaceutical treatments include:
- Levodopa is a primary treatment for movement, tremors, and stiffness. Levodopa helps nerve cells produce dopamine. This drug is also taken with carbidopa to allow levodopa to 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 at controlling symptoms such as muscle movement and rigidity.
- Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. Taken with levodopa, they slow down the body’s ability to get rid of levodopa.
- MAO B inhibitors Block monoamine oxidase B (MAO B), a brain enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This allows dopamine to have a longer lasting effect.
- Anticholinergics help reduce tremors and muscle stiffness.
- Amantadine was first developed as an antiviral agent and can reduce involuntary movements caused by levodopa.
- Istradefyllin is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. It is used in people who are taking carbidopa and levodopa but who have ‘off’ symptoms.
These drugs can have a number of side effects. Be sure to discuss your medication with your doctor so that you know how and when to take it, what side effects you may experience, and when to report any side effects.
Some studies have shown a link between low levels of certain vitamins and the risk of Parkinson’s disease or its symptoms. Vitamins B12, C, D, E and folic acid are found in a wide variety of foods. Discuss all dietary supplements with your doctor as ingesting large amounts can be harmful or interact with other medications.
A word from Verywell
Diet patterns like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and fish, can provide the right amounts of vitamins needed to prevent deficiency symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you need nutritional advice, especially if you have difficulty eating or swallowing.
frequently asked Questions
What Are Other Natural Treatments For Parkinson’s Disease?
Other supplements to consider are calcium, coenzyme Q-10, ginger, green tea polyphenols, milk thistle, and St. John’s wort. Always consult your doctor before taking any of these dietary supplements.
Can you overdose on vitamins?
Multivitamin supplements can be toxic in large quantities. The most serious risk comes from iron or calcium in supplements.
Always discuss with your doctor how much to take and whether there are any contraindications with any prescribed medication. If you suspect that you have taken more than the recommended amount, consult a doctor.
Is Parkinson’s Disease Preventable?
No. The exact causes are unknown and it is unavoidable. Researchers believe Parkinson’s disease can be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and exposure to toxins, disease, and trauma.