08 July, 2011
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- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Parkinson's Disease: Hope Through Research
- MedlinePlus Supplements: Creatine
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Supplements for Parkinson's
With Parkinson's disease, the nerve cells in your brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine become destroyed, resulting in a significant drop of dopamine. As a result, symptoms such as tremors, problems beginning movement and stiff muscles occur. The traditional treatments for Parkinson's disease include medications that affect dopamine levels, such as levadopa. You may consider an alternative treatment, such as dietary supplements, though no supplement is a proven treatment, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Before starting any alternative treatment for Parkinson's disease, consult your doctor.
The University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, notes that 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D may help, as Parkinson's disease patients can have lower levels of the vitamin. Several B vitamins may help with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. When Parkinson's disease patients took 30 mg of vitamin B 2 three times each day over a period of six months, they had better motor capacity, though these participants also had a dietary change in which they no longer ate red meat, according to the University of Michigan Health System. NADH, an active type of vitamin B 3, helps with increasing the amount of dopamine in your brain. While some vitamins may help with Parkinson's disease, you should talk to your doctor first, as they may interfere in your medication. For example, vitamin B 6 may interfere in the effectiveness of your medication. Other vitamins that may help with Parkinson's disease include vitamin C and vitamin E. The UMMC recommends 800 IU of vitamin E four times a day and 1,000 mg of vitamin C three times a day, but notes that vitamin E alone did not have the same beneficial effect that the two vitamins had together.
Coenzyme Q10, which your body makes, may have benefits for Parkinson's disease. Results from a phase II clinical trial of coenzyme Q10 with early-stage Parkinson's disease patients suggest that large doses may help slow the progression of the disease, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or NINDS. When early-stage Parkinson's disease patients took 1,200 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day over a period of 16 months, they had a significant decrease in their disease progression compared to participants who took a placebo, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Consult your doctor before taking coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.
Another supplement that may help with your Parkinson's disease symptoms is cytidinediphosphocholine, also called CDP-choline. This supplement appears to increase the level of dopamine, which decreases the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. When Parkinson's disease patients took 400 mg of CDP-choline three times a day, they could take less levadopa, a Parkinson's disease medication that converts into dopamine. Before starting CDP-choline for Parkinson's disease, talk to your doctor.
An amino acid, creatine occurs in foods, such as fish, and is also found in your muscles. While creatine may increase athletic performance in some people, it may also help with Parkinson's disease. For example, creatine may help slow the progression of early-stage Parkinson's disease, according to the UMMC. But creatine can cause heart, liver or kidney problems if you take large doses. Discuss with your doctor if you can take creatine for Parkinson's disease before starting it.
If you take levadopa, you may have lower levels of S-adenosylmethionine, also called SAMe, in your body. The UMMC recommends between 400 and 1,600 mg of SAMe a day, which can help with depression that may occur along with the Parkinson's disease; however, taking SAMe supplements on a long-term basis may negatively affect levadopa's effectiveness. Before you start taking SAMe, talk to your doctor.
Other supplements may help with Parkinson's disease. For example, L-tyrosine, which is the precursor to L-dopa should improve Parkinson's disease symptoms, as L-dopa converts into dopamine. But L-tyrosine can interfere in levadopa's transport, and the University of Michigan Health System recommends that you do not combine the supplement L-tyrosine with the medication levadopa or take L-tyrosine instead. Another supplement is D-phenylalanine, which may help with tremors, but it also interferes in levadopa's transport to the brain. The supplement 5-HTP may help with depressive symptoms in Parkinson's disease when combined with levadopa and carbidopa. The University of Michigan Health System warns that if you have Parkinson's disease, you should not take 5-HTP alone. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements for Parkinson's disease.
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