Parkinson’s Disease: 5 Keys to Support the Body
~Michelle Tonkin ND
What is it?
Parkinson’s disease is known as a disorder which affects the brain and nervous system. Symptoms usually start off simply, sometimes with just something as simple as a hand tremor, but can progress to issues with coordination, balance, and speech issues, as well as changes in behavior, mood, memory, and even fatigue. While Parkinson’s disease can affect both men and women, it is noted that this disease process seems to affect more men. It is also said that between 5-10% of those affected develop this disease process before the age of fifty, with the majority over those developing symptoms past sixty years of age. 1% of the population over the age of sixty is affected. Some forms of this disease are said to be inherited while others could be due to certain adaptation in genes.
One of the causes for Parkison’s disease deals with nerve cells that exists in the basal ganglia area of the brain. In this disease process, neurons in this part of the brain which normally produce dopamine either have died or damaged which causes the symptoms associated with movement in this disease. Some scientists believe this death is caused by multiple factors “including oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial malfunction, autophagy, misfolding, and the aggregation of specific proteins, are responsible for the alteration or death of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in PD” ~ Association between Heavy Metal Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease: A Review of the Mechanisms Related to Oxidative Stress - PMC (nih.gov)
Nerve endings that supply the body with the chemical known as norepinephrine also are gone, thus having an effect on the sympathic nervous system of the body. This system aids the body in many important tasks such as heart rate and blood pressure, and could be the reason for certain symptoms “such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying position” ~ Parkinson’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)
Many Scientists are now convinced that this disease process is actually the result of not only genetic inheritance but also of other elements such as environmental toxins. Hereditary counting for around 5-10% of those affected with Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s has four main symptoms:
Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
Muscle stiffness, where muscle remains contracted for a long time.
Slowness of movement
Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls.
Other symptoms may include:
Depression and other emotional changes
Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking.
Urinary problems or constipation
A study done with over 19,000+ twins showed that environment did a play a big role in contributing to Parkinson’s disease. “Exposures to pesticides, polymers, and other environmental toxicants, such as metals and solvents, are related to an increased risk for PD. Heavy metals, such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and copper (Cu), have been identified as potential causes of PD as well as likely contributors to the disease progression. ~ Association between Heavy Metal Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease: A Review of the Mechanisms Related to Oxidative Stress - PMC (nih.gov)
Those with consistent exposure to heavy metals experienced inflammation in the neurons which contributed to neuron loss. These metals are also responsible for depleting antioxidant levels which encouraging free radical damage. Aggregation of protein is also seen which in turn has a negative effect on cell health and results in cell mortality.
Certain studies have shown a connection between individuals with previous infection such as influenza, herpes, hepatitis B and C with Parkinson’s disease. However Hep C was the only virus to show a veritable connection. However, viruses do cause potent inflammation in the body which can have an effect on the CNS long after the virus has left and cannot be detected. This inflammation process brought on by viruses like Hep C can elevate the risk of Parkinson’s by their ability to injure neurons associated with producing dopamine. In point, analysis and studies “have shown a decreased incidence of PD in individuals receiving interferon-based antiviral treatment regimens against HCV at 5-year follow-up” ~https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8224138/
It is still unclear however if still connection was due to a decrease in inflammation or the antiviral agent itself.
Finnish researchers did a study on 26,000 people who had a brain disease. They checked these to see if there were connections with viral infections.
In “45 cases, they found a significant infection-brain disease “pairing,” meaning people with the brain disease were more likely to have had that infection than the nearly 309,000 controls without brain diseases” ~ https://www.science.org/content/article/study-links-viral-infections-alzheimer-s-parkinson-s-many-caveats
How is it treated?
Medications that help raise levels of dopamine are commonly used. The most effective one being levodopa. This drug is usually very effective in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease although its effects are reduced when used over a long period of time. It can also have side effects when used for a length of time. For those whom this drug is not effective, could mean that that individual is dealing with a different form of this disease process. Medicines are also to help the body stimulate production of dopamine, which is used more often in young adults in order to delay their use of levodopa. There are also what is known as levodopa metabolism inhibitors which help the body keep the medication levodopa in its tissues longer. However, they can have a negative effect on the liver. They are often used as the levodopa medicine loses its effectiveness. Adenosine Blockers can also be used which helps levodopa work more effectively. These blockers inhibit the way certain cells use the molecule adenosine.
Another form of treatment is called Deep Brain Stimulation. In this treatment, a device is put in the brain to deliver a micro current to areas where the brain is not operating properly. This treatment is reversible and is usually used in late stages of the disease when the popular medication levodopa starts to lose its effectiveness or when those with tremor are unresponsive to medication use for this disease.
There are also what are known as experimental treatments.
These can include:
Stem cell transplants. These add new dopamine-using neurons into your brain to take over for damaged ones.
Neuron-repair treatments. These treatments try to repair damaged neurons and encourage new neurons to form.
Gene therapies and gene-targeted treatments. These treatments target specific mutations that cause Parkinson’s disease. Some also boost the effectiveness of levodopa or other treatments.
List from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8525-parkinsons-disease-an-overview
5 Keys to help w Parkinson’s.
While there is not one specific recommended diet for Parkinson’s disease, it is suggested to eat a whole food-based diet consisting of whole and gluten free grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, good fats (olive oil, coconut, flax) and beverages such as water, herbal teas, and 100% fruit juices. It is also suggested to eat foods high in Omega three like nuts, seeds, fish, flax seeds, etc. as well as potent antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and can help with lowering free radicals which can damage the body’s cells. This is important for general health, but also in Parkinson’s disease as lowering free radicals can help with overall cell health. Your body uses Vitamin C in a variety of ways and a good source of Vitamin C is citrus fruits like oranges, berries etc… or dark leafy greens like spinach, kale etc., even broccoli, and cauliflower. It is water soluble, and our body needs it on a daily basis. Vitamin C is also great for immune system health, as it is a potent antioxidant. Protecting our body from free radical damage. Also helpful for some many different things like collagen production, immune support, wound healing, skin protection, even adrenal support. The adrenals are responsible for the flight or fight response in the body, they are a part of the endocrine system, and they can get fatigued during times stress or illness. Vitamin C converts to hydrogen peroxide in the body once it breaks down which means its great against foreign invaders and micro-organisms, some clinics use high doses of vitamin C in IVs to help those with chronic immune disorders or even cancer. Vitamin C is also great as a natural antihistamine. Which means it helps with allergies. The reason why we believe Vitamin C works as a natural antihistamine is because oxidative stress plays a key role in allergic responses by the body and Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, as well as a natural anti-inflammatory. A study done in 2000 suggested that those wishing to use Vitamin C as a natural antihistamine should consume 2 grams or 2000mg of Vitamin C per day. You can also get Vitamin C in a supplement form, a good dosage would be between 1000-2000mg on a daily basis, too much vitamin C can upset the stomach or cause loose stools, so aiming around those dosages is good.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common especially with those struggling with Parkinson’s Disease. There is a doctor from Boston University by the name of Dr. Michael Holick (professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine.) who has studied blood samples from quest diagnostics from more than 190,000 Americans from all of the 50 states here in the USA and in his findings, he found that those who were deficient in this important nutrient had a 54% higher COVID positivity when compared with those who had adequate levels of this vitamin. His response: People have been looking for the magic drug or waiting for the vaccine and not looking for something this simple,” He believes taking a sufficient amount of vitamin D can cut this risk by 54%. The study also showed that as the levels of vitamin D increased, the risk of getting corona also declined.
“The higher your vitamin D status, lower was your risk,” Holick said.
“Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said. Most vitamin D comes from sun exposure, and many are deprived, especially during winter months.”
It is suggested that the average adult needs around 2000 IUs of Vitamin D daily. The Dr. himself takes 6,000 IU daily for decades and is to be in great health. Vitamin D has shown to have benefits for the immune system. Research shows that those with lower levels of Vitamin were also more likely to report recent upper respiratory tract infections when compared with those who had adequate levels (Published w National Institutes of Health)
There was another study with more than 11,000 participants (British Medical Journal) which found that supplementation of Vitamin D reduced the risk of acute respiratory infection among those who participated.
“Vitamin D definitely improves your overall immunity to fight infections,” Holick said.
We suggest besides getting out in the sun for 10-15 min a day. To also take liquid Vitamin D as it is the easiest to absorb. Biotics Research is a good brand.
For those looking to improve brain health and cognition, Vitamin E is a smart choice. A study done in 2019 showed that this Vitamin could potentially be beneficial for those with Parkinson’s disease. Food such as almonds, avocado, and sunflower oil and seeds are high in in Vitamin E.
The B Vitamins are very important in the body’s brain health. They are also very important for the nervous system and to help manage stress. In a study done in 2020, participants who were using a combination of the medications levodopa and carbidopa showed to have low levels of Vitamin B6. These participants had been on these medications for a period of at least three years. In an analysis done in 2020 those with Parkison’s disease showed low levels of B12. B 12 support brain cognition. B 12 can be supplemented and also found in foods such tuna, beef, and dairy products.
Omega 3’s are a part of the EFA (essential fatty acids) which are essential for good health. Studies have shown that these fatty acids can be of benefit for those with Parkison’s disease as they can help with:
· Preventing inflammation
supporting neuron growth and health
reducing production of oxidant species
helping the body process calcium.
List from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/supplements-for-parkinsons#vitamin-d
Some foods that contain omega 3’s are walnuts, flax seeds, and salmon. You can also supplement with Omega 3’s such as in Optimal EFA.
Concentrated Whey Protein is easily utilized, highly absorbed, and readily digested. It also contains all the essential amino acids that are necessary to repair tissues while assisting in detoxification. Other benefits include the maintenance of an effective disease fighting capability and resistance to illness causing microorganisms. Glutathione is also naturally occurring in whey protein and has powerful antioxidant and detoxification properties. Glutathione is also able to help reduce homocysteine found in the blood. Homocysteine creates oxidative stress in the body and was found in high levels with those struggling with Parkinson’s disease. Our recommendation for an exceptional organic, undenatured protein concentrate can be found here:
3.) Heavy Metal Detox
Because of the connection between Parkinson’s disease and environmental toxins, it is important to consider detoxing as a means of prevention and support.
There are a variety of ways and methods to detoxify the body of heavy metals, some with self- care and others under the supervision of a medical professional.
DMSA (Dimercapto Succinic Acid)
DMSA is a popular chelator used by doctors to chelate metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead for safe removal from the body’s tissues. It is available both in intravenous and oral form. The oral form is known as Chemet. This chelator has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and therefore is effective at removing heavy metals from the brain. Because of this capacity it should be considered after removal of dental amalgams. It can also be used with existing amalgams to help remove toxicity in the body and should be done periodically as fillings continue to leach mercury into the system.
EDTA (Edetate Disodium)
This chelator is commonly used to chelate calcium from the arterial system, helping to reduce hardening of the arteries. It has been found to be effective in the removal of aluminum and other metals as well. It is available orally, intravenously, and as rectal suppositories.
EDTA suppositories have the advantage of cost effectiveness and in- home convenience. This method utilizes a suppository containing EDTA, which is administered rectally at bedtime. Since the body’s normal elimination of heavy metals is through the feces and urine, this method tends to be very effective. It is also gentler and safer for children as well as sensitive adults. Five suppositories are equal to about one IV treatment. One of the best and most effective brands for EDTA suppositories is Detoxamin.
Studies have shown that EDTA suppositories like Detoxamin are able to effectively remove lead, mercury, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, barium, uranium and aluminum. Detoxamin is a time-released suppository that has demonstrated effectiveness up to three times longer than intravenous chelation therapy. This allows detoxification to occur at a slower and gentler pace. Because EDTA not only captures heavy metals but also can bind to minerals, it is important to supplement with adequate intake of minerals and trace minerals. Although uncommon, a disadvantage of EDTA is the possibility of redistribution of these toxic heavy metals to other areas of the body. ~ www.detoxamin.com
Contact us to order this product!
Intravenous Vitamin C
This remedy has been used by dentists to detoxify mercury from the colon during amalgam removal. It has also shown promising results in removing lead and aluminum. Oral Vitamin C is also an effective heavy metal detoxifier, but reaching adequate dosing is difficult due to bowel intolerances.
This herb has been shown to remove mercury, cadmium, lead, and aluminum in the bones and central nervous system. It also aids the liver in detoxification and supports organ function, including the pancreas and intestines.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
NAC is a sulfur-containing essential amino acid. This amino acid is a potent antioxidant and aids in detoxifying many harmful chemicals such as cigarette smoke, pollution, and alcohol. Cysteine also binds to heavy metal toxins for safe removal from the body.
Oral Chelating agents
Another alternative for removal of heavy metal toxicity is the use of oral chelating agents. This method is convenient and safe for those who have heavy metal accumulation and are not able to tolerate intravenous chelation. The following is a list of chelating agents that can be used to help alleviate symptoms of toxicity.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
4.) Combating Infections
Research has shown that there are possible connections between viral components which could cause inflammation and be a possible cause for Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. With that in mind, it is important to support your body’s immune system with antibactieral and antiviral agents. Two of these are listed below:
Samento (Pentacyclic Alkaloid Type Uncaria tomentosa) is a powerful medicinal plant
that has been successfully used to treat Lyme. Some of the most beneficial properties in Samento are the POA’s or Pentracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids. These have a powerful modulating effect on the immune system and are wonderful in autoimmune disorders. The TOA’s (Tetracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids) found in traditional Cat’s Claw can disrupt the body’s central nervous system function and inhibit the effects of the POAs. Cat’s claws are more of an immune stimulator. Some other medicinal properties that have been reported:
Immune System Modulator
This is an extract made from the bark of the Cecropia strigosa found in South America.
Studies have shown this antimicrobial to have very powerful antiviral properties. Researchers in Israel have tested Takuna and have found it to be effective against the Asian bird flu. Some other medicinal properties include:
Chronic Viral Hepatitis (Sexually Transmitted)
Herpes Zoster- Shingles
Chronic Epstein Barr
Acute And Chronic Viral Encephalitis And Meningitis
5.) Immune and Gut Health Support
Immunity is vital especially in today’s world. Supporting the body’s immune and gut systems are critical. Especially since 80% of the body’s immunity lies in the health of the gut! These supplements are great for everyone and are supportive for those struggling with Parkinson’s disease.
1. BOVINE COLOSTRUM
Colostrum is a newer recognized supplement on the market that has proven beneficial to the immune system. “Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours after birth. It provides life-supporting immune and growth factors that ensure the health and vitality of the newborn.” www.newlifefoods.com/FAQs_colostrum.shtml Research has shown that colostrum has powerful natural immune and growth factors that help bring the body to a state of homeostasis, or well-being. Colostrum has also been shown to help support healthy immune function, enabling us to resist the harmful effects of pollutants, allergens, bacteria, and viruses.
Colostrum, the Second Immune System
Apart from mother’s milk, the only known viable source of colostrum is from cows (bovine). As we age, our bodies gradually produce less immune and growth factors that help our bodies fight off disease and heal damaged body tissue. Because of the HGH (human growth hormones) in colostrum, it has the ability to help with tissue repair and healing, and is especially helpful in cases of compromised intestinal tracks, like “leaky gut syndrome”.
Colostrum has the ability to help with tissue repair and healing.
“In the last decade, scientific research has shown that the molecular combinations of immune and growth factors in (bovine) colostrum are uniquely identical to human. Research has also shown that only bovine colostrum is not species specific and can work in humans and lower mammals.” ~www.newlifefoods.com/FAQs_colostrum.shtml
“Two randomized studies have found that taking bovine colostrum supplements decreases the incidence of upper respiratory infections (such as COVID-19) by 50%. Other studies have found that bovine colostrum can also reduce gastrointestinal damage linked to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin by 80%.” ~ newsmax.com By Dr. Oz and Michael Roizen, M.D.
Enzymes are protein molecules that are present in all living things. They have two parts. The protein part is a long chain, which contains hundreds of amino acids in a specific arrangement. The other part is a coenzyme, usually a vitamin or mineral (or it may contain a vitamin, or perhaps a molecule, which has been created from a vitamin). The enzymes found in food are responsible for breaking down the food particles as well as the biochemical reactions that make them ripen.
Supplementation of vitamins and minerals are useless unless there are enough of the appropriate enzymes to utilize them.
~ Loomis, Howard F. Jr., D.C., F.I.A.C.A. Enzymes: The Key To Health. Madison: 21st Century Nutrition Publishing, 1999.
There are two different types of supplemental enzymes available: animal and plant. Animal enzymes are derived from the pancreas of beef or pork. They do not spare the body’s own production of digestive resources and therefore the body must contribute a large amount of its own enzymes to help digest food, especially in the early stage of the digestion process. Plant enzymes are able to predigest food in the stomach.
Plant enzymes are preferable in that they work in a broader pH range than animal enzymes and are able to predigest food in the stomach. They are also derived from a natural source and not potentially laden with the animal toxins.
While manufacturers are careful to put back vitamins and minerals that are lost during food manufacturing, they do not replace the enzymes. Therefore, unless supplemental forms of enzymes are taken, our diets will continue to be deficient in these nutrients, which are essential for health and healthy living.
Our gastrointestinal tract houses more than 400 types of different microorganisms. These "friendly" microorganisms help protect our GI tract from "unfriendly" microorganisms, bacteria, parasites, viruses, yeasts, and fungi. They also act to improve immune system function and have numerous health benefits.
Probiotics encourage growth of healthy bacteria.
The ratio of flora in the intestines should be of a ratio of 85% friendly bacteria to 15% harmful. Many of the chronically ill have the ratios reversed. The regular supplementation of a high-quality probiotic that contains numerous strains of living lactic acid bacteria will help to produce good bacteria that will encourage growth of a healthy colony of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Research has shown us that probiotics are of vital necessity as they: http://www.theultimateenzyme.com/pro.htm
improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
dramatically improve human immune function.
protect against invasion of foreign pathogens and infectious agents.
enhance the immune system's ability to fight infections.
provide a main source of Vitamin K.
lower cholesterol by metabolizing it.
control bowel toxicity and decrease the risk of bowel cancer.
reduce gas production by non-disease-producing microorganisms.
protect the body from the devastating effects of accumulated toxins.
produce short-chain fatty acids that are converted into energy.
help protect against unhealthy cholesterol buildup.
Parkinson’s disease is multifaceted and although researchers are not in agreement with the causes, they do agree that genetics and environmental issues can be contributors. Supporting one’s body with the proper nutrition, detoxification and supplementation, can go a long way in supporting both overall body and brain health.
Tonkin, Michelle 2012, 2019, Lyme and Co-infections, the Road to Recovery
Colds and flu: Why do they strike in winter? (medicalnewstoday.com)
https://oliveleafhealth.com/protect-yourself-from-coronavirus-boost-your-immune-system-with-olive-leaf-extract/ https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/vitamin-d-can-help-reduce-coronavirus-risk-by-54-boston-university-doctor/ar-BB199vhH https://onlinelearning.hms.harvard.edu/hmx/immunity/ https://www.renewedvitalitymd.com/chronic-viruses/#:~:text=Symptoms%20that%20are%20commonly%20seen%20with%20chronic%20infections,or%20lung%20infections%208%20Chronic%20yeast%20%28Candida%29%20infection