Low Levels Of Vitamin B12 May Worsen Walking Cognition In Parkinsons Patients
Supplement May Boost Balance, Memory, But Impact on Disease Trajectory Unknown
A study of patients with early Parkinsons disease found that groups with lower levels of vitamin B12 faced on average a more rapid acceleration of both motor and cognitive symptoms, which slowed in some cases after taking a daily multivitamin.
In the two-year study, blood levels of vitamin B12 were tested in 680 patients who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Researchers led by first author Chadwick Christine, MD, a neurologist with the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, also assessed patients gait and mobility, ability to perform activities of daily living, cognition and symptoms of depression.
Our findings demonstrate that low B12 levels are associated with greater walking and balance problems, possibly due to the known effect of B12 deficiency on the central and peripheral nervous systems, said Christine. Alternatively, low B12 may have a direct effect on the progression of Parkinsons disease, or it may be a marker of an unknown associated factor, perhaps correlating with another aspect of the disease or nutritional status.
The study was published March 6, 2018, in the early view version of the journal Movement Disorders.
Deficiencies of B12, which are more common in people with Parkinsons than the age-matched general population, are associated with weakness, tiredness, numbness, tingling and walking difficulties symptoms that are found in Parkinsons disease.
With Parkinsons Disease How Can I Increase My Energy
The date is August 21,2015.
Which Foods Should I Consume
There is no single food that will have an impact on the progression of Parkinsons disease. Yet by taking simple steps, you can improve your daily well-being.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. If you have difficulty swallowing such large quantities or are concerned about having to go to the bathroom, split these intakes into smaller quantities. Hydrating fills your body with fluid, which reduces the chance of dropped pressure when you stand up.
Gradually add fibre-rich foods to your diet. Fibre combined with water will help relieve your constipation. Some examples of fibre-rich foods you can consume include cereal, whole grain bread, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Expose yourself to the sun, using sunscreen, and eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium is important for bone health and helps reduce your risk of fracture. Dairy products, enriched soy milk, canned fish with bones , cooked beans, almonds and broccoli are good sources of calcium.
Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium.Our body produces this vitamin when it is exposed to the sun. In Canada, all people over the age of 50 should take a vitamin D supplement during the winter. This vitamin is found in some fish and in vitamin D-fortified dairy products .
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have a protective effect on the brains dopaminergic neurons. Fatty fish , vegetable oils , grains and walnuts are good sources of omega-3.
- Fresh vegetables
- Dairy products
Don’t Miss: Are There Prenatal Tests For Parkinson Disease
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons is caused by the degeneration of brain cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons are responsible for the production of a particular neurotransmitter called dopamine and it is the lack of this neurotransmitter that is responsible for the main Parkinsons symptoms. The cause of the disease is not known. However, like most degenerative illnesses, it is likely to be due to a range of factors including interactions between genes and environment. Contributory factors may include environmental toxicity, physical trauma, genetics, drugs, disease , nutritional deficiency, mitochondrial insufficiency, enzyme deficiency and unremitting stress.
Read Also: Is Constipation A Symptom Of Parkinsons
Parkinson’s Disease Supplements And Drugs
In this post I will share the various vitamins, minerals, supplements, and drugs that I take for Parkinson’s Disease. I started taking supplements on a regular basis several decades ago for overall health reasons. I learned with my diagnosis that certain changes might be beneficial. I will share a little bit about why I think supplements are so important, even with a healthy diet, and then break down the specifics. Let’s get started!
Also Check: Rbd And Parkinson’s Disease
Vitamins For Parkinsons Disease
Pharmaceutical treatment used for treating Parkinsons 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 has established a strong link between the deficiency of vitamin B6 and an increased risk of developing Parkinsons 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.
Foods Containing Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Some studies suggest that dietary fat intake may increase the risk of Parkinsons.
Although having a higher intake of cholesterol can elevate a persons Parkinsons risk, having a higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk.
Therefore, a person with Parkinsons may wish to reduce their intake of cholesterol to help control the symptoms of the condition. They may also wish to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet.
However, further studies are required to explore the link between dietary fat and Parkinsons.
Read Also: Parkinson’s Copay Assistance Program
What You Need To Know
Active Forms of Vitamin B12 Protect the Brain
- Vitamin B12 is critical for nerve function, cell metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, DNA production, and more.
- Aging, and vegan or vegetarian people often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. Oral supplementation can correct this.
- There are two active forms of vitamin B12adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin. The body needs both forms.
- The better-known form of the two, methylcobalamin, is used to reduce stress, lower dangerously elevated levels of homocysteine, and treat conditions including nerve damage.
- Animal data now show that adenosylcobalamin uniquely protects brain neurons, prevents a decline in dopamine levels, and may block neurodegeneration.
- Initial findings suggest that adenosylcobalamin inhibits overactivity of an enzyme linked with Parkinsons disease.
- Daily oral intake of 500 mcg of adenosylcobalamin and 500 mcg of methylcobalamin is a great choice for whole-body health and potential defense against neurodegeneration.
Dont Miss: Parkinsons Disease And Essential Tremor
Vitamins Food Supplements And Special Diets
Eating a well-balanced diet will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals, and can help to ease certain symptoms of Parkinson’s. Here, we also provide information on special diets for Parkinson’s, and managing low blood pressure through your diet.
Eating a well-balanced diet will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
For many vitamin and mineral supplements, theres no clear scientific evidence they have any health benefits .
So, if you feel you need more of a particular vitamin or mineral, it’s better to try to eat more of the foods containing it, rather than buy expensive supplements.
You also need to be aware that some vitamins, when taken in large doses, can have side effects.
Some supplements, such as vitamin B6 and iron, may also affect the absorption of your Parkinson’s medication.
Before purchasing any ‘over the counter’ mineral and vitamin supplements from chemists or health food shops, consult your GP, specialist, Parkinson’s nurse or registered dietitian for advice.
Read Also: Protein And Parkinson’s Medication
/5vitamin C And E And Parkinson’s Disease
It has been recently found that vitamin C and vitamin E might be strongly linked with Parkison’s diseases. As per a new study published in the journal Neurology, vitamin E and C intake are inversely associated with the risk of Parkinson. The researchers reached the conclusion after thoroughly studying the health records of more than 43,800 adults between 18 to 94 years from 1997 to 2016. They analysed their question based on the diet and deduced that diet plays a critical role when it comes to reducing the risk of neurological disorders like Parkison’s disease. Adding foods rich in vitamin E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease later in life.
Which Vitamins Are Good For Parkinsons Disease
Nutritional interventions, which act via different types of mechanisms may slow or avoid the accumulation of damaged brain cells associated with the production of Parkinsons disease. Particularly, nutrients responsible to increase the utilization of brain energy, prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction, protection against oxidation damages and inflammation of tame are few leading contenders associated with anti-Parkinsons therapies.
Don’t Miss: Parkinson’s Multiple System Atrophy
A Review Of The Relationship Between Vitamin D And Parkinson Disease Symptoms
- 1Department of Neurology, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, United States
- 2Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States
- 3Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Parkinson’s Disease And Movement Disorders Center
Our center provides compassionate and timely treatment to patients with movement disorders, such as dystonia, ataxia, essential tremor and similar conditions. But our mission goes beyond patient care excellence. By offering educational events and support groups, we empower patients and caregivers to become better partners in their health.
You May Like: Walking With Parkinson’s Disease
Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.
Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.
Foods containing iron
The following foods are good sources of iron:
- certain fortified foods
Vitamin E Vitamin C And Natural Foods
Scientists have also examined Vitamin E, Vitamin C and health foods to evaluate oxidative properties. Vitamin E can fight damage in the brain caused by free radicals and has been suggested to lower the risk of PD. However, researchers conducted an extensive and thorough study more than 10 years ago and failed to find any evidence that Vitamin E slows the progression of PD or manages symptoms.
However, a recent study published in Neurology, revealed that those with high Vitamin E and C consumption might be associated to a lower risk of PD. Additional research is still needed to better understand this association. Vitamin E has few side effects, and many people with PD continue to take it in high doses of 400 IU or more.
Researchers are also examining if health foods, such as fermented papaya and blueberries, play a role in slowing nerve cell death. Scientists are optimistic about the research, but do not have conclusive data at this time to recommend these supplements to treat PD.
You May Like: How Can A Neurologist Help With Parkinson’s
What We Know About Avoiding Particular Foods & Supplements For Parkinsons
A frequently suggested blog topic is the role of nutrition foods and supplements in the management of Parkinsons disease . . For a general overview of nutritional tips for someone with PD, I encourage you to view an excellent APDA webinar, Living Well Every Day, archived on our website. The webinar presents strategies, based on firm scientific evidence, that help support a healthy lifestyle for people with PD.
Is Melatonin Effective In The Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease
In animal models of PD using neurotoxins, the efficacy of melatonin in reducing neuronal cell death and alleviating PD symptoms has been proven. Melatonin appears to be effective in treating sleep disturbances in people with PD, particularly those with RBD, according to a small number of controlled investigations.
Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s And Sleep Deprivation
The Myth Of The Recommended Daily Allowance
Most people mean well when they tackle vitamins and minerals. They look up the Recommended Daily Allowance and find a supplement that fills the gaps. The problem is that RDA is abbreviated. Instead of the implied “RDA for optimal health” it’s actually the minimal “RDA for survival.” As an example, the RDA for Vitamin C is designed to prevent scurvy. Research suggests that higher doses are extremely beneficial for everything from boosting the immune system to reducing risk of cancer. A better guideline to use is the tolerable upper limit, which, for Vitamin C, is 2,000 mg or 2 grams. It is a bit more complex because you do get vitamins and minerals from natural foods, and those tend to be more effectively absorbed than synthetic supplements.
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 bread, and nutritional yeast.
Researchers discovered that patients with early-onset Parkinson’s disease had lower vitamin B12 levels, which reduced motor and cognitive functions. In some cases, taking a multivitamin that included vitamin B12 slowed the loss of those functions.
Folate is found in organ meats , yeast, and leafy green vegetables. Folate plays several roles in the body and brain.
Both B12 and folate 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 disease patients taking levodopa for the condition are also more likely to have elevated homocysteine.
In one meta-data analysis, researchers investigated the correlations between cognitive function , 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.
You May Like: Community Resources For Parkinson’s Disease
What The Science Says
A study published in the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society suggests that patients in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease who show low vitamin B12 experienced faster motor and cognitive decline. This suggests that vitamin supplements may help slow the progression of these symptoms.
In the study, researchers measured vitamin B12 and other B12-related factors in 680 participants with early, untreated Parkinson’s Disease. They then followed up with 456 samples. The results showed that 13% of these participants had borderline low B12 levels, and 7% had elevated homocysteinean amino acid whose levels are inversely related to a vitamin deficiency. Elevated homocysteine may increase your risks for dementia, heart disease, and stroke without treatment.
Therefore, the study showed that low levels of B12 were common in those with early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Low B12 predicted greater worsening of mobility, while elevated homocysteine predicted greater cognitive decline.
So, if you’re in need of a vitamin boost, a B12 supplement may help do the trick. As always, consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
How Does Fibre Help
Fibre absorbs fluid as it moves through your bowel, forming a soft stool that can be passed more easily.
It is very important to increase your fluid intake if you increase the fibre in your diet, because too much fibre without enough fluid can increase constipation.
A dietitian can give you more information and advice.
How can I increase my fibre intake?
Fibre is found in cereals, seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables and pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils. To increase your fibre intake you can try:
- eating high-fibre varieties of foods, such as wholemeal bread, pasta or brown rice
- altering recipes to use some wholemeal flour instead of all white flour
- choosing a breakfast cereal containing wheat, wheatbran or oats, such as Weetabix, porridge or bran flakes
- eating more vegetables. They can be raw or cooked, fresh or frozen. Try using more peas, beans or lentils
- eating more fruit. It can be fresh, stewed, tinned or dried. Try bananas, oranges or prunes
- gradually introducing ground linseeds. You can add 1 teaspoon to cereals, salads or yoghurts to start with and increase this over time to 1 tablespoon. If you do this, make sure you drink an extra glass of fluid a day, otherwise it wont work and may make constipation worse
When increasing your intake of fibre, it is important to do so gradually to avoid bloating or flatulence . Aim to introduce 1 new high-fibre food every 3 days.
Recommended Reading: How Quickly Can Parkinson’s Progress
The Myth Of The One Vitamin A Day
The cheapest and easiest way to get additional vitamins and minerals to buy a “one-a-day”, right? Like most cheap and easy solutions, you get what you pay for. The problem with a single multivitamin is that it doesn’t really honor science. Most products simply load up their pill to hit the RDA so they can show “100%” on the label. Unfortunately, they ignore the fact that some vitamins are water soluble and don’t stay in the system long. Other nutrients have interactions. Some vitamins block absorption of others, while others boost absorption. Fat soluble vitamins remain in your system and some are toxic at higher accumulative levels of intake.
The result? My multivitamin is the result of exhaustive research and it requires several doses throughout the day. I just try to capture “core” nutrients there and then fine tune with other supplements.