Vitamin D Can Help People With Parkinson’s Disease

parkinson

Parkinson’s disease is a common cause of debilitating complaints in predominantly older people. They experience successively increasing problems with stiffness and tremor. Two celebrities affected by the disease are Muhammed Ali and Michael J. Fox.

The cause is death of neurons in the brain that govern motor control. The treatment is providing dopamine supplements in various ways, which increases the activity in the remaining nerve cells. It’s effective as long as sufficient nerve cells remain (in early stages of the disease), but in the long run it’s less successful.

Now there may be a new addition to the arsenal of treatment. This is another application for Vitamin D, in which many people are deficient.

A new study tested supplementation of 1200 IU daily (as compared with placebo) over a year’s time, to patients with Parkinson’s. Only the control group experienced the typical successive worsening of symptoms, while the Vitamin D group did not.

What is the cause?

The discovery is exciting but it isn’t necessarily Parkinson’s disease in itself that is being stopped. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown before to improve muscle strength in elderly people [1 2], as well as reducing the risk of falling [1 2 3 4]. In younger subjects it may improve athletic performance. All of these effects may be connected to an observed increase in the testosterone levels in the bodies of Vitamin D-deficient people given supplements.

Thus, Vitamin D supplements have been shown to have a positive effect on muscle strength and balance in the elderly. It may be this effect that we see in the study on Parkinson’s disease. Or there may be an additional positive effect.

Either way, it appears wise for elderly people who want to improve their mobility to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. Whether they have Parkinsson’s disease or not.

Do you know someone who could benefit from knowing this?

Previously on Vitamin D

10 Comments

  1. Vitamin D can be almost a "miracle drug" but the most effective way to get it is through exposure to the sun (or a sun-balanced tanning lamp). Adequate sun exposure will generate EXACTLY the optimal dosage of vitamin D.

    To get the most from Vitamin D, you need K2 and A, as well (lots of fresh green veggies). Oh, and of course, calcium and magnesium (meat/eggs/more green veggies).

    But there is still at least one vital ingredient missing in that list: B12. As we age, our ability to absorb B12 decreases, and even sub-clinical deficiency in B12 can resemble many dread and "incurable" diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and MS. I personally experienced a dramatic increase in the quality of my hearing when I started taking daily sub-lingual megadoses of B12. See my story about that at http://celtic-fiddler.com/fiddler/2011/07/could_it_be_b12/

    There are probably some more essential things not yet understood in addition to all that.

  2. What is absolutely appalling about this study and in general with Vitamin D research is that they continue to use virtually placebo or homeopathic amounts of vitamin D3.
    We all know human skin given UVB exposure and a natural cholesterol level produces 10,000~20,000iu of Vitamin D3.
    We also know from Luxwolda's work in East Africa naturally human DNA achieves 25(OH)D equilibrium at 114 nmol/l with level naturally rising when pregnant and with ageing.
    To get the average UK adult to that level requires at least 5000iu/daily Vitamin D3 and possibly up to 10,000 iu daily.
    It's not like vitamin D3 is expensive, Amazon have 5000iu 360 capsules £8.80.
    It takes 3 months to reach a plataux at that dose then use a postal City Assays Vitamin D Blood Spot Test £25 to check you've reached 125nmol/l (50ng/ml) which is the level at which Vitamin D is most effective as an anti inflammatory agent,
    The active form of Vitamin D is Calcitriol (half-life 3~5 hrs) The form a 25(OH)D test measures is Calcidiol.(half-life 3~4 weeks) The switching from Calcidiol (circulating form) to active hormonal form is most effective when MAGNESIUM and OMEGA 3 levels are also optimal.
    Most of us have insufficient magnesium in our diets so taking a magnesium chelate or magnesium taurate or any other effective magnesium repletion protocol will help as will improving omega 3 (oily fish or supplement) intake (bear in mind omega 6 (corn, soy, sunflower and other seed/grain oils) overwhelm/block the actions of omega 3.It's the EPA and DHA in omega 3 that act as nutritional ligands for the Vitamin D receptor and so enhance calcitriol production.
    Replies: #4, #5
  3. FrankG
    If you get a chance to view the SBS documentary "Skin Deep" I would recommend it.

    They discuss the latest research regarding why humans are adapted with differently coloured skin in different geographic regions.

    It probably comes as little surprise to discover that there are rational evolutionary (health*) drives behind this -- including protection against skin cancers, the role of folate in sexual reproduction and vitamin D in general health. Simply put: we see darker shades where there is greater UV radiation and lighter where there is less.

    *If we are not healthy we do not reproduce, or survive to pass on our genes

    The take-home message was the need to consider how many of us are either "out of place", having rapidly migrated to different geographic regions, where our skin is not well adapted -- high rates of skin cancers amongst European descendants in Australia, for example. OR we have changed our environment so as to minimise sun exposure -- fear of skin cancer, more office jobs, more video games etc...

    Just like eating the modern (nutrient poor but energy rich) refined/processed/industrialised diet instead of "real whole food", we are at peril of working against our bodies, instead of in concert with them.

  4. yuma
    Research with " homeopathic amounts of vitamin D3" - as you accurately stated - clearly indicates that Big Pharma is behind these "studies" in a futile attempt to discredit vitamin D3 supplementation, since they cannot market it as a drug.
  5. 1,200IU/day of D3 is about as effective as 1.25mg/day of Donepezil (Aricept) i.e. not very.

    5,000iu/day of D3, for the win. See also Look after your brain.

  6. desertrose
    I have been been taking 5000iu of vitamin D for last year, and I have observed the following changes:

    I not had a cold or flue for the one year. Before increasing my vitamin D intake, I used to get colds frequently.

    My muscle aches and pains stopped.

    I have been much more sharper and better at remembering things; it seems that it has improved my cognitive abilities.

    I used to have unexplained pain in my eyes, and that has also gone.

    I noticed that my nails and hair grows faster than before.

    And lastly, I sleep better.

    I am from of an African origin and reside in Denmark, where we have longer winters, and shorter summers. I have been to my doctor numerous times, and couldn't explain why I am always tired, lacking energy, and have constant muscular pain. So one day I came across The Vitamin Council's website, and read basically most of it, then checked some of the videos on youtube, and watched one of doctor Horlick's lectures on vitamin D. And that was the catalyst for me to increase my intake, as I have followed the recommended amount of 38 mcg.

  7. eddie watts
    i am gld you explained the confounding variables on this one, many places would not bother.
    this makes it easier for those not used to reading stuff like this to realise it is likely more complicated.
    (probably also because you're not selling vitamin D3 supplements too)
  8. 6 comments removed
  9. Granny Bee
    I was diagnosed of Parkinson's disease following a neurological examination and other series of tests, my symptoms first appeared in February 2014 tremor in both limbs, rigid muscle, impaired posture.. all medication prescribed were not working and i sadly took off from my job, being a single mother with two kids it was almost a hopeless situation. In September 2016, i read about Dr Abumere herbal center in a health forum, this herbal center have successful parkinson's disease herbal treatment and treatment for other list of terminal diseases, i contacted the herbal center via their email and purchased the parkinson's disease herbal remedy. I received the parkinson's disease herbal remedy via courier and immediately commenced usage. I used the remedy for 14 days, all my symptoms including tremor gradually disappeared till i almost forgot i had the disease, i have started working again, thanks to Dr Abumere herbal center. abumereherbalcentre gmail com Parkinson's disease is not a death sentence, don't die believing there is no cure, its a final breakthrough for all living with parkinson's disease.
  10. 7 comments removed
  11. Dawn
    The link to the new study does not take me to the study. Could someone supply me with the link please.

    'A new study tested supplementation of 1200 IU daily (as compared with placebo) over a year’s time, to patients with Parkinson’s. Only the control group experienced the typical successive worsening of symptoms, while the Vitamin D group did not.'

  12. Dawn
    whoops - sorry I reported my comment above - I didn't mean too!! I was just looking to see if it had been answered

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