Parkinson’s can strike anyone at any age.
Take Nicky… At 29 she was an active mom of four who loved the outdoors and lived life to the fullest. She made landscaping her career because she loved being active every day. She had enough energy to turn her landscaping company into a big success… care for her four young children… and still go to the gym each day.
Then, one day, she was out working, using a hedge trimmer to put the finishing touches on her work. But the work was going slower than normal. Her right arm felt stiff.
“I just thought I’d pulled a muscle,” she says.
She rubbed on deep heat… did some stretching exercises… and figured the pain would go away. But it didn’t. In fact, it got worse. Before long her arm had completely seized up.
“I went to a walk-in clinic and they gave me anti-inflammatory medicine… but it didn’t go away.”
Instead, her health started to fall apart. Her arm began to shake… and then her left leg began to drag.
Confusion gradually gave way to fear as the young mom found it difficult to complete even simple tasks. A five-minute drive to the grocery store became a real challenge.
Over the next three years she gave up gardening all together. Just looking after her children was more than she could handle. She went to several neurologists but they were baffled.
“It was increasingly difficult to walk and hold things in my hands,” she says. “I was stooped and shuffling like an old person.”
Finally, Nicky went to a specialist in the UK. And to her horror, she discovered she had Parkinson’s. She couldn’t believe it and went to several other doctors. She followed up with test after test…
But she finally had to accept the truth: she had Parkinson’s. There was no cure… and her life would never be the same again.
Parkinson’s usually affects people in their 50s. Only one person in 20 gets it before age 30.
It’s a debilitating disease that can strike anyone at any time. In fact, 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year.
“Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system,” says Dr. Jonny Bowden. “It plays havoc with motor skills and speech, and that’s just the beginning.”
As the disease progresses, it can cause total immobility and death. There is no cure for Parkinson’s. But we may be able to prevent it.
Recent research says safe and simple remedies may be able to slow or even stop the spread of Parkinson’s. And the latest findings show that deficiency in one natural mineral skyrockets your risk of Parkinson’s by 50 percent.
Parkinson’s Packs Devastating Punch
Parkinson’s can strike anyone at any age. But, while Parkinson can affect young people like Nicky, the single biggest risk factor is aging.
There are often warning signs… slowed movement, tremors, and failing mental powers. But the disease can progress very quickly.
“End-stage Parkinson’s is marked by dementia, immobility, personality disorders and death,” says Parkinson’s expert Julius Goepp, MD.
As Parkinson’s progresses, your neurons deteriorate. And that’s bad news because they control motor and memory function.
“The destruction of these neurons drives the devastation seen in Parkinson’s victims,” says Dr. Goepp. He says the destructive process is triggered by oxidative stress and inflammation.
And that’s where there’s hope… because antioxidants can reverse some of this damage.
Slowing Parkinson’s Progress
“Nutrients can prevent brain cell damage which produces Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Goepp.
And the most recent research shows that there are five minerals that offer hope. These include:
- B vitamins
- green tea extract
- omega-3 fatty acids
“Nutrients that protect against oxidant damage are among the leads for anti-Parkinson’s therapies,” he says.
One study shows that vitamin B6 deficiency increases your risk of Parkinson’s disease by 50 percent.
Scientists used a hospital-based, case-control study to explore the effect of B vitamins on Parkinson’s disease.
They used 617 people in their study. 249 had Parkinson’s disease; the other 368 did not. They then looked at dietary history and discovered that those deficient in vitamin B6 had a 50 percent higher risk of Parkinson’s.
A 2006 study published in Neurology confirmed that people who had more than 230.9 mcg of vitamin B6 each day had a 54 percent lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than those who had less than 185.1 mcg each day.
Finally, neurologists supplemented Parkinson’s patients with vitamin B6. They reported great improvements in motor skills after supplementation. And noted deterioration after stopping them.
Carnitine may be able to prevent Parkinson’s through managing brain energy.
Mount Sinai Medical Center slowed the effects of Parkinson’s disease when they treated monkeys with carnitine.
Chinese researchers combined carnitine with lipoic acid. The combo prevented Parkinson’s progress in human neural cells. They found that the combo, applied over four weeks, protected cells from oxidation.
The combination of the two supplements was 1,000-times more effective than either nutrient used alone.
“This study [shows] that [these] nutrients [are] an effective and safe prevention strategy for Parkinson’s,” said researchers.
Green tea may combat Parkinson’s diseases, says Israeli neuroscientist Sylvia Mandel. That because it contains polyphenols which protect against age-related conditions.
Researchers showed they could prevent cellular changes in mice by pre-treating them with green tea extracts.
Several labs around the world have since repeated these findings. The first team also showed that green tea prevents the inflammation of brain cells, which triggers Parkinson’s.
Other research shows that green tea increases dopamine in brain tissue… which reduces the severity of symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids are your body’s best defense against inflammation. In fact they balance infection and inflammation. Science shows that age, oxidative stress, and Parkinson’s decrease their concentration in nerve cells.
Researchers in Norway have shown that omega-3 modifies brain functions and is a natural defense against Parkinson’s.
And Japanese scientists have shown that omega-3s prevent cell death as a result of inflammation. They found that omega-3s worked best when used prior to Parkinson’s. Lab animals that were given omega-3s prior to being injected with Parkinson’s showed bigger benefits than those given supplements afterwards.
Canadian researchers have developed this theory. They took two groups of mice and fed one a high omega-3 diet… and one a low-omega-3 diet for 10 months prior to injection. After injection, the low-omega-3 group showed quick mental and motor decline. The omega-3 group actually showed no adverse effects at all.
Resveratrol may prevent the disease by targeting oxidative stress and inflammation. These processes are key to regulating brain function.
Scientists have found that exposure to resveratrol stops cell loss and preserves mitochondrial function. In 2008 Canadian scientists showed that resveratrol prevents brain cell death caused by inflammation.
Chinese researchers also explored this anti-inflammatory action. They injected a Parkinson’s-inducing chemical into rats. They then gave them resveratrol each day for 10 weeks. As early as two weeks into the experiment, the rats showed big improvements in their disorders. Further exams showed big reductions in cell damage.
Scientists concluded that “resveratrol exerts a protective effect on Parkinson’s disease. This protection is related to the reduced inflammatory reaction.”
To your health,
Managing Editor, Natural Health Dossier “Health Watch”