RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARKINSON’S DZ
Top Nutrients to Protect the Brain
More than 50 nutrients (herbs, vitamins and essential oils) have been shown to reduce the symptoms of PD, including some that reduce alpha synuclein build-up, help prevent apoptosis (cell death), reduce inflammation, depression and anxiety, support better sleep, improve cognitive function, and much more. Below is a brief review of the top nutrients to help protect the brain related to Parkinson's:
Ashwagandha – an ayurvedic herb used commonly as a nerve tonic and adaptogen, helping the body handle stress, boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation and neuronal cell death, reversing behavioral deficits, stimulating dendrite formation and neurite growth, improving synaptic function, reducing anxiety, improving concentration and even reducing beta amyloid build-up related to Alzheimer's disease.
Bacopa Monniera – known to have neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing effects. Importantly, it helps prevent dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Bacopa monniera addresses a cause of the loss of neuron brain cells responsible for dopamine production (alpha-synuclein aggregation).
Baicalein – a flavonoid used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent without side effects. Baicalein reduces alpha-synuclein naturally and has neuroprotective properties.
Curcumin – some of the benefits of curcumin or turmeric include reducing oxidation and the free radicals that cause the deterioration of neurons. This yellow spice reduces age-related mental decline and inflammation. Curcumin increases neurogenesis and regulates enzymes essential for enzyme disbursement. It also improves mitochondrial regulation, gene expression, oxidative stress and more.
DHA – crosses all the major brain health categories, with benefits that include supporting neuron communication, helping prevent neuron cell death, reducing inflammation, and improving memory and cognition. Low DHA levels are also known to lower brain and cellular growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (growth factor). BDNF plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth.
Gingko biloba – has neuroprotective properties due to its potent free-radical scavenging and antioxidant properties; improves working memory, circulation and overall brain function.
Ginseng – has many wonderful benefits that include improving learning and memory, reducing apoptosis (cell death), inhibiting neuroinflammation, improving neuroplasticity, potentiating neuronal growth, repairing damaged neuronal networks, and reducing depression and anxiety. Ginseng may also reduce amyloid and neurofibrillary fiber build-up related to Alzheimer's.
Glutathione – the antioxidant found in highest amounts in the brain. Levels tend to be low in Parkinson's patients. Glutathione is an essential part of neutralizing ROS (reactive oxygen species) and other free-radical activity in the brain.
Lutein – its content in neural tissue has been positively correlated with cognitive function and has been found to accumulate in the brain. Lutein has been found to be significantly related to multiple measures of temporal processing speed, an important aspect of sensory and cognitive function.
In animal studies, lutein has been found to reverse the loss of nigra dopaminergic neurons by increasing dopamine levels and decreasing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, resulting in decreased cell death and improved motor function.
Phopshatidylersine – essential for proper brain function, and has been found to be in low levels in PD patients. It helps improve mood and general brain function.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) – a quinone compound reported to improve learning ability. It may also enhance working memory, as well as improve cerebral blood flow that can help protect against cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly.
PQQ may have neuroprotective properties against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cognitive injuries, and is critical in supporting healthy mitochondrial function.
Sage – contains over 160 distinct polyphenols: plant-based chemical compounds that act as potent antioxidants and have been shown to buffer one's brain defense system. It appears to halt the breakdown of the chemical messenger acetylcholine (ACH) that plays an essential role in memory, promotes neurogenesis (production of new brain cells), and is one of the nutrients found to be deficient in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Vitamins B1, B6, B9, B12, D3, and E – are all essential in supporting brain health and cognitive functioning. Deficiencies can mimic symptoms of Parkinson's and dementia. Seniors have less efficient digestion and may need supplementation.