Parkinson's Disease Regimen
Summary: Avoid aspartame. Follow the Water Cure and The Zone Diet, ensuring an adequate amount of protein and essential fatty acids, especially omega 3's. Use a 1:1 ratio calcium magnesium supplement long term and a multivitamin which contains mixed tocopherols. Consider a superantioxidant such as curcumin (turmeric extract) to protect nerves from further damage.
The following was from a post made to the Electroherbalism listserver discussing aspartame and other chemicals in their possible relation to nerve disorders such as Parkinson's.
The dangers of aspartame and in particular excess amounts of phenylalanine for causing nerve disorders are described at the Sweet Poison website among many other websites. Plus there is much talk about how aspartame may contribute to nerve disorders such as Parkinson's, MS, ALS, tremors, and other nervous system disorders, perhaps from the phenylalanine content of aspartame being used in amounts too large in relation to other essential amino acids.
Yet, phenylalanine supplements may be a helpful supplement for some cases of nerve disorders such as essential tremor and Parkinson's, along with another isolated amino acid, l-tyrosine. These two have been suspected of being related (but not necessarily causative) to cancer by some complementary therapists. The above link gives a reference to an old encyclopedia reference that says cancer cannot live without phenylalanine, but then again, we could not either since it is an essential amino acid. And a form of tyrosine, ortho-phospho-tyrosine, is a universal cancer marker.
Aspartame contains two toxins: aspartic acid and methanol. Aspartic acid can cause nerve damage if there are not sufficient B vitamins in the body to detoxify it. B vitamins are produced in the body when there is healthy intestinal flora. Dysbiosis can therefore lead to nerve damage when consuming aspartame. Methanol is another toxin contained in aspartame. It can also cause nerve damage as well as harm the pancreas. Ethanol (found in alcoholic beverages) prevents methanol from causing damage. Only those who drink alcohol regularly and have good intestinal flora should consume products with aspartame.
However, phenylalanine is required for proper nerve transmission, and is often supplemented to improve memory, energy, symptoms of Parkinson's, and other nerve degeneration disorders as well as pain, vitiligo, and other conditions. Aspartame contains 50% phenylalanine, but also includes 40% aspartic acic, the major excitotoxin in aspartame, and 10% methanol, a known (even to the conventional medical community) neurotoxin but which also may affect the pancreas, liver, and other internal organs. One liter of diet soda contains as much as 56 mg of methanol while the recommended daily limit of this toxin is 8mg. Methanol is also contained in fruit and other foods, but in natural sources it is always found in combination with ethanol, an antidote to methanol that prevents and treats toxic effects, but which is not included in aspartame.
The following discussion was on a list that stated that vitamin C was necessary to allow phenylalanine and/or tyrosine to convert to dopamine and then to epinephrine, and they are required with iodine to produce thyroxine. Dopamine and thyroxine are two crucial hormones for brain and perhaps nerve function. The post also discusses their relation to anaphylactic shock from allergies. The body can easily make tyrosine from phenylalanine.
Posts to the Electroherbalism Discussion Group
Lack of vit C can lead to Parkinson's symptoms
phenylalanine/tyrosine -- > dopamine
dopamine + Vit. C -- > epinephrine
phenylalanine/tyrosine + iodine -- > thyroxine
When the body is under stress, it generates epinephrine as a way of coping. When that epinephrine runs out, one goes into anaphylactic shock.
One common way of dealing with that shock, is to inject synthetic epinephrine, such as via an Epi-Pen. Many who have serious allergies carry one. (We are NOT suggesting they abandon this practice! Better safe than sorry.)
But what if, instead of depending upon external means, one were to try to minimize the occurrence of anaphylaxis by insuring one has more phenylalanine and vitamin C in one's diet?
What if, Indeed! Perhaps that is why those who use large doses of vitamin C have so few complications and reactions. And perhaps why their reaction patterns differ so much from those of people who run out of vitamin C before they run out of dopamine.
What is the reaction pattern of a person who is low on dopamine? The ones found in Parkinsonism -- "reluctance" and difficulty in moving, as well as "cogging", which is the tendency of moving in discrete amounts, as if gears and cogs are involved. Plus, while dopamine may run out, the remaining vitamin C is acting as a free radical scavenger and a mediator of antibody activity, thus protecting the tissues.
As to the reaction of one who runs out of vitamin C; well, it seems we call that anaphylaxis.
Another discussion mentioned how tyrosine and phenylalanine supplements along with GABA completely stopped what the person feared were pre-Parkinson's tremors (that were also likely contributed to by anti-depressant prescription meds).
The chemical formula for aspartame is aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester.
Is it possible this is not a body-usable form of phenylalanine, and is actually causing a phenylalanine deficiency? This can happen more than one would think. Nutrients which are in non-usable forms are still sent to tissues in the body and bind to the proper sites, but cannot be used by the body, and actually block the use of the correct nutrient forms. Amino acids are infamous for this. Using a D form instead of the L can cause an amino acid deficiency of what is being supplemented. This is similar to vitamin E, where the D and L forms of tocopherol interfere with one another.
The petrochemical version of PABA is known to cause allergic skin reaction in many people, probably because the body attempts to use the "wrong" PABA and cannot due to its unnatural molecular structure, and causes inflammation to expel it. Metallic forms of zinc, nickel, iron, copper, and other minerals are thought to cause deficiencies of these same minerals since they are not in the body ready salt forms yet the body does recognize them enough to send them to the proper place for their use, but they are unusable, and can interfere with nutritional types of these minerals. As a somewhat related example, consider trans fats and hydrogenated oils. These fats have damaged structures, but the body still attempts to incorporate them in body tissues. Unlike some nutrients, it can do this, but the resulting tissue is weak (especially if there is also a lack of antioxidants) and when a tissue is weak, the body compensates by making more of it, such as thickened or "clogged" arteries. Then again, perhaps the body has no problem isolating the correct form of phenylalanine from aspartame.
If phenylalanine does in fact benefit nerve disorders and using amounts up to 1000mg per day (a typical recommended daily supplement dose) do not in fact cause or exacerbate them, are the potential harmful nerve and brain effects from aspartame only from the aspartic acid and methanol, and the phenylalanine cautionists are incorrect in their assertions?
Which one is it?
Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health
Expert links additive to cell damage
By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Published:27 May 2007
A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.
The problem - more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse - can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.
The findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.
Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the £74bn global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities to prevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. It is also added to pickles and sauces.
Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. A Food Standards Agency survey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which were removed from sale.
Now, an expert in ageing at Sheffield University, who has been working on sodium benzoate since publishing a research paper in 1999, has decided to speak out about another danger. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the "power station" of cells known as the mitochondria.
He told The Independent on Sunday: "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.
"The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it - as happens in a number if diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing."
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) backs the use of sodium benzoate in the UK and it has been approved by the European Union but last night, MPs called for it to investigate urgently.
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat chair of Parliament's all-party environment group said: "Many additives are relatively new and their long-term impact cannot be certain. This preservative clearly needs to be investigated further by the FSA."
A review of sodium benzoate by the World Health Organisation in 2000 concluded that it was safe, but it noted that the available science supporting its safety was "limited".
Professor Piper, whose work has been funded by a government research council, said tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration were out of date.
"The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are complete safe," he said. "By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago."
He advised parents to think carefully about buying drinks with preservatives until the quantities in products were proved safe by new tests. "My concern is for children who are drinking large amounts," he said.
Coca-Cola and Britvic's Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi all contain sodium benzoate. Their makers and the British Soft Drinks Association said they entrusted the safety of additives to the Government.