Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease 


"Vitamin C can increase the production of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)."

L-dopa (levodopa) is a commonly prescribed treatment for Parkinson's. The human body can and does make this substance. Vitamin C in high doses lets your body make, and use, L-dopa more efficiently, enabling your body to naturally and safely produce more of its end products, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These are what Parkinson's patients are so low in, and why L-dopa medication is given. Increasing vitamin C can reasonably be expected to lower the necessary dose of the drug. Work closely with your doctor before making any changes in your medication.

L-phenylalanine (from protein foods) -> L-tyrosine (made in the liver by hydroxlyation) -> L-dopa -> dopamine -> norepinephrine -> epinephrine

[Nagayama H, Hamamoto M, Ueda M, Nito C, Yamaguchi H, Katayama Y. The effect of ascorbic acid on the pharmacokinetics of levodopa in elderly patients with Parkinson disease. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2004;27:270–273.]

"Vitamin C can increase the production of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA). Seitz et al. noted overproduction of DOPA in a dose-dependent manner after incubation of the human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-SH with ascorbic acid (100-500 mM) for 2 hours. Additionally, the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase increased threefold after incubation with ascorbic acid (200mM) for 5 days. The scholars speculated that ascorbic acid may be effective in the treatment of early-stage Parkinson's Disease (PD). Vitamin C can improve the absorption of levodopa in elderly PD patients with a poor levodopa bioavailability. Previous studies showed that ascorbic acid can reduce the levodopa dosage under the premise of equal efficacy. Combination of anti-PD drugs and vitamin C may be more effective for alleviating the symptoms of PD."

[Xiuzhen Zhao, Ming Zhang, Chunxiao Li, Xue Jiang, Yana Su, and Ying Zhang. Benefits of vitamins in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2019, Article ID 9426867, or free download at ]

If this seems too simple a solution for so dreaded a disease, you are left with a simple cost-benefit question: Since no one dies from vitamin C, why not try it?

Details of vitamin C dosage and administration, written by medical doctors, will be found at

NOTE: Although you will find no mention of Parkinson's by name in these four articles, which were written some years ago, the instructions on how to administer vitamin C are excellent.

Large amounts of coenzyme Q10 (1,200 mg/day) have been shown to slow cognitive decline of Parkinson's patients.

[Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, etal. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease. Evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Archives of Neurology, 2002;59:1541-1550.]

Niacin reduces the side effects of l-dopa medication. Says Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD: [L-dopa becomes] "L-dopamine {which] is oxidized into dopachrome in the brain; this is toxic to cells and is an hallucinogen. Many patients given too much became psychotic. And because it is toxic to brain cells, it also hastens the onset of more degeneration and even death. Therefore it is not surprising that, like adrenochrome, it can cause psychotic reactions. Niacin protects the body against the toxic effect of adrenochrome. For this reason I have used it in conjunction with the l-dopa to protect these patients. The presence of dopachrome (oxidized dopamine) increases the need for niacin, which must be replaced. The other nutrient that is now standard treatment is coenzyme Q10, using up to 1200 milligrams daily." (Foster HD and Hoffer A: The two faces of L-dopa: benefits and adverse side effects in the treatment of Encephalitis lethargica, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Medical Hypotheses 62; 177-181:2004.

Diet: While there remains considerable debate as to which diet is best for a Parkinson's patient, nearly all opinions agree that avoiding sugar and junk food is essential. And before you say, "Well, of course: that's obvious and goes without saying," I emphatically state that it most definitely is NOT obvious. I have seen the foods that many a Parkinson's person actually eats. So believe me, it needs to be repeated and underscored: No junk. No sugar.

Persons with Parkinson's may do well to avoid overconsumption of protein. They are also advised to eat a lot of dietary antioxidants. In my opinion, a plant-based diet is the most direct way to accomplish both goals. A site search from the  home page for "vegetarian" might prove helpful.

Medical scientists have spent the last few hundred years carefully describing diseases which are in reality the end results of civilized-diet malnutrition. Researchers have expended colossal amounts of time and money searching for drug cures for nutritional disorders.  And, they have dismissed out of hand even the possibility that pharmaceutical therapy for malnutrition might actually be the dead end it has so frequently been shown to be.

Parkinson's disease may be a case in point.

May I recommend that you look at these excellent reference books:
Nutritional Medicine (Second Edition), by Alan Gaby, MD, and
Nutritional Influences on Illness, or the Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, both written by Melvyn Werbach, MD. 
The books are readily obtainable on the internet.
Each contains an important section on Parkinson's.

Copyright 2016, 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul. Revisions copyright 2019.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )



Andrew W. Saul


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