Parkinson's disease is a degenerative
neurological disease that primarily affects specific brain stem cells
responsible for the production of dopamine. Dopamine is necessary for the
transmission of impulses from one nerve cell to another. Inadequate
dopamine levels result in specific neurological symptoms that characterize
Parkinson's disease. Unfortunately, simply taking a dopamine supplement
won't work because dopamine can not cross the blood-brain barrier.
Although there are many theories,
there is no known cure for Parkinson's disease so treatment has primarily
consisted of therapies that increase dopamine levels in the brain, which improve
the transmission of nerve impulses. This is usually accomplished by using
L-dopa (levodopa) which, unlike dopamine, can pass through the delicate
blood-brain barrier. Once there, L-dopa is converted to dopamine.
Causes for Parkinson's
and herbicides could be possible causes for Parkenson's. Individuals who
spray insecticides inside the home have twice the risk of developing Parkinson's
when compared to those who don't. Studies have also shown that farming
communities where drinking water is contaminated with these chemicals have a
higher rate of the disease. Pesticide levels in brain tissue are higher in
victims of Parkinson's than in the general population. [Neurology
Animal studies have consistently shown that
Parkinson-like symptoms and physical changes in the brain identical to those of
Parkinson's sufferers develop with exposure to certain chemicals.
Aspartame (NutraSweet) and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are two chemicals that
break down into compounds that are thought to cause damage to nerve receptors in
the brain. Some people experiencing the beginning stages of Parkinson's
have reportedly returned to normal after switching to sugar instead of aspartame
but there are no studies that document this effect.
Coincidence or Design?
Although the Vatican has never
acknowledged the fact, it is obvious that Pope John Paul II suffers from
Parkinson's disease. Over the last few years, his speech has become slurred, his
left hand has developed a tremor, and he has difficulty moving about.
In June, the Pope was visited by Dr. Luc Montagnier, the president of the
World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention. Dr. Montagnier is the
co-discoverer of the AIDS virus, along with Dr. Robert Gallo back in 1983. The
purpose of the audience was to try and convince the Pope to relax the Catholic
Church's stance on the use of condoms for AIDS protection.
Apparently, during his audience on
June 10th, 2002, with the Pope, Dr. Montagnier gave the Pontiff a papaya extract
to take to help improve his Parkinson's disease. The Vatican won't confirm or
deny that the Pope is using the product. What has been confirmed, however, is
that, since Dr. Montagnier's visit, there has been a remarkable change in the
Pope's symptoms. Whether the change is related to an act of God, the extract, or
something else, can't be determined.
In August, the Pope traveled to Canada and Poland. In Poland, the Pope was
able to deliver his own speech for the first time in several months. Reporters
traveling with the Pope have also confirmed that his speech is much stronger and
clearer. He has more stamina and energy. Reports from the Vatican say only that
he is feeling much better.
Behind the Scenes
What Dr. Montagnier gave the Pope is
a product called Immun'Age FPP (Fermented Papaya Preparation),
which is manufactured by a Japanese company called Osato. Immun'Age is produced
from non-genetically modified papayas that are grown in Hawaii. The papayas
undergo a fermentation process and are then dried and ground into a fine powder.
The final product is packed in 3-gram foil packs. Immun'Age was first developed
in 1969 and has been on the Japanese market for about the last 10 years. It is
sold primarily as an immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier feels that the product's ability to scavenge free radicals is
what makes it effective in helping Parkinson's disease. He has also started
testing the product in AIDS patients in Africa. So far, the studies have been on
very small groups but the results appear to be very positive. When used in
combination with AIDS drugs, it seems to stimulate immune activity. There are
also indications that it helps with weight gain and improved hemoglobin levels.
Larger, more extensive trials are currently being planned.
Dr. Montagnier recommended that the Pope take two sachets, or packets, of the
powder daily-one in the morning and another in the evening. For best results,
the powder should be dumped under the tongue and taken on an empty stomach. Dr.
Montagnier says that whenever he first feels a cold coming on he immediately
takes two sachets, which stops the cold before it gets started. This seems to
work only if it is taken at the very first sign of a cold.
Hard to Find
Outside of Japan, the product isn't
that well known. If people begin to see a difference in their Parkinson's
symptoms, that may change. The product isn't cheap. One box of 30 sachets cost
$60. A month's supply at the dosage Dr. Montagnier recommends (two sachets a
day) would run about $125 with shipping. Discounts are available for volume
purchases which can drop the price as low as $54 or lower.
Unfortunately, more research is needed on the product. However, it's natural
and there haven't been any reports of serious side effects. Another plus is that
it seems to work rather quickly. You should be able to tell within a couple of
weeks if it's going to help you. For more information about FPP and
toll-free numbers on where to purchase it, go to the Product
Guide on this web site.
Another Promising Natural
Treatment for Parkinson's
In addition to Pope John Paul II,
Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox are are two other well known cases of
But Parkinson's disease affects roughly 1% of the population over age 65 and it
isn't a new disease. Ayurveda from India, described and treated this
disease more than 4500 years ago. The most common treatment today is based
on an Ayurvedic medicine used over 4000 years ago... a plant based form of
As previously mentioned, synthetic
forms of L-dopa, have become the accepted way to control the symptoms of
Parkinson's disease today but one of the problems of using synthetic L-dopa is
that it loses it's effectiveness over time. Another problem is the side effects
of nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, fainting, increased thirst and
tremors. These same side effects were noted in ancient Ayurvedic writings,
but only as problems associated with overdosing with plant extracts of
A few years ago, some Indian
researchers began to reexamine the plant sources for L-dopa. In the Middle East
and Africa, cooked fava beans (Vicia faba) seem to help alleviate many of the
symptoms of Parkinson's with no long-term negative effects. Fava beans
contain L-dopa levels of .5% or less. In
Brazil and India, traditional healers have used seeds called mucuna beans (Mucuna
pruriens) to treat the Parkinson's disease. These seeds have an L-dopa
content of 3% to 10%.
medicine calls for grinding the mucuna beans into powder. Since the whole
bean is used, the powder includes dozens of different compounds that appear to
exert a strong synergistic effect -- far stronger than using each isolated
compound independently. This synergy is one of the benefits of using whole
herbs rather than synthetic drugs. Not only can the plants be just as
effective, if not more so, but they are often more balanced, resulting in a
gentle healing without many of the dangerous side effects associated with
mucuna beans are members of the legume family, they not only provide a rich
source of vitamin E but also roughage, which helps to combat the constipation
commonly associated with Parkinson's disease. Another plus is the herbal
complex is often only a fraction of the cost of the prescription medication and
you need much less of it to attain the same effect.
only one medication used to treat Parkinson's. The most commonly used drug
is Sinemet which contains both L-dopa and compound carbidopa. Carbidopa
increases the conversion of L-dopa to dopamine. Given that Parkinsons
progresses through different stages, therapies must be modified and drug use
increased as changes occur. The side effects and high costs can become a
limiting factor in the treatment of this disease for many people. Initial
research concludes that mucuna powder could possibly reduce the number of drug
combinations, which in turn could help lessen the side effects of the treatment.
Trials on Mucuna bean powder
called Zandopa has been developed by Zandu Pharmaceutical Works in Dadar, Mumbai,
India. However it is undergoing FDA clinical trials at the moment and is
not yet available in the US but it has been approved by the Indian Food and Drug
Administration based on prior research.
clinical trial by Dr. Bela Manyam of the Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas
(part of the Texas A & M Medical School) found that the mucuna product was
just as effective as drugs like Sinemet. Sixty Parkinson's patients with an
average age of 59 were given daily dosages of Zandopa, which contained 1250-1750
mg of natural L-dopa. This amount is approximately four times greater than the
dosage of L-dopa given in a combination drug like Sinemet since the carbidopa
reduces the need for L-dopa by almost 80%.
The patients had Parkinson's for an average of four years and
were at Stage 2.5 of the disease. (Stage 1 is where the disease is confined to
only one side of the body, and the highest, Stage 5, is so advanced that the
patient can no longer walk.) Thirty-four of the patients had never been treated
with L-dopa, and the other 26 had been on Sinemet, but it had been discontinued.
After three months of treatment, all of the patients improved by almost one
stage. The side effects were mild and mostly gastrointestinal in nature. There
were no toxicity problems. [J Altern Complement Med 95;1(3):249-55]
no doubt that mucuna is an effective, natural treatment for Parkinson's but is
it not a cure. There is no known cure for Parkinsons at this time. Mucuna
does, however, provide an alternative treatment without many of the common side
effects of drugs. The mucuna bean product from India, Zandopa or HP-200, isn't
yet available in the U.S but mucuna powder that has been standardized to contain
known amounts of natural L-dopa is available without a prescription.
these products are being sold as anti-aging supplements but there is no data
suggesting that mucuna would work for organ regeneration, anti-wrinkling,
etc. In Ayurvedic medicine, however, powdered mucuna beans are given to
treat not only Parkinson's, but also cholera, snakebite, worms and intestinal
parasites, nerve problems, tumors, mumps, paralysis, cancer, impotence,
fertility problems, and tuberculosis.
The Zandopa study, above, used naturally sourced L-dopa and
in a combination product. Most studies show that daily doses of L-dopa in the
range of 400-500 mg remain the most effective initial therapy for most
patients. [J Neurol 02;249 Suppl 2:II19-II24] Each individual must
find the appropriate dose for them, which is why you really need to work with a
doctor, if possible.
Where to find
mucuna powder in the US
One U.S. supplier of mucuna-based
L-dopa is International Supplements. They sell a 60-day supply (500 mg
L-dopa per day) of a product called L-Dopa costing approximately $50 but don't
believe all their anti-aging hype. However, if you or someone you know suffers
from Parkinson's disease, it's definitely worth discussing the use of mucuna
powder with your doctor.
You can click to International
Supplements web site or obtain their address and toll-free number from the Product
Guide on this web site.
Third and Possibly Most Powerful Treatment for Parkinsons
The March issue of Alternatives
by Dr. David Williams, is an eight page overview on the the science of
electro-magnetic healing -- what works and what doesn't. You can
order a copy of this issue by calling 800-718-8293. To summarize,
the report discusses many different kinds of electrical and magnetic healing
techniques, most of which don't work. However Dr. Williams zeroes in on
three techniques that do work, especially for neurological and genetic problems
some of which can be cured even after decades.
The three different techniques are
being researched by three different people. Dr. Reuven Sandyk of New York
uses low-level electromagnetic alternating current (AC) with very successful
results. However the treatment is very expensive at $750 for the first
session and $350 per session thereafter. Most patients apparently require
2 to 5 treatments a week and must maintain the treatments for life to sustain
the positive effects.
Paul Becker of Florida used Dr.
Sandyk's idea to create a small direct current (DC) portable device about the
size of a pack of cigarettes that sells for 399 plus $20 S&H and comes with
a 30-day money-back guarantee. If this device, called EarthPulse,
works for your condition, you should know within a week. EarthPulse
can be ordered through the mail, over the web or by phone. You can find
more information on the Product
Guide page of this site.
Dr. Dean Bonlie of Calgary, Canada,
is currently in the very first stage of the FDA approval process for his
Magnetic Molecular Energizer (MME). This machine may remind you of the
huge MRI machines but it does not surround the patient so claustrophobia is not
an issue and there is no need to stay completely still during treatment.
As a matter of fact, you can actually sleep, read, talk or watch TV while lying
comfortably in a movable bed. The minimum magnet time is 4 hours, the
maximum magnet time is 12 hours. Most treatments require 80 to 100 hours
to start so most people simply sleep for 10 to 12 hour segments. The
results, so far, have been permanent, unlike the other two techniques which
require lifetime use.
To date more than 1000 peoples have
been treated with MME which has worked extremely well in treating spinal cord
injury, shoulder tendonitis, arthritis in the knee, fracture, cardiovascular
disease, stroke, liver disease, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral
palsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, herniated spinal
disc, Bell's palsy, Becker muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia /chronic fatigue
syndrome, headaches, head injuries and all types of joint problems. This
list is still growing.
This new technology works in three
ways. 1) It speeds up your natural healing process about 20,000
times. 2) It causes heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and other
toxins to leave the body. 3) It enhances the production of stem
cells. It is not suitable for allergy, infection or cancer or for anyone
with a medical implant or any kind of metal splint or pin, etc. within the
body. MME is currently being used to treat patients at the following four
AMRI locations in the United States and will soon be available in Seattle, WA
and Toledo, OH:
CA (949) 367-0877
MI (586) 254-7711
Self-treatment for Parkinson's is not
recommended because, regardless of therapy, it is a disease that needs