Six weeks to Parkinson's improvement with a single vitamin
Yet another nutrient deficiency disease that they rather you not find out...
The latest news in Parkinson's disease research isn't some new, patented wonder drug. It's the disease's apparent link to riboflavin, or vitamin B2.
Researchers in Brazil examined a group of 31 Parkinson's patients and found that every single one had a riboflavin deficiency--even though their dietary sources (like liver, almonds, and spinach) were adequate. To fully explore the link, the researchers asked the patients to stop eating all red meat and to take 30 milligrams of riboflavin every eight hours.
After six months, the patients' functional motor capacity increased nearly 30 percent--from an average of 44 percent of normal to an average 71 percent of normal. Tests for riboflavin deficiency had also normalized in all the patients, and there were no side effects except the usual "bright yellow urine" effect of riboflavin. 
The researchers didn't explain why they felt it was necessary for the patients to eliminate red meat in addition to correcting the riboflavin deficiency. But I've found that nearly all individuals with Parkinson's have trouble digesting animal protein, especially red meat, so perhaps this has something to do with it.
Six months without a steak might sound like a lot, especially with barbecue season coming up. But given the possibility of very significant improvement in motor function, it's worth eliminating it for a six-month trial. And keep in mind that the elimination is usually only temporary: If you do get positive results, you can probably add red meat back into your diet eventually and increase your riboflavin dosage to maintain the improvement. If you decide to try this approach, don't forget to "back up" the riboflavin--or extra quantities of any individual B vitamin--with the entire B-complex.
This is very recent research, so I haven't had time to evaluate it clinically yet. But since riboflavin is completely harmless, it's definitely worth a try if you have Parkinson's. You may have significantly improved mobility--and the worst that can happen is a case of "bright yellow urine." JVW
May 2004 Newsletter - Nutrition & Healing website: www.wrightnewsletter.com
 Coimbra CG, Junqueira VB. "High doses of riboflavin and the elimination of dietary red meat promote the recovery of some motor functions in Parkinson's disease patients. Braz J Med Biol Res 2003; 36(10): 1,409-1,417
posted by Chris Gupta on Tuesday May 11 2004
updated on Saturday September 24 2005
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