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My grandpa has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years.

Q. Dear Terry, “My grandpa has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years. He hasn’t responded to the medications that his doctor put him on. I’m looking for natural alternatives that could help him. What can he try?” – Sharina R., Mount Pleasant, SC

A. Dear Sharina, I strongly encourage your grandpa to discuss the use of dietary supplementation with his healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I believe there are some natural ingredients that could be very beneficial.

Curcumin has been shown in scientific research to help protect the brain from oxidative stress and damage. Curcumin has also been shown to help stimulate a process in the brain called neurogenesis – the creation of new neurons. Keep in mind that curcumin can be poorly absorbed. I prefer curcumin that is combined with turmeric essential oil because it significantly increases absorption. I would take curcumin twice per day.

Another very helpful, natural nutrient is glutathione - virtually every person dealing with a chronic disease is depleted of glutathione. Glutathione is so crucial that your body makes its own, creating it from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione is required for cellular defense, detoxification, and fighting the DNA-damaging risks of oxidative stress. Glutathione levels can drastically decline due to age, health challenges, environmental factors, genetics, or a combination of factors. Therefore, I would take the reduced, active form of L-glutathione three times daily in order to support optimal glutathione levels.

Vitamin B6 is another nutrient he may want to consider. When looking for a vitamin B6 formula, I strongly recommend choosing one that features vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) in combination with magnesium glycinate. P-5-P is the biologically active form of vitamin B6. Many people (some estimate up to 30%-50% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely. In addition to optimizing vitamin B6 metabolism, the magnesium in the glycinate form delivers a good dose of magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability. I recommend vitamin B6 (as P-5-P) and magnesium (as magnesium glycinate chelate), and zinc twice daily.

Lastly, I think CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is another highly supportive ingredient. CoQ10 is needed by virtually every cell in the body because it is a crucial element for cellular energy production in the mitochondria – the cellular “engine.” Two forms of supplemental CoQ10 are available, and that may lead to some confusion about which is best. My answer is: they are both good choices. The classic ubiquinone form is technically what we call CoQ10. Ubiquinone is generally more cost effective, but it requires conversion into the active form and may not work for everyone. The ubiquinol form is referred to as reduced or bioactive CoQ10. This form of CoQ10 is a good option for people who are older, may have liver issues, or other health conditions. I would take CoQ10 twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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