Customized B Vitamin Therapy Could Help Parkinson’s Patients, New Study Suggests

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Authored by George Citroner via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A team of Japanese scientists has uncovered an unexpected link between the gut and the brain. The discovery may offer fresh insights into managing a condition that affects 9 million people worldwide.

Deficiency of 2 B Vitamins Linked to Parkinson’s

The study, published in npj Parkinson’s Disease, suggests that vitamin B deficiency may contribute to Parkinson’s development by compromising the intestinal barrier, which typically prevents toxins from entering the bloodstream. Toxins in the bloodstream may lead to neuroinflammation, which is inflammation in the nervous system often associated with neurodegenerative diseases and other neurological conditions.

Researchers used shotgun sequencing to analyze stool samples, allowing them to identify changes in the microbial community and genetic makeup. The study found fewer genes in Parkinson’s patients’ gut bacteria responsible for making vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B7 (biotin). Both have anti-inflammatory properties and may help counteract the neuroinflammation associated with Parkinson’s disease.

This suggests that B vitamin supplementation could potentially relieve Parkinson’s symptoms and even slow disease progression, Hiroshi Nishiwaki, the lead study author, said in a press release.

Previous research has already shown that high doses of riboflavin contribute to the recovery of some motor functions in Parkinson’s patients. While there’s no specific research on biotin supplementation for Parkinson’s, one study found that high doses of biotin improved symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis, another neurological disorder.

Customized for Individual Microbiomes

The findings also suggest that vitamin therapy could potentially be customized based on each patient’s unique microbiome profile to delay the onset of Parkinson’s-associated symptoms.

“We could perform gut microbiota analysis on patients or conduct fecal metabolite analysis,” Mr. Nishiwaki said in the press release.“ We could identify individuals with specific deficiencies and administer oral riboflavin and biotin supplements to those with decreased levels, potentially creating an effective treatment,” he added.

The study demonstrates the importance of the gut microbiome in the progression and initiation of Parkinson’s disease, a theory first hypothesized more than 20 years ago, Dr. Raminder Parihar, the director of neuromodulation at the Montefiore Neurological Surgery Movement Disorders Center who was not affiliated with the study, told The Epoch Times.

“This provides another avenue that should be further explored on using supplementation of riboflavin and biotin to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and potentially prevent the development of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Parihar added.

Other Vitamins That Could Help

While no vitamins or nutrients can cure Parkinson’s disease, several may help alleviate symptoms or reduce risk. They include:

Dr. Parihar noted that some vitamins may interfere with levodopa, a drug commonly prescribed to Parkinson’s patients. Iron, for example, can affect the absorption of levodopa if taken simultaneously. He recommends taking iron supplements an hour after levodopa to allow for proper absorption.

Consult a health care professional before starting any supplements, as they may interact with medications or have side effects. While these vitamins and nutrients show potential benefits, they should not replace standard medical treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

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