Antioxidants - Vitamins and other sources

Vitamin A, the B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Alpha Lipoic Acid, Grape seed extract, Gingko Biloba, Glutathione

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant and enhances immunity. It also works in prevention of eye and skin disorders, and helps with teeth and bone formation. Another important function of Vitamin A is its ability to repair 'Leaky Gut Syndrome' which contributes to a vast array of other symptoms and problems.

Good sources for Vitamin A are the orange and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, butternut squash, pumpkin, kale and carrots. Liver and fish are also great sources. Eating liver once a week can give you your required Vitamin A.

Choosing to take a fish or cod liver oil supplement is also an excellent way to get your required amount of Vitamin A. You don't have to worry about Vitamin A toxicity because cod liver oil also contains Vitamin D.

The B Vitamins

The B Vitamins work together like a family - a harmonious family. They help to release energy from your food and work in the maintenance of healthy skin. The B Vitamins are key for optimizing the function of the nerves and the brain. They also aid in the repair and upkeep of tissues.

The key Bs for PD and for people over 50 are: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and folic acid. A complete B complex vitamin is the best way to go. Additional B6, B12 and folic acid are also suggested as they are imperative for the healthy functioning of the immune system. They also aid in bone marrow production and help to maintain healthy myelin.

Note: Vitamin B6 is not recommended for PD patients who have angina or coronary insufficiency. Also large amounts of Vitamin B6 can interfere with absorption of L-dopa so be sure to consult your physician or trusted health practitioner before taking additional B6.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the normal function of nerve cells. Vitamin B12, B6 and Folic acid (B9) work in conjunction with one another. B Vitamin deficiencies have been associated with PD.

It is important to note that you cannot receive the benefits of B12 in a traditional supplement if it does not contain the 'intrinsic factor' which is the protein necessary to carry the B12 through the gastrointestinal wall. Sublingual (under the tongue) B12 is better absorbed and goes more directly to the bloodstream. You can also receive B12 shots from your doctor.

Vitamin B12 can be found in salmon, tuna, liver, oysters, ham, lean beef and king crab.

Make sure to have your levels tested and then ask your trusted health practitioner what would be best for you.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is a B vitamin (B9). Low levels of folic acid have been found in patients with PD and increased intake of this vitamin has delayed progress of the disease. It helps to maintain nerve structure and function.

It is important to take Folic Acid in conjunction with Vitamin B12. A B Vitamin complex supplement taken together with additional B12 and Folic Acid is suggested. A deficiency in Folic acid can be masked by taking only an additional Vitamin B12 supplement - so make sure to take both in addition to your multi-vitamin.

It has been shown that supplements are the best way to improve your levels of folic acid, but you may want to eat foods that are high in this B vitamin as well.

Good sources of folic acid can be found in; asparagus, broccoli, beets, avocados, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach, oranges and turkey.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and also helps with the maintenance and repair of body tissues. The anti-oxidant vitamins are so important to people with PD because they improve the health of every single cell by fighting damage caused by free radicals.

Antioxidants bolster the immune system and thus diminish your chances of catching a virus.

As well, people with PD tend to be more at risk for urinary tract infections and so Vitamin C is suggested as a preventative measure. Cranberry juice has also proven to be very helpful in this regard.

Vitamin C can also help with the side effects of Levadopa and with 'on/off attacks' because 2 - 5 years of treatment with L-dopa can result in a shortened length of positive effects.

Besides being an antioxidant and helping to repair and maintain body tissues, Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen. Amazingly, Vitamin C is used in over 300 biochemical pathways in your body.

Vitamin C is easily found in citrus fruits and tomatoes. (If you're a smoker, you'll need more.) If you're planning to take a supplement, use one with bioflavinoids as they really help with absorption.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an anti-oxidant. This means that Vitamin E supports healthy regeneration of other brain anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, D and the most important anti-oxidant, Glutathione.

Vitamin E anti-oxidative power also protects cell membranes from damage by free radicals. Consequently, it improves immune response and slows down the degenerative process associated with PD.

Vitamin E is fat-soluble and will help the delicate Essential Fatty Acids not be oxidized. It should always be taken with fish oil, evening primrose oil or flaxseed oil.

Vitamin E can be obtained through nuts, fruits and vegetables. Spinach and broccoli are good sources, as are mangos, blueberries and apples.

Note: If you are on an anticoagulant (blood thinner), check with your physician or trusted health practitioner before taking a Vitamin E supplement. Also, if you have high blood pressure, limit your intake of Vitamin E.

Other Sources of Antioxidants

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a key nutrient in repairing your brain. It can easily enter the brain because it is the only anti-oxidant that is both fat and water-soluble.

Alpha lipoic acid can travel across cell membranes and destroy free radicals both inside and outside of cells. And what this means for people with PD is that alpha lipoic acid may help your brain recover, by repairing cellular damage.

ALA is known for its potential to protect and repair neurons

Grape seed Extract

Grape seed is a very powerful anti-oxidant that helps strengthen the blood-brain barrier. It has also proven to be a promoter of healthy cardiovascular systems and to help in lowering cholesterol levels.

In addition to its anti-oxidative power, grape seed extract contains bioflavinoid complexes that are quickly and effectively absorbed, and then distributed throughout your body.

Gingko Biloba

Gingko Biloba, because it promotes healthy circulation to and within the brain, improves memory and cognitive functions. It helps to keep the blood vessels dilated so that your blood can flow more freely to your extremities and your brain.

Gingko Biloba is also an anti-oxidant and improves platelet functions.

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