Vitamin D and Parkinson’s Disease: Too Much Apparently Not Enough when it Comes to PD
By Gary Picariello, published Mar 01, 2007
A pair of researchers (the father and son team of Huang and James Newmark) presented considerable evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a cause, and possibly the major cause, of Parkinson’s disease. According to research presented in the National Institute of Health (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), the researchers reviewed a 1997 case report in which a patient with Parkinson’s disease steadily improved when treated daily with 4,000 IU of vitamin D.
According to www.interscience.wiley.com, Parkinson’s disease (also known as PD), is a common disease of the elderly and is a movement disorder characterized by tremor, amnesia, and loss of postural reflexes, leading to immobility and frequent falls. It results from selective loss (death) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain, largely developed prior to clinical diagnosis, and continuous after diagnosis, despite use of current therapeutic modalities.
In Parkinson’s disease in the United States the cause and mechanism of continued neuron cell death is currently unknown. Researchers hypothesize, based upon several lines of evidence, that documented chronically inadequate vitamin D intake in the United States, particularly in the northern states and particularly in the elderly, is a significant factor in the causes of Parkinson’s disease. This hypothesis implies that dietary aid for prevention and therapy for PD is possible.
If you check a recent article on Vitamin D content in liver (AC Archives) I point out that current safety standards issued by the FDA (ww.fda.gov) recommend only modest amounts of Vitamin D in a person’s diet. These “acceptable levels” have recently been revised (see also www.thehealthierlife.co.uk and www.fda.gov).