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Probiotics for Parkinson's Disease and Many Others
I wrote the following on another health forum and it was specifically with Parkinson's Disease in mind but the information applies to many health issues and may be useful for general health improvement!
There are many potential reasons why probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics may be useful for PWPs. Although the great majority of PD / probiotic studies involve animals, there are many human studies that show benefits that would definitely be useful for PWPs!
This video brilliantly explains why glutathione is important for PWPs:
In this first study, it is shown that probiotics increase glutathione production.......something that every PWP can definitely use because glutathione is a highly potent antioxidant and radical scavenger which is often at suboptimal levels in PWPs! In studies, glutathione has shown great benefit for PWPs and one doctor has used glutathione to very good effect in some of his PD patients as has already been shown in other posts here on this forum. The problem with glutathione is that you can not just take a supplement of it because it will not do well as it passes through the gut. There are even lypospheric glutathione products out there to try and overcome the gut issue. There are also injections and infusions, but these are not very practical for long term use, but probiotics are doable for this purpose.
In these next studies, it is shown that probiotics reduce high sensitivity C reactive protein or hsCRP, which is a common marker used to determine inflammation levels. PWPs can definitely have a use for reduced inflammatory levels which are elevated and neuro damaging in PWPs.There are B-vitamins that can help reduce hsCRP, but one or two are sometimes contraindicated with certain PD meds.
Two very common symptoms of PD is depression and anxiety and these two do not get discussed enough considering how prevalent they are in PWPs. The next study shows how probiotics can reduce both!
Inflammation is a major player in PWPs who generally have elevated levels of inflammation, but other things can add to the total inflammatory load in the body, such as arthritis. In PD, it is well established that exercise is highly beneficial, but arthritis makes exercising difficult if not impossible for PWPs. On that note, the following study suggests that probiotics can lower the inflammatory load and symptoms related to arthritis!
Along those same lines, any disease that raises inflammation and oxidatative stress levels is going to be counter productive or disease worsening for PWPs and diabetes would be one such common disease. The following study suggests that probiotics can ameliorate many symptoms associated with diabetes including inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress and reduce intestinal permeability, a very common problem in PWPs, as many of you already know! These activities of probiotics also improve insulin sensitivity, which anyone with diabetes can truly appreciate the value of. Improved insulin sensitivity can help to lower the total inflammatory burden of the body!
Since it is already established that moderate to heavy aerobic exercise can be quite beneficial for PWPs, something that will help reduce the muscle damage associated with this type of exercise would be very useful for PWPs in order to get the most out of the exercise you do, and probiotics may be just the thing according to this next study.
Neurodegeneration is a hallmark aspect of PD and probiotics have a broad spectrum of health benefits of which neuroprotection is one along with antioxidant improving, oxidative stress lowering, GABA increasing and increased dopamine levels as outlined in the following abstract!
The following two studies add to that line of thinking.
It is well known that many PWPs have a disturbed gut microbiome and constipation and other gut disturbances are common symptoms of this disease. Probiotics have the ability to help in this area also according to the following.
Psychological stress can worsen symptoms of PD and probiotics can help to ameliorate psychological stress according to the following abstract.
Given the typical age range of PWPs, it can be considered that this group may also have elevated LDL cholesterol, VLDL, and tryglycerides while having reduced HDL cholesterol (the good one). Doctors typically prescribe statin drugs to try and normalize cholesterol levels, but statins are well known for their bad effects on muscle tissue and muscle pain in some people which can be a major setback for PWPs. Probiotics are quite effective at not only lowering LDL, VLDL and tryglycerides, but also elevating HDL cholesterol according to the following study!
PWPs in general have a disturbed microbiome that can create other health issues which I discussed previously in an earlier post about mannitol at this link:
That post discussed the fact that prebiotics like mannitol can increase the production of thiamine, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and butyrate of which all three are important in terms of symptom relief in PWPs........hugely important!
There is much more I can say about probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, fermented foods and the like in terms of overall health benefits, but I think the above is more than enough to highlight the potential of these health supplements as it applies to PWPs and other disease states!
If your neurologist told you he/she could prescribe one drug that has the potential to lower hsCRP, raise glutathione, lower inflammatory markers, increase insulin sensitivity, reduce or eliminate constipation, restore the gut microbiome to a healthier state, increase dopamine levels, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, reduce depression, reduce tryglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol, act as a neuroprotectant and help with arthritis symptoms and diabetes, would you tell your neurologist that you are not interested?
Something that PWPs have to deal with is the amount of pills they have to take everyday, so finding pills that have multiple benefits in one pill is useful and can potentially make it easier to stick to your regimen while reducing symptoms with minimal side effects, if any!