The first of its kind: a substance that slows the downward spiral of Parkinson’s disease
Last month I told you that coffee and cigarettes could play a part in preventing Parkinson’s disease (PD). But I know that for a lot of you, it’s too late for prevention–you want to know about treatments. If you’re in that category, you probably know that all of the man-made medications on the market right now only ease the immediate symptoms– none of them actually slow down the progression of the disease itself. But that’s what makes coenzyme Q10 so revolutionary: It can actually slow the decline of mental functioning and the loss of motor skills that characterize the downhill slide of the disease.
For one study, 80 patients still in the early stages of PD were divided into three groups and received a placebo or either 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1,000 mg of CoQ10 per day. After 16 months, all of the groups taking the CoQ10 were better off than the placebo group–and the higher the dosage of the nutrient, the greater the effect.
If you’re in the early stages of PD, a study like this probably makes you want to go out and start loading up on CoQ10 right away. And I say go for it! But the researchers aren’t quite so enthusiastic. Despite the positive results of this study, the lead researcher, Dr. Clifford Shults, strongly advises against taking it. Is it because it’s dangerous? Does it have deadly side effects or unknown complications? Not even close. It’s because it’s a dietary supplement and therefore is not “regulated” by the FDA. God forbid you treat a disease with something that the FDA hasn’t put its stamp of approval on. If you ask me, with substances like Vioxx and aspartame getting the FDA’s OK, your best bet is to stick with what the FDA hasn’t approved.
Shults’ final argument against CoQ10? Well, I’ll let him tell you: “Finally, if many people begin taking coenzyme Q10 because of these early results, it might make it impossible for investigators to find enough patients to carry out definitive studies of the compound’s effectiveness and the proper dosages, since patients must not be taking any treatments in order to be considered for enrollment in a definitive trial.”
In other words, if word gets out on CoQ10 and its ability to slow the progression of this debilitating disease, TOO MANY PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO TAKE IT!! And for him, that’s bad for business.
Well, screw him and his business. If you’re in the early stages of PD, give CoQ10 a try–along with a nice, hot “cuppa Joe”–and keep me posted on the results. It’s true that this nutrient may not work for you, but it certainly won’t hurt you. If I were in that situation, I wouldn’t even think twice. And you shouldn’t either.