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CoQ10 and Parkison's Disease

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Media Reports and Letters Related to the Issue » CoQ10 and Parkison's Disease « Previous Next »

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Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 5:50 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Associated Press

Chicago A small but promising study found that an over-the-counter dietary supplement may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Existing treatments may ease symptoms of the degenerative brain disorder but are not believed to affect the underlying disease process. The new study found evidence that a naturally occurring compound called coenzyme Q-10, or CoQ10, may help stop the nerve cell death that characterizes Parkinson's.

"This is really sort of the Holy Grail of what we're trying to do in Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Tim Greenamyre, a Parkinson's scientist at Emory University who was not involved in the research. "They're on the right track."

The study involved just 80 people. Half ate maple-nut flavoured wafers containing various CoQ10 doses; half took a placebo for up to 16 months.

By the study's end, the 23 patients on the highest daily doses had 44 per cent less decline in mental function, movement and ability to perform daily living tasks than the placebo group.

Lead author Dr. Clifford Shults at the University of California at San Diego and colleagues cautioned that there is not enough proof to recommend that Parkinson's patients use the supplements, which are sold over the counter as antioxidants that purportedly help improve heart function.

But the findings are "tremendously encouraging," Dr. Shults said. "We really need to do a definitive study" to confirm the findings.

The study appears in October's Archives of Neurology.

Parkinson's is a progressive disorder. It results from degeneration of nerve cells that produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is needed to control muscle activity.

Symptoms include tremours, stiffness and a shuffling gait. Standard treatment includes the drug levodopa, which is converted into dopamine in the brain.

Research has suggested that energy-supplying structures inside cells called mitochondria may be impaired in Parkinson's disease. CoQ10, a compound made in the body, is believed to help mitochondria function, and previous research by Dr. Shults and others found that CoQ10 levels were reduced in Parkinson's patients. They theorized that CoQ10 supplements might help preserve nerve cell function.

Patients studied had early-stage Parkinson's and took a placebo or CoQ10 in doses of 300 milligrams, 600 mgs or 1,200 mgs daily. Their symptoms were evaluated for up to 16 months. By the eighth month, the 23 patients on the highest dose showed significantly less impairment than the others.

Dr. Shults said if CoQ10 had merely eased symptoms, the differences probably would have appeared early on, which did not happen.

Side-effects, including back pain, headaches and dizziness, were mostly mild.

The results indicate that follow-up research at perhaps even higher doses should proceed "pretty aggressively," said Dr. Bernard Ravina of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which funded the study.

Dr. Bernard Ravina can be contacted at:

I am in the process of composing an e-mail to send to him about his research.
Judy T
Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 7:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom: This is thrilling, not about the CoQ10 but because some researchers looked out of their box. Wow!
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 7:53 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A link to the above Coenzyme Q10 article:
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 6:42 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear NOMSGers,

At least the good doctor read my e-mail, took the time to thank me for the info and appears to have CC:d it to his colleagues.

Keep your fingers crossed. :)


Subj: RE: CoQ10 and Parkinson's disease
Date: 10/16/2002 8:17:48 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Thank you for your interest and this information.
Bernard Ravina
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 3:07 PM
Subject: CoQ10 and Parkinson's disease

Dear Dr. Ravina,

I have recently read about your research with CoQ10 and Parkinson's disease. I wanted to let you know that there are a good number of people who are susceptible to free glutamate in the food supply & that we are well aware of the link between CoQ10 supplementation and the lessening of the damaging effects that Excitotoxins
such as MSG & Aspartame have on the nervous system and brain cells.

The attached is an excerpt from a paper written by Dr. Russell Blaylock summarizing information from his book "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills". You might find his inferences to Excitotoxin avoidance and supplementation recommendations match pretty well with the research you are currently doing with Parkinson's disease and CoQ10.

Please be aware that we have also found that the processing methodology of certain brands of CoQ10 sometimes include soy products for better absorption. These soy products may contain free glutamates and it is our theory that this necessitates higher dosages of CoQ10 to offset the effects of these glutamates. CoQ10 provides cells the energy ATP source needed to prevent them from being excited to death by the Excitotoxin effects of MSG & Aspartame. The cellular damage seems to differ per individual which accounts for a whole array of different ailments from Excitotoxin ingestion that on the surface seem unrelated, but at the cellular level become quite obvious.

I can put you in touch with a lot of people who have been helped by avoiding Excitotoxins and taking various supplements such as CoQ10 to help ward off their toxic effects. I have also attached a document that summarizes my reaction to Excitotoxins (Atrial Fibrillation) and the information I have collected about it.

Tom Fernstrom
Deb A.
Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 2:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fingers are crossed, Tom. Great job.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 9:56 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb A.,

I could have sworn I saw some info posted on this site about people who got relief from Parkinson's by simple Excitotoxin avoidance -- it may have been a link to another site but I can't seem to locate it. If found, it could be sent to Dr. Ravina as aditional proof of the link.

Roy or Carol,

Any suggestions?
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 5:36 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I don't know which link you're referring to, but the one below may be helpful:
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 4:15 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


The link below suggests:

Limiting glutamate - This includes the ubiquitous seasoning additive MSG and glutamate-rich foods, such as tomatoes. Glutamate excites the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, increasing dopamine uptake. "Because it worsens dopamine failure, too much of this can contribute to making the patient akinetic (suffer from movement dysfunction) in the third stage of Parkinson's disease," says Iacono.
Judy T
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 8:05 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom: I'm glad you're writing to Dr. Ravina, you are articulate and on target. I have a few links that probably came from Roy. The first is One is about ibuprofen and Parkinson's "...found that NSAIDs protect neurones from gluamate toxicity in vitro - glutamate toxicity has been implicated in AD, Parkinson's ...". This 7 page printing has other test synopses relating to Parkinsons. Another is an abstract on a 1999 Florida State University dissertation "Food Constitutents Attenuate Neurodegenerative Processes in a Parkinson's Disease Model by Elizabeth Mazzio, Ph.D. In part, "...excitotoxic cell death by NMDA and L-glutamate was blocked by NMDA antagonists...". And says ...:Researchers hope that blocking the release of gluamate will slow or stop Parkinson's related nerve cell death...". The South article that Roy mentions under smart-drugs has always been a favorite of mine...easy for the lay person to understand but his credentials will make a doctor look away I fear. Anyway, I don't know if any of this will help.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 6:58 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roy & Judy,

Thanks for the links. I have forwarded them on to Dr. Ravina. Hopefully he will accept the information as graciously as he did the first round. :)
Carol H
Posted on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 7:51 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, Excellent letter to Dr. Ravina. Thank you for sharing your experiences with CoQ10 with us. It has helped many of us on this board, myself included. I am not surprised that scientists are now validating the use of CoQ10. You were on the right track from the very first.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:25 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear NOMSGers,

Deb A. asked me to post this letter I wrote so here it is.

Ms. Diane Baker-Lockwood,

I read with interest a short notice in Sunday's Northwest Herald that the McHenry County's fibromyalgia support group will be meeting this Saturday (not Friday as stated).

Although I won't be able to make the meeting due to other constraints, I would like to take the opportunity (provided by the paper by listing your e-mail address) to contact you with information that might be helpful to your group.

Over the past three years, I have been working with other people who suffer a myriad of symptoms from the ingestion of Excitotoxins. The two most common forms of Excitotoxins are Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame (Nutrasweet). These ingredients are found in so many food products today that it is difficult to avoid them.

A growing number of fibromyalgia sufferers have been contacting the "" website in an attempt to get advice on Excitotoxin avoidance. Documentation on that sight as well as "" and many other sites are quoting studies that have proven relief for fibromyalgia sufferers through Excitotoxin avoidance.

I hope you'll take the time to visit these sites and to read some of the testimonials posted on the discussion site at: "".

Your support group may benefit from this information and in turn share success with other such organizations around the country.

Sincerely -- a concerned fellow sufferer of Excitotoxin poisoning,

Please feel free to call me or e-mail me for further information.

Tom Fernstrom
23587 N. Snuff Valley Road
Cary, IL 60013-3600
Deb A.
Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 3:49 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks so much, Tom. When Tom sent this to me, I told him he was my hero. Look at what he has shown all of us! Many of us ask what we can do to help. Well, it's right here. We can look for such ads for group meetings related to MSG toxicity issue and send them letters similar to Tom's. It's simple and if enough of us take the time to do it, someone, somewhere will listen. Such groups are ADD, ADHD, fibromyalgia, mental illness, neurological disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, Alzheimer's, Migraine, vertigo, chronic fatigue, eight loss, depression, etc. Please make copies of Tom's letter and use it freely. I know Tom wouldn't mind! You might add Jack Samuel's web, too. PLEASE take a few minutes to check your paper periodically for such group meetings and then e mail or pick up a pen. It's mighty stuff.
Jerry Story
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 3:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

About CoQ10:

CoQ10 is extremely expensive, and presumably extremely lucrative for someone, and therefore they probably are reluctant to tell you the whole truth about it.

1. CoQ10 exists in many fruits and veggies. You can get it from a good diet.

2. In addition to the fact that you can get it from diet, the body makes it. So you don't need it from diet.

From the above two facts, we might wonder how anyone gets deficient in CoQ10. Perhaps part of the answer is the the process of making CoQ10 in the body is very complicated and involves dozens of biochemical steps and a whole bunchuv trace nutrients, and presumably if you are deficient in any one of these trace nutrients you might as a consequence get deficient in CoQ10.

Don't expect the CoQ10 industry to tell you the whole truth about CoQ10; they don't want to spoil the good thing they have going for them.
Carol H
Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 8:24 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jerry, because CoQ10 is so necessary, and it it does take a lot of different vitamins to create it, and because many of us are afraid to take vitamins due to the fillers, it is not a bad thing to add a CoQ10 supplement to the diet. My doctor actually advised that I take it - it is helpful in the treatment of cardiosvascular disease and is in the formulary for the hospital I go to. We should be wary of making complete declaratory statements about this or that- as the science we are dealing with is new and it is the self-assured manner of people who beleive they know what is best for us that we are fighting every day. I believe a more cautious, open, and investigative approach would serve us a little better. For example, I thought I had nutrition figured out pretty well. But, I started to feel sicker and sicker, I was exhausted, I recently came down with a fever. Now, I rarely get infections, as my immune system is always in full attack mode. I blamed how I felt on my tumor meds, my allergies, everything - until the fever. My doctor told me I had the flu. How I got the flu in June surprised her, - then she took a blood sample - just in case. You know what came back? Iron deficiency. Me. Little Miss Nutrition. I had a very severe iron deficiency. Something I never would have guessed. But I went to the doctor, put it in her hands and said "What's wrong?" Since I have been taking my iron supplements I feel much better. Again, a doctor helped me. Of course the reason for the deficiency is still open to debate, but I didn't recognize the symptoms. These things keep me humble. I always get a little reality check when I get too cocky.
Carol H
Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 10:59 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

An added note about vitamin deficiency - since many of us on this board avoid wheat and wheat products, there is a very real possibility that you may suffer deficiencies. Most wheat-based foods are the ones fortified with iron. That is why iron deficiency is not a real problem in the US. However, those with food restrictions like wheat allergy (which I suffer from) and celiac disease are avoiding the baked goods, and pastas that are iron-fortified. It is a good idea to try to eat other foods high in iron in this case. However, do not diagnose a vitamin deficiency on your own and begin iron supplements unless the proper tests are done, and a doctor advises it. In my case, my doctor has advised it after testing, and will be retesting me in three months. I was also advised to only take the supplement every other day.
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