Italian Neurologist Antonio Castantini MD has been prescribing High Dose Thiamine Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease with noteworthy results. During my Parkinsons Recovery Radio interview this week he reports that patients who have symptoms that are more recent show on average a 50% improvement when taking high dose thiamine. Why should high dose thiamine Reverse Parkinson’s Symptoms
You might well be thinking – OK. I will have my doctor check my thiamine levels (or Vitamin B1 levels). Maybe my levels are too low.
Dr. Castantini explains that in the initial stages of his research, he did check thiamine levels in his originating patient. He found them to be within normal limits. Wait a minute, eh? If the thiamine levels were within normal limits, why should taking a mega dose of Thiamine make a difference? What follows is my explanation of why a high dose may be needed.
Why Should High Dose Thiamine Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease Reverse Symptoms?
The problem has nothing to do with the actual quantity of B1 vitamin (or any of the series of B vitamins) in their body. Rather, the body is not converting B vitamins to the enzymes that are essential for the body function well. In more formal terms, this is known as a breakdown in the methylation cycle.
Persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are very likely to have a breakdown in their methylation cycle. I learned this from conducting a series of interviews with BioAcoustic Pioneer Sharry Edwards who has done a series of diagnostics for persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Sharry has identified a series of factors that cause neurological imbalances. One of the factors that jumps to the top of the list is a breakdown in the methylation cycle. In simple terms, a person has a sufficient quantity of the B vitamins such as B1, but their body is not converting them to the enzymes that are essential for a body to function normally.
Once the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12) have been thoroughly processed by the methylation cycle, the body uses various methyl-groups to make healthy cells. These cells facilitate the production of neurotransmitters such as – you guessed it – dopamine. A fully functioning cycle makes it possible to remove toxins in the liver and elsewhere in addition to fighting infections successfully. In other words, B vitamins play an indirect, but essential role in promoting healthy neurons.
Taking a normal dose of B1 and other B vitamins may well not result in the essential conversion to the basic enzymes that are essential for the body to function. The body has to be overloaded with excessive quantities of B1 to override the short circuit in the methylation cycle. The important question turns on the puzzle – what causes the methylation cycle to bomb out? I solve this puzzle next.
Why is the Methylation Cycle Short Circuited?
Taking a normal dose of B1 and other B vitamins will not convert to the enzymes needed if the methylation cycle that has short circuited. The key question turns on the question – what causes the methylation cycle to bomb out?
The answer is … excessive and unrelenting stress. Anyone who experiences Parkinson’s symptoms knows that stress has a direct and immediate impact on making symptoms worse. When stressed to the hilt, there is a heavy demand on the methylation cycle. The cycle requires greater quantities of B1 and Thiamine for conversion to the essential enzymes.
- When you are continuously stressed,
- When your sympathetic nervous system (the fight-flight nervous system) is choosing to run away or fight …,
Your body is expending all of its available energy to survive. Critical functions have to be protected. The body is designed for survival, not to insure that we feel good.
The heart needs to continuously pump. The lungs need to continue processing oxygen. Simply put, when we are anxious and stressed all the time, there is no energy available to manufacture enzymes which are needed for a less important role of helping us feel better and heal. The “within normal range” quantity of B1 is unused and discarded. The feel good – relax – chill out – parasympathetic nervous system (which produces dopamine) is deactivated in the interest of survival.
Why does high dose thiamine reverse Parkinson’s symptoms? A poorly functioning methylation cycle can produce enzymes as long as large quantities of B1 vitamins (and other B vitamins) are readily available. The cycle itself is so inefficient that excessive availability of B vitamins are required to override the short circuit.
Results of a Methylation Cycle that has Short Circuited
When the methylation cycle is under functioning, you will be fatigued, depressed, irritable, anxious, susceptible to infections and confused. The reason why the detox therapies have limited success can be often explained by a dysfunctional methylation cycle. All of these symptoms are tied to persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Results of a Fully Functional Methylation Cycle
To summarize: The methylation cycle affects:
- Neurotransmitter levels. This is why so many individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s have persistent anxiety and a deep depression that never seems to lift.
- The immune function. This is why so many persons with Parkinson’s symptoms get some relief from taking Low Dose Naltrexone which tricks the immune system into becoming stronger.
- This is why so many individuals have pursued one detox regime after another with limited success. The problem does not reside with the detox protocols per se, but a breakdown in the methylation cycle.
- Production of glutathione (which is a major antioxidant and protector of your cells). This is why so many persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s are known to have dangerously low levels of glutathione.
Two Solutions to Improve the Function of the Methylation Cycle
- Since the methylation cycle has been compromised or even side lined completely, a therapy that appears to offer promise (in light of Dr. Costantini’s research) is to take mega doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine). This supports that ability of the methylation cycle to process the essential conversions to enzymes. “Normal levels” are insufficient to activate the cycle. Most of the unused reside from B1 is simply eliminated rather than used to product the enzymes.
- Quieting an overactive sympathetic nervous system by dealing with stressful situations with calm and balance and reducing persistent anxiety will directly contribute to bringing a compromised methylation cycle “back on line”. In doing so, we add extra “hard drive” and “processing power” that the body now can use to convert the B vitamins to enzymes. Once the methylation cycle becomes fully functional, a high dose of B vitamins should no longer be required or necessary.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease