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Parkinson’s is a brain disorder that leads to tremors, stiffness, and adds difficulty to walking, balance, and coordination.
Parkinson's occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, that are in the area of the brain that controls movement become impaired, and scientists still do not know what causes the nerve cells to die.
Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are some solutions that can often help to reduce some of the symptoms. Other supportive therapies include a healthy diet and exercise to strengthen muscles and improve balance along with many vitamins that are considered essential to reduce tremors.
The best way to get vitamins and minerals is in the healthy food you consume on a daily basis. Still, vitamins and mineral supplements need to be taken following your doctor’s guidelines, because the type of tremors and effective vitamins varies. You can also read The Most Common Questions About Essential Tremor.
Taking a daily multivitamin is good for your health. However, it won’t stop the symptoms of essential tremor (ET). Tremors and other movement disorders are usually associated with vitamin deficiency, most vitamins are B1, B6, and especially B12.
The most well-studied vitamins are the “B” vitamins. Deficiency in B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folate), or B12 (cobalamin) in particular have been linked to numerous neurological conditions including postural and internal tremors.
The great ancient physician Hippocrates says, “Let food be thy medicine.” Thus, we will introduce in this article the four most common vitamins that can help individuals living with Parkinson's in reducing their tremors and improving their health:
The B vitamin that carries the most impact on tremors is B12. Low levels have been shown to increase tremors in individuals with essential tremor (ET) or Parkinson disorder.
Vitamin B12 is found in different types of food, including organ meats such as the liver, shellfish (i.e., clams), and dairy from products like cheeses, eggs, and milk. It can also be given through injections.
The body needs cobalamin or vitamin B12 to maintain healthy nerves, without which the nervous system wouldn’t work as it should. As a result, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to a loss of motor control in some body parts, including arms, leading to shaking hands or tremor.
B12 is very important for keeping the nervous system in good working order. Severe lack of the vitamin is rare, but shakiness and tremors can occur even in mild deficiency.
Both adults and infants deficient in vitamin B12 may present with chorea, tremor, myoclonus, Parkinson’s, dystonia, or a combination of these. If neurological symptoms are due to vitamin B12 deficiency, then it can be tested for precise diagnosis, and afterwards, the symptoms will clear up with prescribed supplementation.
Researchers have looked into how vitamin D can affect the nervous system. Some studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D have also been linked to the tremors found in Parkinson’s and other motor-related conditions.
Low levels of vitamin D could aggravate tremors. If vitamin and mineral levels are low, then increasing the intake of vitamin D can help individuals with Parkinson’s with the tremor. However, all supplements that increase the levels of these vitamins should be taken under a doctor’s guidance.
Vitamin D is found in many foods similar to those mentioned above, as well as other seafood, including sardines, mackerel, and salmon. Besides, a half-hour exposure to direct sunlight for a couple of times through the week can boost vitamin D levels. Still, vegetarians and vegans will have a hard time getting enough vitamin B12 and D through their diet alone, so like most people, they need to take supplements.
Vitamin D is stored in fat cells, making it a “fat-soluble” vitamin. This means that if you take too much of it, it will be stored and bottled up in your body that will cause numerous side effects and health issues. Therefore, doctors should prescribe the right amount of vitamin D.
Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.
Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is a B-complex vitamin that is found in different kinds of food and is vitally important for keeping the body operating properly. It can also help prevent numerous types of tremors related to Parkinson’s disorder. Consuming vitamin B-1 each day helps nourish the nervous system, whereas vitamin B-1 deficiency can cause nerve damage in the case of having Parkinson’s. Taking vitamin B-1 can aid in preventing this deficiency, helping to reduce tremors.
There are many natural ways to add thiamine-rich foods to an everyday diet. Food sources of B-1 include beef, liver, dried milk, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes, peas, and yeast. Some foods that are often fortified with B1 are rice, pasta, bread, cereals, and flour.
Scientific evidence is insufficient to recommend thiamine for Parkinson's. Thiamine appears generally safe and tolerated. It is widely available in pills form over the counter, but the injectable type used in studies requires a doctor's prescription. If a person with Parkinson’s is considering thiamine (or any other supplement or non-prescription medication), physicians should be informed about the potential benefits, risks and possible drug interactions.
Dr. Sherry Ross, gynecologist and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California says: “Thiamine is involved in many body functions including the nervous system, heart, and muscles. It is also important in the flow of electrolytes in and out of nerve and muscle cells, enzymatic processes, and carbohydrate metabolism.”
Another vitamin that can potentially help prevent or delay Parkinson’s tremors is vitamin E. Taking antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E can benefit people with Parkinson’s, helping to control handshaking and essential tremor. Also, vitamin E plays a role in the nervous system’s general health, preventing nerve damage that can occur due to vitamin E deficiency.
The best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin E is from consuming healthy food. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils such as wheat germ, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils. Also from nuts, seeds like sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables (spinach and broccoli). In addition to fortified breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine, and spreads.
Researchers reviewed studies on vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and Parkinson's risk published between 1996 and March 2005. The results appear in the May 19 online edition of Lancet Neurology. Seven studies showed that diets that contained a moderate amount of vitamin E reduced the risk of developing Parkinson’s Syndrome by 19%.
Moderate vitamin E diets were those that fell in the middle range of intake of the vitamin in each of the studies included. According to the federal government, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15 milligrams of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E. Alpha-tocopherol is the form of the vitamin that the body uses.
Although eating larger amounts of vitamin E appears to further reduce Parkinson's risk, a large community-based study showed that a high intake of dietary vitamin E may reduce the occurrence of Parkinson’s. Another pilot trial suggests that long-term treatment with vitamin E may delay the appearance of tremors. However, further research is needed to verify these results. Read also Book Review of Essential Tremors: The Hand I Was Dealt by Steven & Greg Northover
There’s a lot of doubt with the accuracy of the effects of vitamins that aid Parkinson’s tremor. Although, we do have a solution that might be fascinating and truly remarkable. Meet the Steadi-Two glove from us at Steadiwear. This glove is designed to reduce the effects of hand shaking and tremors to allow people to drink, write, and do other motor tasks smoothly. It uses a smart fluid that stiffens and works together with a counter-weight that moves in the opposite direction of your tremor. It’s an outstanding solution for uncontrollable hand shaking.
To conclude with real-life experience, there is a person with Parkinson’s who was described to take a wide collection of B vitamins for 14 days. By day 14 of embarking on a new diet and specific supplements high in B vitamins and other nutrients, the tremors had significantly subsided. Even more astonishing, by two months they had completely disappeared!
Therefore, having a healthy diet and taking a wide range of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, may not be the cure for Parkinson’s. However, it could reduce the uncomfortable tremors and keep the person with Parkinson’s in better health conditions.
T D Shurling
My apologizes fir my earlier comment. I reread your article and realized I had misread the section to which I referred. In fairness to me, I think it was a bit confusing. In as much as the article was addressing the potential value of vitamin supplements, I read the sentence in question to mean low doses of vitamin B 12 could increase tremors, as opposed to low levels. Please delete my earlier comment and this one. Thanks
I am in the early stages of parkinson’s hemp extract appears to help what do you suggest
My son is a eight years is a boy i dont know but i notice He is shaking all body when He is sleep but when He is wakeup noting happend, is happend when He is sleeping only, am so worry about this what can I do? Thank you.
Please don’t assume all your readers are white. Please add info and advice for dark-skinned people.
Quoting from the Vit D section above: "Besides, a half-hour exposure to direct sunlight for a couple of times through the week can boost vitamin D levels. Still, vegetarians and vegans will have a hard time getting enough vitamin B12 and D . . . "
Thanks for the info. When my wife’s tremor is too bad to keep knitting, we’ll be in the market for this product. Right now she’s still able to make her Christmas gifts for the grandkids.