Parkinson's Disease Treatment L-Carnosine

by Oksana Pryshnivska

Studies have shown that L-Carnosine (Hereafter referred to simply as Carnosine), is a major tool in the fight against aging and degenerative disease. It is found in all cells, but in higher quantities in the muscles, heart, kidney and brain cells. As we age, optimum conversion from dietary sources becomes inefficient. In studies, the longer living animals had more carnosine present in their cells.

Carnosine is a naturally occurring product in our food, but with the passing of time it decreases, this is believed to be one of the primary factors leading to the aging process. The human body has an optimum design factor of over 120 years, but few people live beyond their 80's. Carnosine, when introduced into the body's cells, has been shown to rejuvenate the cells; in essence, it is working as an anti-aging agent from within our cell structure. Decades of research on human cells and the well-defined pattern in the growth, development and aging of them, was referred to as the "Hayflick Phenomenon". Placed in a growth vat with a fluid rich in essential nutrients, cells from young donors will quickly begin to reproduce, forming colonies, which fill the vat and then stop reproduction, to prevent starvation. If half of these cells are removed from the container, the remaining cells will begin growing again to fill their environment. But this process only goes on so far. At each round of division, the cells are aging or becoming "senescent". Senescent cells stop producing the right proteins from their DNA, losing the functions for which they were designed. The appearance of the cell culture takes on a degraded texture. Eventually, after about 60 divisions, the cells will stop reproducing and are just alive, inactive and waiting for death. This is the same process that happens in aging and deterioration of the skin.

Carnosine Rejuvenates Cells Cultures of old, dying (senescent) cells cannot be mistaken for younger cells, which are uniform in appearance and line up in parallel arrays. Senescent cells exhibit a grainy appearance and take on peculiar shapes and sizes. They lose the ability to organise themselves in a regular pattern. These striking changes are called the senescent phenotype. Carnosine has been shown to rejuvenate old, dying cells quickly restoring the juvenile phenotype (McFarland GA et al. 1999; McFarland GA et al. 1994). The scientists raised lung and skin cells in one of two standard cell culture mediums, then kept half of the cells in the original medium, and transferred half to the same medium supplemented with Carnosine. The results were vivid and amazing. The cells in Carnosine not only had from 1 - 7 more population doublings, the cells lived up to two thirds longer than the standard medium cells! Furthermore, adding Carnosine to the cell medium made the cells younger! Scientists described the results as "striking effects on the cell morphology" (shape and structure). The cells grown in Carnosine-supplemented medium looked the same as they did when they were young even over time, yet the ones raised in the regular medium became damaged and irregular and finally broke apart.

Studies on the rejuvenating effects of L-Carnosine have shown: L-Carnosine is 100% safe and 100% hypoallergenic - it is naturally occurring in many foods and in the body itself. Antioxidant: Carnosine effectively quenches the most destructive of free radicals, the hydroxyl radical, as well as superoxide, singlet oxygen, and the peroxyl radical. Cell Rejuvenation: Carnosine has the remarkable ability to actually rejuvenate cells approaching senescence (the end of the life cycle of dividing cells), restoring normal appearance and extending their cellular lifespan. Wound Healing: Carnosine has the amazing ability to rejuvenate connective tissue cells and thus to expedite wound healing. Brain Protection: Carnosine protects the microvas culature of the brain from plaque formation that may lead to senility and Alzheimer's disease. Improved Calcium Response: Carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes. Cellular DNA Protection: Carnosine protects cellular DNA from oxidative damage that accumulates with age. Skin Protection: Carnosine helps prevent skin collagen cross-linking which leads to loss of elasticity, wrinkles, macro-molecular disorganisation, and loss of extra cellular matrix.

For best results: The recommended daily maintenance dose of L-carnosine is 1 gram per day. For those addressing more serious health conditions then 3g to 5g is recommended and 10g per day has proven to be very effective indeed, or as directed by your heath care practitioner. The best way to administer it is to add the desired daily dose to a litre bottle of still mineral water, shake well until it's completely dissolved, then drink from the bottle at regular intervals throughout the day so that the bottle is finished just before sleeping.

About the Author:

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Helping the Elderly to Stay Healthier with Better Nutrition

by Jim Duffy

The average lifespan has continued to increase as improvements in health care and medications have continued to be implemented. In 1997, the average life expectancy was 73 for males and 80 for females. (Source: Sigelman 1999) Currently, 13% of the population is 65 and older, and the 85 and older population is the fastest growing segment of all. It is estimated that 20% of the population will belong to this group by the year 2030, with the estimated number being around 73 million. (Source: Science Daily: March 8, 2010)

Because there are so many people who are living to such advanced ages, it is important that they get the proper nutrition so that they can stay strong and active. There are several considerations to keep in mind for the older adult and nutrition, including their declining physical and mental health status. Increased protein needs should also be considered for this segment of the population, and it might be not only beneficial but necessary to consider adding supplements to the diet to ensure that adequate nutrition is being received, not only for protein but for other nutrients as well.

Jake is a friendly guy; he loves to see the people who come in once a day to set up his meds, tidy his house and to help him get dressed for the day. He spends most of his time on his front porch during the summer months, greeting the neighbors as they come and go. The problem is that Jake is not eating properly. He forgets to cook, and sometimes he simply forgets to eat. He has been ill with a stomach virus off and on for a few weeks and is feeling a little weak and dizzy.

When his home care worker arrives one morning, she finds him barely able to stand and very confused, very different from the Jake that she has known for years. She calls the emergency squad and gets him to the hospital, fearing the worst. Thankfully, Jake is suffering from a case of food poisoning, probably from eating food that has been improperly stored. A check of his home finds several opened containers of food that are not being kept at the proper temperature. In addition to the food poisoning, Jake is badly dehydrated, and after some blood work is also found to be deficient in a number of nutrients.

When Jake returns home, he is given increased home care time and is enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program, which will give him a hot and nutritionally balanced meal once a day plus additional meals for the weekends. This also gives him a secondary person that is checking on him throughout the day when his home care workers are not there. His doctor also gives him a protein supplement, Profect, which he can use after his morning medications and before his evening meds. He can also consume additional shots throughout the day because his protein needs are increased over what they were previously.

Studies have shown that trying to keep adults in their own homes for as long as possible is more cost effective and can keep them mentally and physically healthy and active for much longer than warehousing them in overcrowded and very expensive long-term care facilities.

Research has shown that the barriers to proper nutrition with older adults include a lack of appetite, improperly fitting, broken, or missing dentures, lack of money to buy nutritious foods, changing tastes, ill health, and dementia. Depression in the elderly affects their ability and their desire to get proper nutrition as well. A final consideration for the lack of proper nutrition in the elderly may be some of their medications, which can decrease appetite or increase their daytime sleepiness to the point where they are not eating.

How Much Protein is Suggested for This Age Group?

For the average, fairly active adult, the suggested amount of protein is about .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For the elderly adult, however, that suggestion is at least 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. While it might seem like a lot of protein to be getting, especially for those who are just not eating very well, it is easily accomplished. The average amount of protein needed per day is between 54 and 68 grams of protein. (Source: Feinstein 1996)

When you mention protein to many older adults, they automatically assume that you mean steak and other big slabs of meat. Many adults cannot afford steak, cannot chew it and no longer enjoy the taste. There are other sources of protein, including chicken (three ounces has 27 grams of protein), fish (three ounces of tuna has 25 grams of protein) and skim milk (one cup has 10 grams of protein plus calcium). Profect, a protein supplement from Protica, is also a good source, with 25 grams of protein in less than three ounces. It also supplies 100% of the RDI of vitamin C and 10% of the vitamin B complex, which are both often deficient in older adults.

Free Radicals and Antioxidants

Free radicals are cells that occur naturally in the body which can cause damage, not only internally but to the body's outward appearance as well. In addition, free radicals are increased by other factors, including cigarette smoking, chronic infections, and overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

The more free radicals there are in the body, the more damage that can be done by the body, which accelerates aging and can lead to chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, cancer, cataracts, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Scientists believe that free radicals may do more than just contribute to the aging process, they may directly cause it. Science has also found that 40-50% of all of the proteins in an older adult may be damaged by these free radicals (Source: Feinstein 1996).

Antioxidants fight the damage of free radicals in the body - free radicals attack normal cells and steal or destroy their electrons. Antioxidants give up their own electron to the free radicals so that they do less damage to the body's cellular makeup. Each of the antioxidants relies on other nutrients in the diet to work effectively. For instance, one may not work if there is not enough zinc or copper in the diet and another may fail if there is a deficiency of selenium, making a varied and healthy diet even more important. Because the older adult is not getting enough food, they are going to need supplementations of these nutrients as well.

There are some cautions with these supplements, however, especially with vitamin E, which can be problematic in those who are taking blood-thinning medications. For instance, those who are taking a daily aspirin for heart health should avoid additional vitamin E because it can lead to bleeding.

About the Author:

Protica Research (Protica, Inc.) specializes in the development of Capsulized Foods. Protica manufactures Profect, IsoMetric, Pediagro, Fruitasia and over 100 other brands, including Medicare-approved, whey protein shots for diabetic patients. You can learn more at Protica Research - Copyright

Parkinson's Disease and Protein News

by Jim Duffy

Doug has had Parkinson's disease for many years but he has had a lot of problems with what he should and should not be eating. A friend read an article online that said he should not eat a lot of protein because it can interfere with his medication. Another friend read a different article that said that the protein was beneficial because it slowed the rate that the meds were absorbed and made them more efficient.

The truth is simple: protein may be a problem for certain people and not a problem for others based on the particular degree and type of their symptoms and their exact medications. Doug, completely confused and at the end of his rope, went to a nutritionist who discussed his options with him. First, they talked about his diagnosis and his symptoms. Next, they talked about the need for protein in the body and the right amount for him personally.

Because Doug tries to stay as active as possible, which helps to keep many of his symptoms at bay, he needs a typical amount of protein in his diet. He works with his nutritionist and doctor to come up with a med schedule and diet that works the best for him. But why is protein intake such an important aspect of Parkinson's disease? First, it should be understood that protein is important to the diet of all people, whether they are healthy or not.

In Parkinson's disease, increased protein intake can interfere with the absorption of one of the most common meds that is used to treat the disease, levo dopa. It may also prevent the medication from passing from the small intestine to the bloodstream, which may be the reason that some experts suggest limiting or reducing some of the protein intake in the diet. However, for those who are having severe motor system symptoms, the suggestion is made to increase the intake of vegetable-based protein.

Another suggestion is to eat protein after the meds have been taken, called the protein redistribution diet. However, the protein redistribution is not appropriate for those who have dyskinesia, which is the impairment of voluntary movement. The slower absorption rate of the medication is actually a benefit in this instance. (Source: Carlson 2008)

Because Doug has only mild symptoms, the nutritionist and doctor suggests that he use the protein redistribution diet, including a supplement, called Profect, from Protica, which he takes in the morning after his medications. Profect is a liquid protein supplement that gives him 25 grams of protein per serving plus a number of vitamins and minerals that help to keep him at his best and most active.

Doug is also very interested in new research, including studies that have shown how the normal appearance and function of certain proteins can affect the health and well being of the brain and the body. One of these proteins may be beneficial in treating not only the symptoms of Parkinson's disease but may eventually be used to cure the disease itself. Until then, though, Doug and the others with the disease may have to be satisfied with lessening the symptoms that are most troublesome.

Protein's Role in Parkinson's Disease

One of the most common words that you will see when discussing Parkinson's is protein. First, many of the brains of those with Parkinson's disease show Lewy bodies, which are abnormal circular structures that have a dense protein core. The disease itself may be caused by a genetic mutation caused by the production of a protein called o-synuclein, which is found in the presynaptic terminal, which in turn creates a secondary protein that can have toxic effects to the cell. Other proteins can also become folded or otherwise mutated.

In addition, a protein called "protein kinase-C" has been linked to PD by researchers. Protein kinase-C, a naturally occurring protein in the human brain, is apparently killing dopamine-producing cells. Research is hoping to find a way to neutralize these cells so that dopamine-producing cells are allowed to function and to continue producing the dopamine that is needed in the brain.

Parkinson's disease strikes about 50,000 people each year. As the dopamine levels in the brain start dropping, there may be increasing incidences of preliminary PD symptoms; if the dopamine continues to drop, the disease will become more evident. Researchers are working on the theory that nearly everybody has some level of PD based on reduced or limited dopamine levels. You cannot bring dopamine levels back up to one hundred percent; however, if you can bring them back up to 40-50 percent, the functioning level will be relatively normal. (Source: Science Daily 2009)

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but there are treatments for the many symptoms, which include trembling in the hands and arms, legs, jaw and face, rigidity or stiffness in the limbs and trunk, slowed movements, and impaired balance and coordination. It may cause an increasing difficulty with walking, talking, or completing even simple tasks. The disease typically affects people over the age of fifty however, the National Institute of Health predicts that the prevalence of the disease will continually increase as more and more people hit this age group and beyond.

Parkinson's disease may or may not have a genetic factor; however, factors for developing PD include prolonged exposure to metals, pesticides, and additional environmental chemicals.

Protein's Role in Overall Health

Protein plays a vital role in the entire body, including the health and appearance of the skin, hair, and nails. Protein also builds connective tissue, contractive tissue (muscles), and contributes to the bone matrix. It helps to maintain fluid balance and regulates the pH balance of the blood. Protein also contributes to immunity (antibodies are protein based) and is used to form hormones and enzymes which are necessary to regulate sleep, digestion, and ovulation in women. (Source: Nelson, 2009)

Protein comes from two sources, animal- and plant-based, and is needed in every diet. How much protein is needed depends on a number of different factors, including age, health, and activity level. Animal protein is a complete protein source, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. Plant-based proteins, however, are not complete because they are lacking one or more of the amino acids.

The only exception is soy protein, which is complete. Those who are bigger or more active will need more protein than others might however, the amount that even the biggest bodybuilder might need is surprisingly similar to what the average person might need. How much protein you personally need should be determined by your doctor or nutritionist.

Protein supplementation is a great way to make sure that you are getting the right amount of protein in your diet. Profect has more protein per serving than other types of supplements and only has one hundred calories. Other protein supplements can have double or triple the calorie count but with less protein.

About the Author:

Protica Research (Protica, Inc.) specializes in the development of Capsulized Foods. Protica manufactures Profect, IsoMetric, Pediagro, Fruitasia and over 100 other brands, including Medicare-approved, whey protein liquid for dialysis patients. You can learn more at Protica Research - Copyright

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