1. Support better digestion and assimilation of foods through the use of probiotics and enzyme
supplements. Learn more about Probiotics, enzymes and Parkinson’s
2. Nourish through food-based supplements (consuming nutrient rich foods such as wheat grass, bee
pollen, blue green algae...etc.). Learn more about Vitamins and Minerals for Parkinson’s
3. Repair and protect against free radical damage (oxidative stress) through the use of whole food
antioxidant supplements (wheat sprouts, red algae, wheat grass,.etc.) Learn more about Antioxidants and
With the use of whole food supplements you can improve the GI tract environment, decrease the burden of the
toxins and thereby take the stress off the liver. With less toxins there is less need for a constant high level
defense effort and everything in the body just starts to work better. Dr. Jeffrey Anderson summarizes the whole
concept of natural healing so beautifully when he said: “you can’t deal with the downstream problems
(symptoms in the body) until you have addressed the upstream problem(s) (i.e., malfunctions in the gut)”
(Nichols, p. 132).
To learn more about the specific recommended supplements click on the following:
Nichols, Trent W., and Faass, Nancy. (1999). Optimal Digestion. New York: Avon Books, Inc.
What natural therapy would be appropriate to defend against Parkinson’s disease and help optimize the functional
integrity of the brain and nervous system? I found that the Functional Medicine approach to Parkinson’s disease
therapy is the best approach.
A Health Model That Makes Sense:
As I was reading holistic books to find answers on how to treat Parkinson’s,
I read a few books written by medical doctors outlining a new discipline in
medicine called Functional Medicine. I was very impressed by the logic they
presented in these books as to why degenerative conditions occur. I was
also impressed by their health model that outlined how to reverse most
degenerative conditions with diet and supplements. In these books I found
a natural therapy for Parkinson’s that made a lot of sense.
What is Functional Medicine:
The Functional Medicine approach includes principles that are of great benefit to the treatment of
Parkinson’s. These principles support the following: 1) better digestion and assimilation of foods
through the use of probiotics and enzymes; 2) better nutrition through nutrient rich food
supplements and; 3) increased protection against free radical damage (oxidative stress) through
whole food antioxidants.
Tens of thousands of people have used this health model to help themselves from many chronic degenerative
conditions and to treat Parkinson’s. Additionally, many of the studies and books written by Functional Medicine
doctors give us the scientific reasons behind why this specific health model and the supplements used have
helped with a wide variety of health-related conditions.
Today there is a very large number of alternative, allopathic and naturopathic doctors practicing the Functional
Medicine approach to health.
Why does Functional Medicine work?
Functional Medicine physicians believe that most brain and nervous system degenerative conditions have their
origin in the malfunction of the digestive tract and the liver’s detoxification system. In other words, illness can be
directly related to problems of the digestive and liver detoxification systems and their related
influence on immune, nervous and endocrine system functions. Therefore, when the health of the
digestive and liver detoxification systems is addressed, the body is given the opportunity to reverse brain and
nervous system degenerative conditions. With Parkinson’s a Functional Medicine doctor will first recommend
addressing the health of the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Once the GI tract is normalized, then the liver
detoxification system should be supported and strengthened.
Today, through the efforts of Functional Medicine doctors, we have hundreds of clinical studies and scientific
research that confirm what many of us have heard so often from folk medicine practitioners: “Stomach
problems are the cause of all ills” or “Death begins in the colon.”
Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., wrote an article called “How Problems with Digestion Can Cause Illness Anywhere”,
and in this article he explains why you should address the health of the gastrointestinal tract first, no matter what
the name of the degenerative condition. He explains that “new information on the dynamics of the body make it
clear that conditions in the digestive tract affect the entire system” (Nichols, et al., 1999, p.125). The “...
degradation of the gastrointestinal environment is one of the primary points at which health is lost. What we now
know is that the same toxins associated with GI dysfunction are frequently absorbed and distributed to other parts
of the body including the brain.” First they place a burden on the liver and the immune system. If liver
overload occurs, there will be spill over, and some of the toxins will be passed on to the brain and
“Often, it’s a weak link in the system that will be hit by the damage - an organ that can be anywhere in the body
that is most likely to be vulnerable. The vulnerability may be inherited, caused by physical injury, toxic exposure,
or poor diet” (p.125). For example, if the sensitive system is the brain, toxins that originate in the gut and
circulate in the bloodstream may manifest as Parkinson’s (p.125).
Len Saputo, M.D., in his article, ”Harmful Flora”, also believes that if the gastrointestinal tract goes out of balance
and the liver detoxification system breaks down, our entire immune system can malfunction in three ways. First, it
can be weakened and the result called an immune suppression disease (cancer and AIDS). Second, it can
overreact and become hyper responsive to normal stimuli; this occurs in asthma, eczema, migraine, and food
allergies. Third, a malfunctioning immune system can cause auto immune reactions, where antibodies target our
own tissues, as in Parkinson's (p.60).
Jerry Stine, M.D., in his article, “How Digestion Works”, explains that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest
immune organ in our body. Eighty percent of all our protective immune globulins are produced in the
digestive tract (p.16). When this large, strategically placed immune system member (the GI tract) isn’t working
well, several stresses are set in motion. The first of these is the increased production of toxic byproducts called
free-radicals. The assault of free radicals, also referred to as oxidative stress, further over stimulates the liver,
causing it to send out signals that can confuse the immune system. These signals may trigger inappropriate
reactions in both the immune and neurological systems and cause inflammation. Increased stresses on the liver
can be caused by minor but frequent GI complaints, and in the case of many Parkinson’s patients the complaints
could be chronic constipation and/or an overgrowth of yeast.
Oxidative stress from free radicals can also cause problems by depleting essential nutrients. This can short-
circuit immune function, and the activity of the nervous system. Derrick Lonsdale, M.D., and Raymond
Shamberger, Ph.D., found a close correlation between the insufficiency of B-vitamin with neurological symptoms.
When dietary improvement were made that enhanced the body’s absorption of B-vitamin, symptoms such as
recurring bad dreams, fatigue, sleep disturbances, personality changes, depression abated significantly.
Functional Medicine Strategies to Reverse Degenerative Conditions, Including Parkinson’s:
Functional Medicine doctors including, Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, Dr. Len Saputo and Dr. Jerry Stine, believe that
cleansing and supporting the GI tract and the liver can and will improve brain and nervous system
- First you detoxify the GI tract.
- Then get the liver detoxification system working.
- And finally clean up the downstream consequence,
which includes the toxins in the tissues and cells.
Functional Medicine doctors believe that you can’t deal with the downstream
conditions (symptoms in the body such as Parkinson’s), until you’ve treated
the upstream problem(s) in the gut and liver (p.132). When you clean up the
upstream issues and the liver, then the downstream consequences tend to
Functional Medicine Solution for Most Degenerative Conditions
The 4Rs Solution:
1) Remove: Abnormal kinds/amounts of intestinal microorganisms (parasites, bacterial pathogens, small
intestinal overgrowth such as yeast, and food antigens). This can be done by repairing “leaky” intestinal
2) Replace: Hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and fiber deficiency can be addressed and replaced
with friendly bacteria, digestive enzymes and fiber supplements.
3) Restore: Symbiotic bacteria and GI bacteria through the use of full spectrum friendly bacteria (L. acidophilus,
B. bifidus, L. planetarium, L. salivarius, L. bulgaricus, etc.).
4) Repair: Replace or augment with nutrients necessary to support healing of intestinal lining, plus adequacy of
calories, and adequacy of fiber. Support the liver detoxification system through the use of antioxidants and food
based nutritional supplements (pp. 181-182).
The 4 R’s are a great process for the nutritional support of Parkinson’s.
The Difference is in the Quality Of The Nutritional Supplements:
There are a multitude of allopathic and naturopathic doctors practicing Functional Medicine today, and they
recommend supporting better digestion, better nutrition, and better protection against oxidative stress. However,
when it comes to supplements, most Functional Medicine doctors recommend standard man-made supplements in
their isolated, single, separated or chemically-manufactured form, such as zinc, copper, vitamins B, C, E and beta
carotene, to reverse degenerative conditions.
I don’t believe vitamins and minerals should be taken in single and chemically-manufactured forms.
For example, vitamins are intricate, interrelated, integrated, and united organic nutritive groups. Nature made
them as an indistinguishable part of foods for the benefit of human health. Vitamins are inseparable
as working nutrients from trace elements, minerals, proteins, and other elements.
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Chemists have attempted to isolate and identify some of the components of these food complexes,
labeling the seemingly “active” elements as vitamins or other nutrients. Yet there is no possible
way that even the sum of the parts is equal to the whole. It is only the whole food, intact
and unaltered, that works as a nutritional source and therefore is the best eczema
treatment. The isolated parts are not recognized by the body as foods. In large amounts, these
isolated chemicals function more like drugs, which stimulate or suppress biochemical functions,
instead of providing nourishment for the cells to carry on their vital activities.
Natural, food-source vitamins are enzymatically alive. Man-made, synthetic
vitamins are dead chemicals. Human health requires “live” biochemical.
It is simply a matter of chemistry versus biochemistry.
I think Functional Medicine doctors are “right on the money” when it comes to explaining why
degenerative conditions occur such as the case with Parkinson’s, but when it comes to the
solution which is their supplement program, they are mainly providing the typical man-made
and chemically-manufactured supplements. A multitude of us prefer the use of whole food
supplements for treatment of Parkinson’s because it is based on the philosophy that “Food
is the best medicine.”
Searching for the Ultimate Whole Food Supplements:
There are certainly better alternatives than man-made supplements; i.e. organic whole food supplements. Whole
food supplements are far superior in their quality and effectiveness for reversing Parkinson’s
because they are produced in their natural and complex configuration.
Why whole food products work better is based on the philosophy that the human
body is a marvelously designed living organism with the ability to grow,
regulate, repair, and defend itself when given natural, high quality, full
I don’t know of too many companies that produce high quality whole foods supplements. However, I came across
one company that has been in the whole food supplement business for over twenty years. I was so impressed
with their philosophy of producing whole food supplements that I paid a visit to their manufacturing facility. I was
very impressed with everything they do to preserve the quality of their whole food supplements from
the time the foods are harvested to the time they are introduced to the public as supplements.
Today I’m a distributor of their products. Since my philosophy has always been that “food is our best medicine”, I
found their supplements to align with my philosophy. I have been distributing their products for many years.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been helped with these whole food products. I’m not surprised,
because when it comes to healing the body, there is nothing more powerful than supplementing with
whole foods, especially if they are wild-crafted and organically grown.
If your goal is to find a natural treatment for Parkinson’s, may I recommend that you follow this health model which
is the same as the Functional Medicine health model with the exception that I recommend the use of whole foods
and not man-made supplements: