Parkinson's Disease, Stomach Acid, and Medication
According to Dr. Laurie K. Mischley, ND, PhD, MPH, people with Parkinson's Disease do not make enough stomach acid*. Stomach acid, also called gastric acid, helps digest food, absorb nutrients and prevent illness by breaking down microorganisms.
In a study done by Yawaza et al**, 30 ml of lemon juice was given with every administration of Levodopa for 2 weeks. They found increased concentration of Levodopa in patients' bodies and reduced rigidity, akinesia and small step gait. In other words, there was a positive correlation between supplemental acid and drug effectiveness.
Dr. Mischley reports that another study used 500mg doses of vitamin C instead of lemon juice, again with favorable results. She has her patients take 1000mg of powdered vitamin C to help with absorption of Levodopa. She states a side effect of taking this dose of vitamin C can be loose stool. However, she notes that people with Parkinson's tend to be constipated already, so taking vitamin C, and the extra glass of water used to take it, can benefit motility. Click the link below to take her course on dopamine repletion and learn more.
If you or a loved one are fighting Parkinson's disease, consider talking to your doctor about adding lemon juice or Vitamin C to your regimen to help with absorption of your medication.
Sources & Links
**Gastric acid secretion and absorption of levodopa in patients with Parkinson's disease--the effect of supplement therapy to gastric acid (Article in Japanese)
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