Q: What is the best diet for a person who has Huntington’s chorea?
— David P., Marietta, Ohio
A: Huntington’s chorea (also called Huntington’s disease) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that affects muscle coordination. The mechanism by which specific brain cells progressively die involves immunoexcitotoxicity, which is the same mechanism found in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
While no one has adequately tested a specific diet and mix of supplements as a treatment for Huntington’s, based on the best scientific evidence it makes sense to follow a mostly vegetarian diet, avoid fluoride and mercury-containing seafoods, foods containing omega-6 (vegetable oils), and high-sugar foods and drinks.
Many supplements can reduce immuno-excitotoxicity. These include curcumin, quercetin, kaempferol, natural vitamin E, resveratrol, baicalein, niacinamide, magnesium, and vitamin D3.
Q: My husband has peripheral neuropathy. He started taking L-theanine, 200 mg three times a day for two weeks. He then increased to 400 mg three times a day for two weeks, but there has been no improvement. Will anything help?
— Nancy L., Lincoln, Mont.
A: Before deciding on a nutritional program, you have to figure out the cause of your husband’s peripheral neuropathy, which is a term for damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms can include numbness, tremor, tingling, pain, or itching in the extremities.
One of the reasons for the drastic increase in this condition is the widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. One study found a 14-fold increase in peripheral neuropathy in people who used statin drugs, even at a low dose.
In addition to statin use, diabetes, uremia, some pesticides/herbicides, and a number of neurotoxic metals can cause peripheral neuropathy.
A number of supplements have been shown to help many patients. These include R-lipoic acid, carnosine, acetyl-L-carnitine, CoQ10, high-dose B vitamins, higher-dose vitamin D3, magnesium, DHA, ascorbate, and natural vitamin E.
Avoid inflammatory omega-6 oils, fluoride, excitotoxic food additives, and red meats, and increase the number of vegetables in the diet. The best chance of correcting the condition is
to catch it early. Advanced cases are much harder to treat.
Q: How does curcumin rate in the fight against multiple sclerosis?
— Tom D., Carol Stream, Ill.
A: There is evidence that curcumin may help reduce the symptoms of MS, but even stronger evidence exists for using higher-dose vitamin D3. In some experimental studies using animal models of the disease, some flavonoids, such as rutin, actually made the condition worse. Why this is so, we do not know.
In animal studies using vitamin D3, researchers found that higher doses could prevent an MS-like disease. In those who already had the disease, the damage to their spinal cord was dramatically reduced and the symptoms of the disease were significantly improved.
An extract from the herb skullcap called biacalein significantly reduces the inflammation associated with the MS-like disease.
It is important to avoid food excitotoxin additives, omega-6 vegetable oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and high-sugar intake. Drinking a blenderized vegetable green drink can certainly reduce inflammation.
Mercury and aluminum both dramatically increase the damage done by MS. Avoid vaccines, contaminated seafood, and high-aluminum foods.
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