Here is an interesting article on intermittent fasting and how it is good for the brain.

“Challenges to your brain, whether it’s intermittent fasting [or] vigorous exercise . . . is cognitive challenges. When this happens neuro-circuits are activated, levels of neurotrophic factors increase, that promotes the growth of neurons [and] the formation and strengthening of synapses. . . .”

The hormone which stimulates hunger is called Grehlin - "the hunger hormone" and it has been shown to be beneficial in PD:

Ghrelin is neuroprotective in Parkinson’s disease: molecular mechanisms of metabolic neuroprotection

"In Parkinson’s disease, ghrelin enhances dopaminergic survival via reduced microglial and caspase activation and improved mitochondrial function."

21 Replies

  • Overall the video says to eat less ,lose weight and exercise something that we all know is good for us, nothing new.

    I listened to the talk and your post "WHY BIG PHARMA WON’T STUDY IT" is not a true statement he says that they do not study it not why. They do not study it because that is not what they do they produce drugs.

  • I did not even watch the Mercola video because he is a self-promoting doctor (with too many ads on his website.) I should have just posted the scientific study alone. It is true big pharma only makes drugs and there is no real drug potential from fasting but big pharma will not test well known herbs that are good for PD (like curcumin) because there is no real profit possibility from making a curcumin drug. When you combine the total (pre-clinical and clinical) trials needed to develop a drug, I think there are 7 total, it amounts to between 200 million to 2 billion dollars, and what drug company is going to test curcumin (at great expense) to only sell it at 35 dollars a month? No one - there is no money to be made. That is why drugs are so expensive and alternative remedies are never tested by big pharma.

    I agree there is nothing new in showing weight reduction, etc...are good for us be I found the idea of the posted fasting schedule to be intriguing. Even better, they recommend drinking tea on the fasting days and tea's medical qualities for PD are well known. I think tea is much better for PD than coffee and in the future will post a comparison of green and black tea (with a mention to herba mate and chamomile).

    Finally, I posted the grelin info because it is good to know the underlying mechanism behind the success of fasting in regrowing brain cells.

  • .... and their primary ( I would argue SINGULAR ) focus is making money for stockholders. Their CEO's and top execs are compensated based on the profitability of their respective companies. Period.

  • That is what companies do. Would not have it any other way. that is how it works. Farmers don't grow food for us they grow food to make a profit to feed their family.

    Why is it bad to make a profit.

  • Ethical ones do. What about some companies (recently in the news) that buy rights to drugs used successfully for treating rare diseases then turn around, goose the price up 300% in one year and patients, dependent for their lives, are at their mercy? We're talking more than $100,000 per patient. Sorry, but I for one think that is not right. What do you think?

    As far as Pharmaceutical companies go, I judge them harshly based on the fact that we in the U.S. pay far more for drugs than other countries in the world. Washington is awash with Lobbyists that insure that prices stay high. Making a profit is certainly the objective of most businesses. However there are many people, like myself, that believe that the Big Pharma has often stepped over the boundary of ethical behavior in terms of some of their business practices.

  • I agree with you on all points. I don't think there is any other way to get it done.

    Without the rewards we would not have any meds at all. As for the price of meds the market most of the time will take care of that. Unethical behavior is a problem in all walks of life.

    i guess we just bend over and take it.

  • My son who is on insulin for Type II Diabetes and had been working hard to figure out what would work for him (he has been gaining weight since on insulin even though drastically cut calories and exercises vigorously) has found this works really well. He cut insulin in half and lost 7 pounds in less than a week (probably some of that water weight) and his blood sugar numbers are looking good again. Worth a closer look.

  • I am glad to hear fasting helps your son.

    I have read magnesium is good for T2D and here is an article which mirrors my prior reading:

    Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind controlled trials.

    I have studied magnesium on and off for years and know the problem with (oral) magnesium is the absorb-ability problem. I have not taken the following magnesium but will when my current supply runs out. Though their website looks like hype I went ahead and read one of their patents and what the website says is true. The RDA for magnesium is 400 mg/day and alternative practitioners recommend between 500-800 mg a day. In the patent application this company treated a man with atherosclerosis with 1,500 mg a day! The highest tolerable dose was 2,250 mg/day and that is unheard of. If you took normal (oral) magnesium at that dosage you have the WORST case of diarrhea in the history of the world. This man was treated with 1,500 mg/day in divided doses of 750 mg. I dare say this may very much help your son.

    The patent I read:

  • Hi Silverstrov. Thanks for your comments. I am a nutritionist and my son is taking appropriate supplements for him including magnesium. Supplementing is best done with the guidance of a trained professional. Magnesium is a mineral that if taken in too high amounts can put a burden on the kidneys and cause kidney issues over time.--especially of concern in people who are on high blood pressure and other meds detoxed through the kidneys.

    I often recommend Epsom salt baths (2 cups) or foot soaks in people without a tub (some have used a tall diaper pail when the issue was leg cramps especially at night). Other people use magnesium oil applied to the skin. In these applications the body will only absorb what it needs.

    For Parkinson's Disease, Magnesium Threonate is a good choice, but don't go over the recommended dose.

  • Why is the Threonate a good choice for Parkinson's Disease?

  • Threonate enhances memory and was developed for the Alzheimer's market. There is a trial forming to test it on people with dementia:

    1/2 of Parkinson's disease patients who have dementia have a dual diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

    In both PD and AL heavy metal deposits form in the brain (particularly iron) and the following study illustrates the importance of magnesium supplementation.

    Magnesium inhibits spontaneous and iron-induced aggregation of alpha-synuclein.

  • Thanks, Silvestrov. This is exciting ("Magnesium inhibits spontaneous and iron-induced aggregation of alpha-synuclein"). Bring on the collard greens!

    I'm wondering why our physicians aren't telling us to take magnesium supplements. (Well, yes, I probably know part of the answer - big pharma, money, etc.) This is why I've stated elsewhere that I don't think we should rely solely on our doctors for our healing.

  • Unless a mineral like magnesium is a known therapy for a specific disease or treatment it will not be used as therapy. I know a co-worker who had an organ transplant and part of the recovery protocol was to take magnesium. I can't remember the type of Mg but was floored to hear it was used at all. Neurodegenerative diseases, restless leg syndrome, depression, atherosclerosis, alcoholism, Mg has many applications but is an unused tool for them all. I mentioned Dr. Sircus and here is an article about the use of magnesium chloride, a liquid form of magnesium, cannabinoids, iodine and Parkinson's disease:

  • Silvestrove

    Just a query about the comment 1/2 of Parkinson's disease patients who have dementia have a dual diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. I have never heard this before. What dementia do the other half have?

  • Here is a good article that simply addresses the problem of dementia in Parkinson's disease and the dual diagnosis of Parkinson's disease dementia and Alzheimer's disease:

    Parkinson's disease dementia: convergence of α-synuclein, tau and amyloid-β pathologies.

    Plus, here is another article that addresses magnesium and amyloid beta plaques:

    Elevation of brain magnesium prevents and reverses cognitive deficits and synaptic loss in Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

    Magnesium is an important tool against neurodegenerative diseases and I take it every day.

  • Thanks for your recommendations. Fortunately my kidneys are in perfect condition and my blood pressure has been 110/70 for decades. I take a combination of magnesium threonate and magnesium chloride. Being familiar with the writings of Dr. Sircus, I use magnesium chloride primarily as a supplement to threonate in the form of detoxifying foot baths. 525 mg/day magnesium in all.

    I use threonate for the obvious reason, to enhance memory. It is a good form of Mg though Carolyn Dean has a bone to pick because it is only absorbed 15% more than other good forms of magnesium and it is too pricey - in her opinion. In the future I am going to substitute treonate with the same dose of the potentiated magnesium because it is 100 % absorbed. The patent application I read was fascinating and I intend to read the other one they posted. I realize it was under controlled conditions with a highly monitored patient but having someone take 1,500 mg/day of magnesium for months with no side effects is remarkable.

  • Very interesting! The chart above shows a maximum calorie intake of 500 for women and 600 for men, which indicates some food intake. Total water fasting ONE day a week is supposed to extend one's lifespan and basically stop the aging process. This is old science that I read about years ago, but the point is that fasting rests the body and sort of "resets" the bodily functions. Good article, Silvestrov.

  • silvestrov I loved this!! Thanks for doing the research and sharing :)

    Fasting from 7 pm - 11 am twice a week is actually a relief for me since I have lost most of my taste and smell and food does not taste particularly good to me. Most of the time I don't even know what to eat. So forgetting about food for a while is nice for me, and knowing it is good for my brain, is a huge bonus!!

    Thanks my friend!! :)

  • silvestrov, is my new hero. I don't think there is a question that he hasn't been able to answer yet. I wish my Dr. seemed to be into getting answers as Silvestrov, even if it were only at 1/2 the pace and enthusiasm I would be thrilled. I didn't used to think my dr even cared if he was helping me or not. These days i can see he is trying but he is way over booked w/patients and is current in the town where i live. He always acts frustrated with me because he says i am tough case. I am not a difficult patient just one that has had Pd FOR 15 YEARS plus now and things aren't working for me like they used to. That isn't my fault but it doesn't make me like my Dr and feel like there is much hope when he acts like we are out of solutions and he makes statements like ' I don't know what to do for you anymore. None of my other have Dystonia as bad as you do". It makes me feel like the problem child that no one wants. He wants me to do the DBS Surgery but i am sorry i don't trust him enough to agree w/ that decision for me at this time. He told me when i started Sinemet therapy not to worry about side effects like Dystonia and Dyskenesia because they rarely happen. Well i trusted him then and now i'm dealing w/both side effects, which has been way worse than having PD. Esp my Dystonic Storms that i now have throughout my entire body and made my quality of life go way down. I ask for assistance because this is my worst problem and i need help dealing with it but he doesn't take me seriously.........and these attacks are really terrible. What started in one leg is in my entire body, my neck twists backwards until i can actually hear the bones popping and crunching sounds. the pain is horrific. can anyone else relate to these awful side effects? and have any advice?

  • DF,

    Thank you for your kind words. You have to remember that doctors treat patients by accepted standards, which they are meant to follow and if someone is not responsive to therapy then they have no more options other than just being polite - sometimes. Really, the only option for your doctor would be to tell you to get deep brain stimulation.

    If I were you I would go out and purchase a large bag of Epson salts, aka magnesium sulfate, and take a hot relaxing bath with then - once a day. Epson salts are not my favorite form of Mg for PD but they are unmatched for muscular relaxation and that is what you need. Mg should not be used if you have low blood pressure, Myasthemia gravis or kidney disease.

    I checked the dystonia society website and the drugs they recommend (to relieve dystonia) are (mostly) ones already prescribed for Parkinson's disease:

    After looking at the list of drugs they mention, Carbamazepine – anti-convulsant, and there is one herb I know of that has anti-convulsive activity:

    bacopa monnieri

    Anticonvulsant potential of commonly practiced formulations of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri Linn.) in Wistar rats

    In the article they mention 2 components of BM which helped to reduce induced convulsions, namely -Brahmi Ghrita and BG can be purchased here:

    With additional research I found that the combination of theanine and melatonin have anti-convulsion activity:

    Effects of melatonin and theanine administration on pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures and brain tissue oxidative damage in ovariectomized rats.


    The results of this study demonstrated the antioxidant and anticonvulsant activities of Mel/Thea despite the presence or absence of ovarian hormones.

    At bedtime I often take theanine with melatonin and it certainly induces sleep. Both are good for PD and are inexpensive.

    Baicalin is a component of the herb Scutellaria baicalensis and it is known as Scullcap. Baicalin is neuroprotective in PD models (amongst about 1 - 2 dozen others) and too has anticonvulsant action:

    The anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of baicalin on pilocarpine-induced epileptic model in rats.

    Baicalin should only be taken if you have a healthy liver. I also take baicalin and baicalin directly affects the same brain receptors that xanax does so it is also an anti anxiety agent. It also is good for many forms of arthritis - I have osteo, and it is a potent cox 2 inhibitor and has the same potency that ibuprofen does.

    Anxiety and baicalin:

    Baicalin and Rheumatoid arthritis:

    A product of baicalin and catechins for osteo arthritis:

    Magnesium is a good place to start and if you need more info drop me a line.


  • I spike my flagging appetite with a multivitamin multi-mineral, I think it's the potassium that does the trick. I happened on this observation when I was in my twenties when I realized how little I ate during the week, of course I was prone to flus. (my landlord sprayed for roaches during my absence...sprayed my cutlery. that's what I get, for complaining!)

    I had to give him copy of my key, it is the Law! I changed locks after that.