Please give me your thoughts and experience with Macuna Puriens.
I started Mucuna Puriens when I had to wait 5 months to see a "movement specialist". By the time I got to the specialist, I was disinclined to take the medication they prescribed (Sinemet). I took only Mucuna for about a year.
Now I take just 1 tablet of Sinemet a day (1/2 in am 1/2 in early afternoon) and take 4 Mucuna Puriens tablets. I use Himalaya brand.
I also do swimming and stationary bicycle exercise.
I have been diagnosed for 3 years with tremor dominate PD. My symptoms were left hand tremor, left foot dragging (shuffling) small hand writing. The shuffling is gone, the hand writing is fine and the tremor is mostly controlled. I play violin (for fun) and sometimes have difficulty with stiffness of my hand, but so far, so good.
Thank you! Do you find there are any side effects with the Macuna Puriens?
My dad has to change shirts after being outside sweating a lot. His sweat smells like Zandopa Powder. It does not really stink in the bottle, but it's pretty strange to smell like it. So...the remedy? Simply change shirts and there's no strange odor. It works fine! However, this is ZANDOPA, which is a little different than plain Mucuna. We did not notice any odor with the plain Mucuna pills.
Not that I can really determine. I get some acid reflux sometimes (controlled with Tums) but that might be the Sinemet
Can you give me some idea as to the size of the caplet? I have trouble swallowing pills. For example, same size as an aspirin or same size as a time-release capsule... Thanks!
capsule size - but you can always crush them or cut them in half
Have you ever done that? I would be curious how they taste.
The folks at Himalaya told me that you have to take the macuna puriens at least one hour before any medications and 1/2 hour before food. Is that how you time yours?
Along with some Sinemet, my dad (diagnosed around a decade ago) started taking Mucuna pills and it seemed to help ease his symptoms some. Recently he switched from using just mucuna pills to this combo: Zandopa Powder (bought online) along with Theanine and a natural pain supplement (both from a local herb shop). He feels so good now and sometimes barely even shakes. He is happy and able to do more things. I wish I could say it was the Zandopa alone, but we made the mistake of adding 3 new things at one time, since he was getting so much worse and could not even get out and about due to feeling so miserable and shaking so badly. What I can say is that Theanine is inexpensive and Zandopa is just one type of mucuna. But it has really helped Dad A LOT! I forgot again to check the name of the natural pain supplement when visiting him today. Others on here know better, but from what I understand the side effects are very very minimal compared to the long-term side effects from Sinemet. You can cut way back on Sinemet, possibly if taking Mucuna Pruriens. Hope this helps in some way.
Helps greatly! Thanks!!
Did he start taking the Macuna first thing in the morning instead of Sinemet? or mid-day?
Several times I have been contacted by people who on the Hinz Protocol in the following abstract:
Amino acid management of Parkinson’s disease: a case study ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...
The people are taking 40% levodopa concentration as derived from mucuna pruriens. Their daily dose was between 28 to 30 grams of MP a day. Let me convert this into mg of levodopa. 28 grams is 28,000 milligrams and at 40% levodopa the dose varies between 11,200 mg of PURE levodopa (plus the other components of MP) to 12,000 mg a day! They had no dyskinesia but muscle cramps and nausea. I am not recommending you take huge doses like this but keep it in mind the doses you are taking can be experimented with. The problem is finding the right dose for maximum effect.
Oh, my, that's like 1 bottle of 40% every 2 days!? Will look at the study...
CONCERNING MUCUNA PRURIENS as the source of L-Dopa:
"..more rapid onset of action.."
".. longer time of effectiveness.."
Quotes from above-mentioned study:
The case study is very difficult for me to follow. It is very similar to talking to a neurologist.... one needs a medical dictionary and an assistant to translate.
The authors goal in this study is to balance brain dopamine and serotonin levels to optimize utilization of both - make them work together efficiently. Normally, in PWP, brain serotonin and dopamine levels are unbalanced. In addition, they replenish glutathione levels by supplementing with the amino acid cysteine - a precursor of glutathione. Unfortunately this therapy has to be unique to the individual person being treated and lab work is required so, even though the list and quantities of the given supplements are posted, this cannot be done at home.
This does not mean the information provided cannot help you. It is a known fact that glutathione deficiencies are a fact for Parksinson's disease, for example:
Parkinson's disease: a disorder due to nigral glutathione deficiency? ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/716...
On this site there have been many postings about NAC - N-acetyl-l-cysteine, a better stabilized from of cysteine, and it has been shown to be a potentially great therapy for PWP. I have taken NAC for years in moderate doses from 1,200 mg to 1,800 mg a day. In the recent study it has been tested at larger doses up to 6,000 mg/day and here is the study:
Natural molecule could improve Parkinson's
"Compared to controls, the patients receiving NAC had improvements of 4-9 percent in dopamine transporter binding and also had improvements in their UPDRS score of about 13 percent."
This is huge.
I take lower doses of NAC because I compliment it with other antioxidants which work well with it. For example, NAC works well with alpha lipoic acid, an even stronger antioxidant - ALA it is fat and water soluble so it is easily absorbed - provided you take it on an empty stomach or with a no protein meal. NAC and ALA:
Lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine decrease mitochondrial-related oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease patient fibroblasts
"Furthermore, we observed that the protective effect of LA and NAC was more pronounced when both agents were present simultaneously."
Also, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l carnitine work great together (in a Parkinson's disease model):
Combined R-alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine exerts efficient preventative effects in a cellular model of Parkinson's disease.
"Most notably, we found that when combined, LA and ALC worked at 100-1000-fold lower concentrations than they did individually."
Even better, coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l carnitine all work well together:
Management of the aging risk factor for Parkinson's disease.
" This review details evidence for the ability of nutritional agents to manage these aging risk factors. The combination of alpha lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and melatonin supports energy metabolism via carbohydrate and fatty acid utilization, assists electron transport and adenosine triphosphate synthesis, counters oxidative and nitrosative stress, and raises defenses against protein misfolding, inflammatory stimuli, iron, and other endogenous or xenobiotic toxins."
And John Pepper would be proud:
"The effectiveness and synergies of the combination against disease risks are discussed in relation to gene action, dopamine cell loss, and the accumulation and spread of pathology via misfolded alpha-synuclein. In addition there are potential synergies to support a neurorestorative role via glial derived neurotrophic factor expression."
As an aside, is there another supplement which can affect GDNF?
Protective effect of the green tea component, L-theanine on environmental toxins-induced neuronal cell death.
"Furthermore, pretreatment with L-theanine significantly attenuated the down-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) production in SH-SY5Y cells."
Without a doubt theanine is one of my favorite supplements because it effects the body in numerous positive ways and is incredibly safe. If is a great anxiolytic agent (anti anxiety agent) and actually out performed xanax in a clinical trial:
Theanine vs. Xanax®: Comparison of Effects lifeextension.com/magazine/...
Theanine cannot be used with xanax or any benzodiazipine:
alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR), clobazam (Onfi), clonazepam (Klonopin) , clorazepate (Tranxene, Tranxene SD) , chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat), estazolam (Prosom is a discontinued brand in the US), lorazepam (Ativan), Restoril (temazepam) .
- because theanine neutralizes their effect (it is an antagonist).
NAC, alpha lipoic acid, n-acetyl l cysteine, melatonin, coq10 and theanine all positively effect glutathione levels and have additional variety of other effects in the human body....the list is long. Drugs target a specific marker/effect/biochemical reaction in the human body and possibly have negative effects called 'side effects'. If taken in wrong doses (recklessly) supplements can also have negative side effects. But in addition to raising glutathione levels, the above supplements have positive side effects that include: increased mitochondrial function, protection the liver, have anxiolytic activity, promote sleep, boosting the immune system (theanine), ....etc.
A combination of lipoic acid plus coenzyme Q10 induces PGC1α, a master switch of energy metabolism, improves stress response, and increases cellular glutathione levels in cultured C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
NAC is a great start but it is not the end of this story. If you have any questions send them this way.
My concern is that it is difficult to figure out when to take the macuna puriens, in that you need to do it on an empty stomach and not around meds. Any ideas?
Generally speaking, Parkinson's disease patients should eat protein-free breakfast and lunches when taking any form of levodopa. Proteins are composed of amino acids and amino acids freely compete for entry into the blood brain barrier. So if you eat a breakfast with eggs, sausage and cottage cheese you essentially rendered your dose of Sinemet (or the amino acid levodopa from mucuna pruriens), useless. I take my doses of 99% pure levodopa derived from mucuna pruriens on an empty stomach (with other supplements which enhance the absorption of the levodopa). Dinner is the time to eat protein. Many PWP are very sensitive to red meat and stick with other sources of protein like fish.....I prefer fish.
Sinemet and protein:
"When food is taken with levodopa (L-dopa), protein in the food can interfere with absorption of this medicine into your bloodstream. Additionally, high blood levels of protein can interfere with transport of this medicine from your blood into your brain, where the medicine actually works."
So if you have to eat and take your levodopa/sinemet, make sure the meal is carbs and veggies only.
It took me forever to learn this - why can't neuros or pharmacists be more vocal with this info? Thank you!
Beans are full of protein - but they are vegie - can I eat beans and not have it interfere with levodopa/sinemet? Trying to get my diet squared. Thanks!
Any protein will interfere with absorption of levodopa but beans are a much lighter source of protein than eating meat. Unless you go 'over the top' you should be fine when taking C/L.
You could always experiment by taking a week and eat no protein of any source for breakfast and lunch (then protein at dinner). And another week eat beans and rice at lunch (presumably) then regular protein at dinner time and see if there is a difference. I presume you eat cereal for breakfast. Unless you eat some sort of Mexican cuisine at breakfast, Huevos Rancheros - eggs, beans and rice, you will most likely not have beans at breakfast.
I believe this is a lunch only issue.
Yesterday I had no meat-source protein for either breakfast or lunch and then had red meat for dinner. My day was freeze-free until shortly after dinner. I am guessing that all of the problems I have been experiencing this past year are because I have been eating too much meat-sourced protein. I received my first bottle of mecuna puriens yesterday and took my first dose this morning on an empty stomach. I am going to be careful with the protein today to see what will happen.
I really appreciate your input. This forum is a life-saving must! Annie
Here is a study which may interest you:
High doses of riboflavin and the elimination of dietary red meat promote the recovery of some motor functions in Parkinson's disease patients
"Their average motor capacity increased from 44 to 71% after 6 months, increasing significantly every month compared with their own pretreatment status."
And additional commentary about the study:
The patients were taking 30 mg of riboflavin every 8 ours. Unfortunately 30 mg/capsules of riboflavin are unavailable. Riboflavin comes in 100 mg capsules and you can either (tediously) divide the capsule in 3 piles of riboflavin or just take the 100 mg capsules three times a day. This is a huge dose of riboflavin but people with migraines take 400 mg of riboflavin a day as a preventative measure against migraines.
There is also the option of just taking R-5-P (Riboflavin-5-Phosphate) a couple times a day (every 12 hours). R-5-P is the coenzyme form of riboflavin and is the form of riboflavin used in the cell....I use the following R-5-P:
Thanks! I would also be interested to know how the mecuna puriens should be taken alongside the sinemet
This is a total gray area and I don't know of any studies that have addressed a combination therapy that includes both C/L and MP, so here is what I am suggesting. You are taking a combination of levodopa and carbidopa = sinemet. The drug stalevo combines levo + carbi + entacapone, a comt inhibitor. Entacapone is used to minimize the 'off' times of sinemet therapy and maximize the 'on' times. It just so happens that the green tea extract quercetin is also a COMT inhibitor like entacapone:
Quercetin potentiates L-Dopa reversal of drug-induced catalepsy in rats: possible COMT/MAO inhibition.
"The results of the present study strongly suggest that quercetin could serve as an effective adjunct to L-dopa therapy in Parkinson's disease."
The article is strongly suggesting that quercetin should be added to L-dopa (sinemet) therapy.
If this idea agrees with you, take 1 capsule of quercetin and bromelain, an enyme from pineapples which helps the body absorb quercetin, with every dose of sinemet.
The combination of quercetin/bromelain is easily available (and I use this brand):
The label says to take up to 6 capsules a day so this is not a heavy daily dose when added to sinemet. The label says to eat 20 minutes later but I have waited longer to make sure the levodopa is absorbed by the body and food does not interfere with its absorption. I wait between 1 - 1 1/2 hours. It all depends when you eat, wake, etc. and if you have been eating and what you eat when taking sinemet.
So what about the MP? I am not sure what brand (% of levodopa in the capsule), etc....but I would be cautious and only use 1 capsule/dose of musucna pruriens (along side with the 1 capsule of quercetin/bromelain, with 1 dose sinemet).
You are in an experimental area so just take it slow.
Hi rich. We are really at a loss how to dose with Mucuna bean. I filled many 00 capsules with the pure bean ( not a concentrate) powder today with a little ceyenne pepper , vitamin C and green tea powder mixed in. He took 5 over a few hours while we were out shopping and keeping an appointment. It did not help at all he was so very stiff and slow with his movements it was agonizing to watch. He acts like 100 years old and is 69. Can anyone give us an idea if plain Mucuna powder can help? And how much to use? Thanks for any advice
I can only say that you need to approach MP with caution - it caused a lot of dyskinesia for me. Everyone is different with their PD. Doctors won't or can't help with this, so be careful.
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