Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:54 AM
You may have been asked this before, but what do you think of the following?
Thanks, an interested forumite
Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:24 PM
The product appears to be perfectly fine, but if the idea is to improve dopamine levels in the brain, I could not recommend it.
Dopamine is produced in various areas of the body (including the gut) and is used in those areas. The area of the brain that ceases to produce dopamine is closely guarded; any dopamine produced elsewhere cannot cross this barrier, called the "blood-brain barrier."
Thus, while Dopavite may well contain nutrients needed in dopamine production, the problem is that the dopamine is not produced in the brain, and cannot get across the blood-brain barrier to the brain where it's needed.
I wish I could offer more encouraging news; and certainly, as news articles and promising research come up, I will post them. I'm very glad you're investigating, and seeking good information -- this proactive approach is vital in managing PD. Keep up the good work!
Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:15 AM
The formation of dopamine needed to rid Parkinson's Disease is produced in the dopaminergic neurons, which are found primarily in the brain.
Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:30 AM
You are partly right. Some nutrients do cross the blood-barrier (BBB). But, for example, iron -- which is a component of dopavite -- does not. Nor does the dopamine resulting from use of dopavite.
The reason people with PD take levodopa instead of dopamine is that dopamine cannot cross the BBB.
Use of dopavite might encourage production of dopamine, in many different parts of the body. But neither its iron nor the resulting dopamine can get into the brain for use as a neurotransmitter. That is why I cannot recommend use of dopavite for those with PD.
A further concern is that upon autopsy abnormal iron deposits are found in the brains of those with PD. The reason for this is not clearly understood.
Iron is a powerful pro-oxidant, implicated in diseases such as heart disease. People over age 50 are advised not to take iron supplements unless they have iron-deficiency anemia.
For these reasons, I do not advise people with PD to take iron supplements unless their doctor prescribes it.
Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:10 AM
The function of the mitochondria that form part of every cell in the brain contain iron-sulfur proteins. Many other metabolic functions in the brain require iron as a cofactor. Iron must therefore be able to enter the brain in order to fulfill these functions.
The Nobel Prize winning study by Udenfriend published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry showed that the endogenous biosynthesis of L-dopa in the brain required iron as an essential cofactor. Without ferrous iron, L-dopa simply can not be produced. Iron must therefore be able to pass the blood brain barrier in order to fulfill this function. It is normally only larger molecules, such as dopamine, proteins and certain drugs that can not pass the blood brain barrier.
The site for the formation of dopamine that relieves Parkinson's Disease is in the dopaminergic neurons in the brain. The substances contained in the Dopavite do not form dopamine and then enter the brain. They enter the brain and then form dopamine, because that is where dopamine is primarily biosynthesized. The blood brain barrier does not restrict the access of any of the constituents for them to be able to do this.
When the Birkmayers tested the use of iron in Parkinson's Disease in two studies involving 110 patients, every one of those patients reduced their symptoms, due to iron being essential for the formation of L-dopa in the brain.
Claims that there are abnormal deposits of iron in Parkinson's Disease do not stand up to scrutiny. They have been misrepresented in published literature. I have read the results section of the studies that claim this. They did not match the claims being made. Iron had not accumulated in most people with Parkinson's Disease. Those that had higher levels of iron had only marginally higher levels that when age controlled were not siginificant. If iron accumulation could cause Parkinson's Disease, all people with Hereditary Hemochromatosis would have Parkinson's Disease, because people with HH abnormally accumulate iron. However, in a study in Ireland, where HH is at its worst, nobody with HH was found to Parkinson's Disease.
What people are recommended for heart disease is irrelevant, because of the entirely different biochemistry of the two disorders.
Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:53 PM
Please re-read my previous post. I did not state that iron is not contained in the brain. I stated that it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
To be more precise, ionic iron cannot cross either the wall of the small intestine, nor the blood-brain barrier, by passive diffusion.
In order to be utilized as a nutrient, it is actively transported into the mucosal cells of the small intestine, where it binds to a carrier protein, ferritin. When needed, it then binds to transferrin in the blood. If iron were allowed to pass through the body on its own, it would cause oxidative destruction wherever it went.
For its own protection, therefore, the brain is tightly guarded from passive diffusion of iron – and most other substances. This includes dopamine. Dopamine cannot pass into the brain, but levodopa can; and in the brain, is converted to dopamine.
The components of Dopavite are all readily found in a good diet. There is, therefore, absolutely no reason that I can see to purchase the product. It would cost about $20.00 for a 15-day supply (taking 4 tablets a day, as recommended), an amount which would be put to better use by the purchase of groceries.
Again, I do not recommend use of iron supplements by persons over age 50, and this includes the iron in Dopavite supplements. The sole exception would be persons who experience iron-deficiency anemia.
Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:01 PM
The claim you made was that iron can not enter the brain. That is plainly false as can be seen from the following study, which is one of many :
I can provide dozens more if necessary.
Iron is well known to be essential to the function of every cell in the brain. It must be able to enter the brain for it to have such widespread functions. How can iron be part of the essential function of the brain if it can not even get there, which is what you are claiming ???
The Dopavite constituents could be obtained in the diet, but they rarely are in sufficient quantities, as has been demonstrated in published surveys of older people, who are the most prone to Parkinson's Disease. L-tyrosine and iron especially were found to be commonly insufficient in the elderly.
If the claim was made that every nutrient can be obtained in the diet, nobody would ever be deficient in nutrients - even though most people are - often very severely.
If you claim that somebody could obtain the same quantities of the same substances in the diet, then please detail a diet, with quantities that you believe could achieve this. I have full details of the nutrient quantities in every food. I will check to see if the quantities of the nutrients in your proposed diet provides the correct intake.
Iron is known to be the essential cofactor of L-dopa biosynthesis. If the administration of iron would be detrimental or can not possibly lead to the formation of the dopamine with which to relieve Parkinson's Disease, which is what you are suggesting, how can you explain the Birkmayer studies on 110 people with Parkinson's Disease using iron, in which every single patient reduced their Parkinson's Disease symptoms from between 10% to 70% ?
Posted 17 February 2008 - 02:58 PM
For reasons not apparent to me, you continue to mis-read my posts. The concern is not whether Dopavite - or diet - provides the nutrients needed to make dopamine. Both do. The concern is that providing the nutrients does not solve the problem; the brain still is unable to produce the dopamine.
The further question is whether or not Dopavite is helpful for those with PD. The website does not demonstrate this.
Studies of the nutrients found in Dopavite (displayed on the website) are not evidence that Dopavite itself has benefit. For example, the website cites:
FOLIC ACID : American journal of clinical nutrition  50 : 353 (C.E.Butterworth Jnr, T.Tamura)
This is merely a study on the safety of folic acid, having nothing whatsoever to do with Parkinson’s disease or Dopavite. These unrelated studies of folic acid, pyridoxine, iron, etc. have no bearing on the use of Dopavite in treating PD.
Evidence of benefit requires study of the Dopavite itself in well-conducted clinical research with human subjects. I see no such studies on the website.
If you wish to demonstrate that Dopavite has value for those with PD, please provide scientific studies demonstrating that Dopavite – the product itself – will afford quantifiable improvement of PD symptoms.
Without such evidence I cannot support any claims of benefit from use of Dopavite. To do otherwise would be an injustice to people with PD.
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