Parkinson’s Bites number 1

A series of advice on nutrition for People with Parkinson’s (PwP).

blood d3 levels

Since I first mentioned vitamin D3 in our newsletter in edition number 6 research has continued to uncover even more about this substance which for decades was considered to be a minor player in the vitamin ‘orchestra’, but is now recognised as being very important to many aspects of our health and longevity. People with Parkinson’s (PwP) need to take extra care with ensuring their D3 levels are adequate. Read the following to find out why

The list above shows levels of D3 which are considered to be adequate and levels that are deficient (according to UK researchers). The list below shows the blood test results of a friend with Parkinson’s whose name must remain confidential but rest assured these tests are genuine. This person is a fascinating, highly intelligent person that always passes on new information that may be useful to us.

The potentially alarming thing about these results is the fact that living without taking a supplemental dose of vitamin D3 saw the subjects’ blood serum levels of D gradually decline until they had reached a deficient level. Living in a cave or in higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere in winter (such as Finland, Siberia etc.) it could be expected that lack of sunlight would see this happen.


Result (nmol/L)




Results part of General Health Check

Vit D3 supplement prescribed : Adcal-D3 tablet

1500mg/ 400 i.u. twice per day



Prescription halted; results within adequate range



Vit D3 levels insufficient despite regular daily exposure to daylight on extended basis (training walks, gardening )

Resume Adcal-D3 1500mg/ 400 i.u. twice per day



within adequate range; prescription continued

On the opposite side of the coin, during summer these places have 24 hour daylight which would restore their reserves of D because, as we know, most of the D in our bodies is generated by exposure of our skin to sunlight. But not so fast! Comparing this Parkinson’s person to non-Parkinson’s subjects we see that this person was outdoors in the sun a lot yet their blood levels of D steadily declined and could conceivably have fallen to dangerously low levels.

Immune system a

Vitamin D actually functions as a hormone in our bodies and things such as the immune system depend heavily on it (see immune function chart)  and calcium balance between blood and bones are just a few of the functions which require adequate levels of D, so we cannot afford to take this lightly.

The above results clearly proved to the doctor administering these tests that stopping the prescription once adequate levels had been attained would be a bad idea as blood levels would just fall away again. This problem of low blood levels of D despite exposure to enough sunlight to generate sufficient levels in non-Parkinson’s subjects is not unique to this individual. Studies show it is commonplace among PwP.

I have studied many D3 findings on the internet; some mention Parkinson’s and also Multiple Sclerosis as health problems that often have low blood levels of D, and many studies mention dozens of other potential health problems. One question that so far defies an answer is this: Does having Parkinson’s cause low levels of D in our blood, or does something else cause the low levels which then go on to influence our Parkinson’s problems?

food chain
Vitamin D effect

To summarise the present thinking on D3 please follow the link below; it does not specifically mention PD or MS but does tell us a lot about D3 in a way that is not too technical to follow.

And finally, many of us have trouble swallowing tablets, so things such as Adcal that doctors may prescribe can be a frightening chore to take. You can buy liquid supplements that contain D3, or vitamin K, or calcium, or even complete multi-vitamin/mineral supplements (I take one myself). Easy enough to find if you look for them (keep your doctor informed if you want to try any of these supplements).

Want to know more about nutrition and PwP? Or can you teach me and the other readers of this blog something new? Then bring it on – that’s what this is here for!





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