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May, 2004

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings

Volume 8, Issue No.5




— Natural Therapy for Parkinson's Disease
— Parkinson's Web Site Sources
— How to Avoid Parkinson's Disease
— Readers Respond to Questions
— Blessing for Physicians
— Coenzyme Q10
— Soul Unaffected By Bodily Ailments
— Attitude Is All
— Looking for Production Assistant
— Health for Humanity: Upcoming Conference
— Whole Foods Recipe Swap
— Readers Request Assistance
— Question of the Month
— Letters
— Purpose of the Newsletter/Subscriptions





At age 65, Mary Ann Sandt of Lake Crystal, Minnesota USA., was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Her first symptom had been a weakness in her right hand.

The disease slowly progressed and her symptoms worsened. "I couldn't dress myself, put on my earrings or roll over in bed," she said.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is described as a neurodegenerative disease whose symptoms are progressive tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, changes in posture and difficulties with walking. Typically, tremor begins on one side and often begins with the hand. It is a common disease. In the United States, alone, more than 1 million people have been diagnosed with the disease — about 1 to 2 cases per 1,000 individuals. The average age of onset is about 60, but it can be diagnosed as early as the third decade.

Sandt's neurologist prescribed the mainstay drug of treatment, the dopamine derivative, L-dopa (Sinemet). She got along well on that drug for about two years, she said.

"Then, dyskinesia set in," she said, referring to erratic, involuntary muscle spasms,. "For me, it was a side effect of the drug" Her neurologists wanted to give her more medications. "I couldn’t take them. My body reacted to the medications. . . ."

In 2000, she started a new, alternative treatment that had just begun to make inroads in some clinics and alternative healing centers. Pioneered by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida USA., it involves high doses of a potent antioxidant called glutathione, a dietary supplement given intravenously.

Glutathione is a naturally occurring chemical that recent studies have shown is greatly diminished in PD patients. Until now, the deficiency attracted little attention. For decades, the loss of dopamine in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra has been the primary focus of research and has led to an array of medications to provide symptomatic relief.

Perlmutter's anecdotal accounts of success with injectable glutathione can be found in his book, " Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders." Besides PD, he also discusses alternative treatments for Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, stroke, post-polio syndrome, ALS, and others.

"Glutathione is . . . . one of the most important brain antioxidants. .. . . glutathione helps to preserve brain tissue by preventing damage from free radicals — destructive chemicals formed by the normal process of metabolism, toxic elements in the environment, and as a normal response of the body to challenges by infectious agents or other stresses. . . . glutathione also acts to recycle vitamin C and E, which, because of their antioxidant activity, also reduce free radicals in the brain,” Perlmutter said in "Brain"

PD is "characterized by excessive free radical production coupled with deficient antioxidant defenses," he said.

Originally, Perlmutter used glutathione to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. When one of his CFS patients, who also had PD, showed dramatic improvements in his symptoms after receiving glutathione, Perlmutter researched the subject and found that a small study in Italy showed similar benefits. He began to administer glutathione to PD patients at the Naples, Fla. clinic.

"Since that time, we've amplified the protocol, increased the dosage and have now treated hundreds of Parkinson's patients successfully," Perlmutter said, in an article published at the Web site: His definition of success is that PD symptoms improve and many patients can reduce the dosage of dopamine-boosting drugs. Perlmutter received the Linus Pauling Award in May 2002 by the Institute for Functional Medicine on the basis of his research.

Other nutritional supplements Perlmutter recommends as part of the PD therapy regimen are alpha lipoic acid, vitamins E and C (two vitamins that have been shown to dramatically slow the disease’s onset), coenzyme Q-10, ginkgo biloba, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), N-acetyl-L-carnitine and phosphatidylserine, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, magnesium, folic acid, pyridoxine and niacin (as niacinamide, vitamin B3).

"Before I noticed a big change, it took about eight months,” Sandt said, of her glutathione treatments. She also continued taking Sinemet. "I think my husband saw more (improvement), but I was impatient. I could dress myself and was gradually improving. Every month was better. I was able to tolerate the medications."

"She used to just sit in a chair and shake. She was depressed," her husband, Robert Sandt, 73, said.

Treatments at the local chiropractor cost her $80 a session, and she received about two treatments per week. Medicare or health insurance does not cover the costs of treatments, she said. Then, in 2001, she and her husband decided to go to The Perlmutter Health Center.

"We thought it might improve it a little bit," she said. Because of the trip, she didn't take glutathione for 13 days but was still on her other medications.

"I started having trouble with tremors," she said, referring to the time period when she stopped taking glutathione. She was treated for two weeks at the health center. Each week she received three infusions, of 1,000 mg. per infusion.

Since then, "her progress has been remarkable," her husband said.

"There is no comparison. I'm even better than before. I can function and do everything I want to. I used to have trouble turning over in bed. Now, there is no tremor in my right hand and only a slight tremor in my left. People who see me don't know I have Parkinson's,” she said.

Sandt said about 75 percent of people with PD respond to glutathione. "Not everyone responds. People respond at different rates," she said.

It was not possible by publication date to obtain more than anecdotal information from staff at the Perlmutter center regarding percentages of patients who responded positively to glutathione. A receptionist said that 85 to 90 percent of their patients with PD responded positively and that 50 percent showed strong improvement.

Later, an office manager said: "Seventy percent of patients have some relief of symptoms and 30 percent showed improvement without relief of symptoms." When asked what that improvement consisted of, she pointed to the general benefits of the antioxidant, glutathione.

Currently, a double-blind study on the effects of glutathione in treating PD is being conducted at the University of Florida in Tampa, she said. The study is in its first year.

Sandt's initial costs for glutathione have reduced because her husband, who was trained at the Perlmutter center, now gives her the 15-minute intravenous treatments twice a week.

"I'm glad we can do it. If we want to go on vacation, we take the medication with us," she said. "It's not that hard. But I wish they had a patch."

An oral formulation of glutathione is currently being developed, according to Dr. Perlmutter, who was cited in a recent article published at

Perlmutter recommends that liquid glutathione should be administered, at least initially, by a qualified health care practitioner. He gives instructions for using glutathione in his book, as well as a source for the supplement. An instructional video for glutathione administration is available by calling iNutritionals at (800) 530-1982 or by visiting

The Sandts order injectable glutathione, a relatively inexpensive supplement, from Wellness Health and Pharmaceuticals in Birmingham, Ala.

(1-800-227-2627.) It must be refrigerated. Treatments cost her $26 per treatment, or roughly, $200 per month, she said, which include 20 cc syringes, short infusion needles and medication. The supplies are all sterile and for one-time use.

Today, Sandt is doing glutathione treatments twice a week and takes a special nutritional supplement called Brain Sustain, manufactured by NuHealth Manufacturing of Gig Harbor, Wash., which contains the above-mentioned supplements. She also remains on two drugs, Sinemet and Mirapax. Because of the glutathione, she has been able to reduce the more expensive Mirapax from nine pills to four pills per day, she said.

"I go dancing. I do more than people with arthritis. I very seldom feel tired,"” said Sandt, who also has a pacemaker. "I thank the Lord every day."

Another book by Dr. Perlmutter, "The Better Brain Book," will be available in August 2004.




"Well is it with the physician who cureth ailments in My hallowed and dearly-cherished Name." — (Baha'u'llah, from a Tablet, translated from the Arabic: Source: "Compilation of Compilations")



New Hope for People With Parkinson's



A powerful over-the-counter antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has demonstrated significant potential in several disease areas from cardiology to cataracts to cancer. And now new research suggests it could help bring new hope to those with Parkinson's disease (PD), the devastating neurodegenerative disease.

A study published in the journal Archives of Neurology suggests that coenzyme CoQ10 may be able to accomplish what current treatments for PD cannot; slow its progression. The ailment afflicts between one-million and 1 1?2 million Americans with 50,000 new cases reported every year.

PD causes tremor, muscle rigidity and movement problems. The underlying cause is the slow loss of neurons that produce dopamine, a brain chemical involved in movement. It usually starts with small tremors, then progresses to a shuffling gait and increasing weakness. There is no cure, and drug therapy tends to lose effectiveness over time.

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring compound produced within the body. CoQ10 (also known as Vitamin Q10) is biosynthesized from the amino acid Tyrosine and eight vitamins, which are tetrahydrobiopterin, vitamins B6, C, B2, B12, folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid. CoQ10 works by neutralizing molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are present in high levels in the energy-producing components of cells and can cause cell damage and death.

In PD, research has shown that this free radical damage is greater in the area of the brain responsible for movement control, which leads to cell death and development of the disease.

NOTE: Dr. Flint Beal, professor and chair of neurology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York said: "The dose that was used in the Parkinson's trial that shows the biggest effect is 1,200 milligrams per day."

Dr. Clark Hansen is President and Medical Director of the Arizona Institute of Natural Medicine. For more information go to







Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological disorder in which neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement deteriorate. The deterioration of the neurons results in a shortage of dopamine, a brain-signaling chemical, which causes problems with movement.

It is bad enough that we are using medications to control PD. Now, those who use them need to be concerned about gambling their life savings away in a real although rare side effect reported in the current issue of Neurology.

PD affects close to 1 million Americans. Symptoms, which typically progress over time, include tremor (trembling or shaking), slow movement, rigid limbs, stooped posture, an inability to move, reduced facial expressions and a shuffling gait. The condition can also cause depression, dementia, speech impairments, personality changes and sexual difficulties.

Most patients with PD are treated with drugs that can result in a range of side effects including:



Low blood pressure

Jerky movements




An inability to sleep

Dry mouth


Memory loss

Blurred vision

Skin rash

About five to 10 percent of patients with PD are prescribed antimuscarinic drugs to help control tremors, bladder problems and depression. According to one study, patients who had been on these drugs for more than two years had twice the level of brain protein clumps and tangles, which are characteristic of Alzheimer’s patients, as patients not taking the drugs. The finding has raised concern among scientists that antimuscarinic drugs could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Prevention is clearly the best option with Parkinson's disease. There are several steps you can take to minimize your chances of developing the disease.

Eat Fresh, Raw Vegetables

Studies have found that inadequate amounts of the B vitamin folate, known as folic acid, may raise the risk of Parkinson's disease. Fresh, raw vegetables are an excellent source of folic acid, and it’s easy to incorporate plenty of veggies into your diet if you try vegetable juicing.

Avoid Pesticides and Petrochemical Solvents

Exposure to pesticides, insecticides and herbicides have all been linked to Parkinson's disease, along with exposure to common petroleum-based hydrocarbon solvents such as paints and glues. If you live in an area that is conducting mosquito fogging for West Nile Virus, be sure to stay indoors to avoid getting a massive dose of pesticides.

When painting rooms in your house, use low-volatile paints and be sure you keep the windows open and have proper ventilation.

Avoid Excess Iron

Eating a diet too high in iron puts you at an increased risk of developing PD. While iron is a necessary part of staying healthy, too much iron can be devastating. Aside from the excess iron that can result from taking iron supplements, iron overload, or hemochromatosis, is actually the most common inherited disease.

Iron can contribute to oxidative stress, which results when cells release toxic substances known as free radicals. Oxidative stress can contribute to the degeneration of brain cells found in PD.

Measuring iron levels is a very important part of optimizing your health, especially for men and postmenopausal women since excess iron is most common among these groups. However, simply measuring serum iron is a poor way to do this because frequently the serum iron will be normal. The most useful of the indirect measures of iron status in the body is through a measure of the serum ferritin level in conjunction with a total iron binding level.

Avoid Excess Manganese

Manganese is similar to iron in that it can be harmful at excessive levels and can contribute to oxidative stress in the body. High amounts of manganese down-regulates serotonin and dopamine and high levels of manganese are often found in learning disabled or violent individuals. Although it has the potential to create major problems, the medical community pays very little attention to manganese toxicity.

By the time someone comes down with the disease, treatment can become more difficult. While I am not a fan of using supplements, it appears that CoQ10 may be useful for people with this disease.






Parkinson's Web-Site Sources

The following are Web site information sources for Parkinson's disease. Some are for nutrition and supplements; some have other information. I got this list from other dietitians. I haven't checked them out myself. — Janet DeLoughery


click "Living with Parkinson's"

click "Nutrition" to read past articles on fava beans and B-vitamin supplements as well as a column for the quarterly National Parkinson's Foundation “Parkinson's Report."

click the graphic for "Parkinson's Report"

click on Fall 2002 and forward, click on "Patient Services" also Fava Beans, levodopa and Parkinson's

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women with Parkinson's Disease: Yes or No?

You or your client can also join my online forum "Ask the Parkinson's Dietitian." Go to: Locate "Online Forums" and click on Ask the Parkinson’s Dietitian

Benefits of Tai Chi For People With Parkinson's

I am writing in response to the question about alternative Parkinson's treatments.

I used to play Tai Chi in Toronto with a Taoist Master. He had one person who had rather advanced Parkinson's disease — and she was fully mobile and agile well beyond her doctor's expectations.

I would recommend that the person with Parkinson's seek the tutelage of a master teacher — there are many less qualified instructors out there. But even with a "run of the mill" instructor, the person with Parkinson's would benefit from the gentle stretching and strengthening exercises that Tai Chi offers! In addition, there is tremendous benefit to the individual's balance.

I hope that this person is able to find support in living with this potentially difficult condition. — Sincerely, Susan Ludwig

Read "Lucky Man"

I suggest that the person with Parkinson's read "Lucky Man: A Memoir" by the award-winning actor, Michael J. Fox. He writes about the last 10 years, since he has been diagnosed with PD. The author's profits are donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Visit:

Help For Inflammation

Regarding the person seeking relief for inflammation: Try bromelain. I've found the brand Albi is the best and the strongest. If I use another brand, I have to use two (tablets) to get the same result that I get from Albi's one. It is made from pineapple and is also great for arthritis where there is swelling. And, it is great for sinuses. But it is absolutely fantastic for swellings.

Another remedy: The Chinese liquid rub, White Flower. It can help bones to knit and heal. — Adele Southall, Quesnel, BC

Editor's Note:

According to an Internet source, bromelain is the name of a group of powerful protein-digesting, or proteolytic, enzymes that are found in the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus). Discovered in 1957, and widely studied since then, bromelain is particularly useful for reducing muscle and tissue inflammation and as a digestive aid. Supplements are made from enzymes found in the pineapple stem.

Bromelain is a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory. It works by breaking down fibrin, a blood-clotting protein that can impede good circulation and prevent tissues from draining properly. Bromelain also blocks the production of compounds that can cause swelling and pain.

More Help For Inflammation

For inflammation, try vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids found together in cod liver oil (use the Carlson's brand). For burning nerve pain try homeopathic Hypericum. — Linda from Wichita, Kansas USA




"Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness." — "Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah", rev. ed. (Wilmette: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1983), sec. 80, pp. 153-54)




The following list was sent by a friend; we are not sure of the source.

The most destructive habit..................................Worry

The greatest joy..................................................Giving

The greatest loss.............................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work.......................Helping others

The ugliest personality trait..........................Selfishness

The most endangered species.............Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource.........................Our youth

The greatest "shot in the arm"...............Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome..........................Fear

The most effective sleeping pill................Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease.....................Excuses

The most powerful force in life..............................Love

The most dangerous pariah...........................A gossiper

The world's most incredible computer.............The brain

The worst thing to be without.... ...................... ....Hope

The deadliest weapon...................................The tongue

The two most power-filled words......................."I Can"

The greatest asset..................................................Faith

The most worthless emotion.............................Self-pity

The most beautiful attire................................ A SMILE

The most prized possession............................. Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication....Prayer

The most contagious spirit...........................Enthusiasm

Everyone needs this list to live by. Pass it along!





The newsletter is still in need of one person to be the Production and Circulation Assistant to help with mailouts and updating of the mailing list. There is more information about this position at the end of this newsletter.





The 2004 Health for Humanity Conference will be held June 17 - 20 on the campus of the National Louis University, Evanston, Illinois USA. All Health for Humanity members, members-in-training, supporters, and anyone interested in health development in the US and around the world, are welcome. Registration is extended to May 28.

Link to their Web site's on-line registration page, at Print and fax the registration form to us at 847-425-7901. Or, send an e-mail with your registration information to them at

Editor's Note: Health for Humanity (HH), a volunteer-based organization, is a not-for-profit charitable corporation created to enable all interested professionals to offer their services for the promotion of community health throughout the world. Their Web site is at:

Established in 1992, the HH founders are inspired by the vision of the organic oneness of humankind upheld by the Baha'i Faith. HH seeks world-embracing solutions for the economic, environmental, political, social and spiritual crises of our times.

The major goal of HH is to facilitate grassroots health development through partnership with local institutions focused on training and building capacity. The human and financial resources of HH come from members, supporters and partners throughout the world.





A Simple Salad Dressing

Here is a simple, light salad dressing to make in a jiffy. It should be plenty for a medium-sized salad that might serve four people.

1/4 cup olive

1 tablespoon water

Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Herb salt (I like Herba Mare brand) or sea salt, to taste Coarse or fine black pepper, to taste 1 garlic glove, pressed Pinch of crushed, dried basil (optional)

Pour olive oil in bowl or liquid measuring cup, and add water. Whisk oil and water with a whisk or fork. Add lemon juice, herb salt, pepper, garlic (squeezed in a garlic press) and dried basil. I grow and dry my own basil, and the flavor is superior to store-bought kinds. Sometimes I add a touch of Tamari soy sauce, but not too much. You may want to use more or less lemon juice and garlic, as you prefer. You can add other herbs if you like. I make it fresh each time. Nothing fancy, but we love it. — Salad Lover




Recently I've read and heard about the following three diet supplements that aid in improving brain function: alpha lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine and phosphatidyl serine complex. Does anyone know if these supplements are effective, do any harm, or anything else about them? — Louis Offstein




Obesity is a huge problem in the United States and elsewhere. Countless programs and articles have been written about this illness that causes so many health problems like diabetes and heart disease. There are so many conflicting diets. Would someone share their story about their personal struggles with beign obese/overweight and what did or didn't work for you? Thank you!




Dear Editor:

Thank you for keeping the newsletter going. You are doing a very, very good job! — Adele Southall, Quesnel, BC

Dear Adele:

And, thank you for your contribution in this issue, regarding inflammation and bromelain. Readers like you make this newsletter responsive and a service to others. — L.A




All of us have had healing experiences — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Please share your stories and other ideas about staying healthy in a stressful world. Your articles do not have to be long — just a few paragraphs will suffice. Encouragement is a big part of a healthy lifestyle, and sharing stories and ideas that work for you brings encouragement to others.




You can visit the web site, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at:




"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to physical and spiritual health. Other than the quoted Holy Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. None of the material published in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for the advice of your physician. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Freedom, Maine, USA.


Many thanks to all of you who share helpful ideas for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. We welcome submissions from everyone. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.

Please e-mail your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to newsletter editor Lynn Ascrizzi, at:


Please e-mail all new subscriptions, subscription cancellations and e-mail address changes (please include old address along with new one) to --



The newsletter is still in need of one person to be the Production and Circulation Assistant to help with mailouts and updating of the mailing list. This person would be responsible for sending the newsletter to readers each month (10 issues per year; it is not published during July or August), updating e-mail addresses and adding/deleting subscribers. This person must know Microsoft Outlook 2000, should have good computer skills and be well-organized, orderly, and efficient. This task requires about four to five hours per month. If you are interested to serve in this voluntary position for the newsletter, please contact -- Thank you!.

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