Melanin is a pigment located in the skin and in a deep part of the brain called the Substantia Nigra (SN). This area of the brain deteriorates in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Melanin production* deteriorates in the SN as PD progresses, and this may be a cause for progression of the disease.
Melanin may be able to split water (H2O) into molecular hydrogen and molecular oxygen. Molecular hydrogen is one of the strongest antioxidants that has been discovered and would not be produced with the loss of melanin. Environmental toxins have been thought to be one cause for deterioration of melanin. This results in the loss of the powerful antioxidant activity of molecular hydrogen in the brain.
CONCLUSION: “Restoring melanin function or providing supplemental molecular hydrogen might be potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease.”
NOTES: *Tyrosine amino acid, tyrosinase enzyme, and BH4 coenzyme are necessary for dopamine and melanin production. Glucosamine supplement inhibits tyrosinase activity in the skin and may in the brain. Melanin is a free radical scavenger. Vitex agnus casti and Boswellia serrate are herbs which increase dopamine activity.
The pharmaceutical treatment for PD has been l-DOPA which is converted to melanin in the brain. The immature seeds of Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean) were found to contain the highest amounts of l-DOPA. Roots and stems had the lowest. The young leaves of the plant contained the highest amounts of tyrosine hydroxylase enzyme. The activity of tyrosine hydroxylase was enhanced by low levels of iron and was inhibited by high levels of iron.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the author’s title of the article. Unfortunately, the free full article is not available. So, this summary is based on the abstract, only.
Rainbow Grocery sells the following products: Boswellia serrate, iron, Mucuna pruriens capsules, tyrosine, and Vitex Agnus Casti.