Archive for Scientific Studies Linking RLS and Inflammation

“Acupuncture and Herbs Relieve Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)” by HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute

acupuncture1Acupuncture and herbs alleviate restless leg syndrome (RLS). Researchers tested two forms of treatments and the findings indicate that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is both safe and effective for the treatment of RLS. The total effective rate for acupuncture plus herbs was 95.24%.  

Restless leg syndrome (a.k.a. Willis-Ekbom disease) is characterized by a need to move the legs. The symptoms are typically worse at night and tend to lessen upon movement. An uncomfortable feeling in the legs including aching, pulling, itching, and a crawling sensation are characteristic of RLS.

The etiology of RLS is often considered unknown in biomedicine, however, several causes and exacerbating factors are known. Iron deficiency is common among RLS sufferers and is correlated with restless leg syndrome. Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney diseases are correlated with RLS. Pregnancy related RLS typically occurs in the third trimester and usually resolves approximately one month after delivery. Several types of medications are linked to RLS including certain antiemetics, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, RLS is closely related to Zang-Fu organ imbalances, especially in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Treatment principles including balancing yin and yang, promoting qi and blood circulation, nourishing the spleen, dredging the sanjiao meridian, and regulating the du and ren channels.

Two forms of acupuncture were tested for efficacy: body style acupuncture, eye region acupuncture. Both forms of acupuncture proved effective. The body style acupuncture included needling of the following acupoints:

Baihui, DU20
Sishenchong, extra
Fengchi, GB20
Anmian, extra
Shanzhong, REN17
Shenmen, HT7
Neiguan, PC6
Xuehai, SP10
Zusanli, ST36
Sanyinjiao, SP6
Taixi, KD3
Taichong, LV3

acupuncture2Mild reinforcing and reducing techniques were applied to acupuncture needles of 0.5 to 1.0 inches in length. Stimulation was applied to elicit deqi. Needle retention time was forty minutes per acupuncture session. Ten acupuncture treatments were applied to each participant in a period between ten and twenty days. Eye region acupuncture was applied to the following eye micro-acupuncture points: xiaojiao, liver, kidney, heart. The same frequency of treatment and session duration applied to the eye micro-acupuncture protocol of care.

Herbal medicine was given to participants receiving either type of acupuncture. The herbal formula was based on Jia Wei Xiao Yao Tang and additional herbs were added based on diagnostics. The base formula included:

Mu Dan Pi
Zhi Zi
Fu Ling
Bai Zhu
Dang Gui
Bai Shao Yao
Bo He
Gou Qi Zi
Ju Hua
Shu Di Huang
Shan Yao
Shan Zhu Yu
Ze Xie
Bai Ji Li
Zhen Zhu Me
Gui Ban
Quan Xie
Zhi Me
He Huan Pi
He Shou Wu

Additional herbs were added based on two criteria. For patients with loose stool and undigested food, Chen Pi and Bai Bian Dou were added. For patients with sticky stool, herbs were added and subtracted from the formula. Gou Qi Zi, Shan Yao, and Shan Zhu Yu (Shan Yu Rou) were supplanted with Che Qian Zi, Huang Lian, and Mu Xiang. The herbal formulas for all patients were brewed each day and served in the morning and at night.

RLS_acupointsThe high total effective rate of 95.24% for acupuncture plus herbal medicine treatments indicates that this approach to care is effective for patients with RLS. Acupuncture continuing education research focusing on additional TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) protocols of care will help to codify acupuncture and herbal medicine standards. The influences of du, taiyang, and shaoyang channel blockages on restless leg syndrome are important factors according to TCM principles. Qi and blood stasis affecting these channels due to disorders such as lumbar disc compression, IVF (intervertebral foramina) encroachment, immobility of the sacroiliac joint, and other local concerns affecting acupuncture channels of the legs warrants additional research.

References:
“Eye acupuncture and combined acupuncture and medicine in the treatment of 23 patients with restless legs syndrome.” Qin HJ. (2014). World Latest Medicine Information. 14(36).

“Restless legs syndrome categorization, diagnosis and treatment.” Wang XD. (2006). Chinese Journal of Geriatrics. 25(7): 488-490.

You can read the full article here:
http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1576-acupuncture-and-herbs-relieve-restless-leg-syndrome-rls

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A Japanese Study Has Found an Association Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

sleepcoverDr. Terumi Higuchi of the Department of Nephrology, Keiai Hospital, Tokyo Japan, headed a recent study to determine if there was an association between RLS, oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

The results of the study were published in the August 2015 edition of the “Sleep Medicine Journal” (Volume 16, Issue 8, Pages 941–948).

The study was called “Association of restless legs syndrome with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis”

In the HIGHLIGHT section of the study, Dr. Higuchi states that “Restless legs syndrome was associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.”

You can read more details about the study here:
http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457%2815%2900746-7/abstract?cc=y=

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A Turkish Study Reveals a LINK Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

Tezcan KayaDr. Tezcan Kaya works in the Department of Internal Medicine at Sakarya University in Adapazar, Turkey. He headed a study that was recently published in the May 29, 2015 edition of the Japanese journal “Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis”

The article was called “Relationships Between Malnutrition, Inflammation, Sleep Quality, and Restless Legs Syndrome in Hemodialysis Patients.”

Unfortunately for him, the study didn’t turn up the link he was hoping to find between malnutrition and RLS in Hemodialyis patients.

However he did state in the article that “RLS severity is correlated with inflammatory parameters.”

In non-medical terms, what he’s saying is that “when there is a higher degree of inflammation, there tends to be a higher degree of RLS.”

This completely falls in line with the formula I’ve been hitting people over the head with for the last several years:

   “LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RLS.”

Hopefully someone will pick up on Dr. Tezcan’s findings and do some further testing.

You can read the abstract from the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031339

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A Wayne State Study is Testing the Effects of Tocotrienols (from Palm Oil) on Restless Legs Syndrome

palm-oil-fruitINTRODUCTION:

For many years I’ve waited with great hope that some day there would be a study to test the effectiveness of a natural anti-inflammatory on patients with RLS. Today, I’m extremely excited to announce that dream is coming true!

The article below gives details on a study that is underway that is going to test the effect of powerful anti-inflammatories called “Tocotrienols” on End-Stage Renal Disease (Kidney Disease) and at the same time they are going to measure its effect on Restless Legs Syndrome.

After the article I have posted some details on what Tocotrienols are, and how their anti-inflammatory benefits have tested in regard to other medical conditions.

THE STUDY:

“A team of researchers led by Pramod Khosla, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and food science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University, will study the effects of a daily supplement of a Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil to see if it improves dyslipidemia, a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism that may be manifested by a decrease in the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in patients with ESRD who are on hemodialysis. Tocotrienols are a form of Vitamin E and have been shown in recent years to have diverse health effects. In addition, Khosla’s team will explore the impact on symptoms such as inflammation and symptoms related to Restless Leg Syndrome in the same cohort of patients.

Khosla believes that the supplement will also act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient, leading to improved nutritional status, lipid profiles, and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in the ESRD patients.

The three-year study, funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, a premier government agency of Malaysia, will take place in multiple dialysis centers in the United States and Malaysia. The cross-collaboration will allow the investigators to evaluate differences in dietary patterns of 800 dialysis patients in the two countries. With the patient pool in Michigan of predominantly African Americans and Caucasians and the Malaysian cohort comprised of three distinct ethnicities – Malays, Chinese and Indians – the investigators hope to shed light on possible genetic and metabolic differences in the dialysis populations. Additionally, as a significant proportion of dialysis patients suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome — an unpleasant tingling or cramping sensation that impacts the quality of life — the investigators hope to shed some light on the underlying causes for the condition.redpalmoil

“End-stage renal disease patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis experience a higher risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, Restless Leg Syndrome, insomnia and other health issues,” said Khosla. “In this study, we hope to see significant improvements in various biomarkers that should help decrease some of these complications.”

Dr. James Sondheimer, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at WSU stated “We hope to gain a better understanding of how tocotrienols, as substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, affect clinical outcomes as well as metabolic parameters.”

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-07/wsu–wss071315.php

ABOUT TOCOTRIENOLS:

Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family. An essential nutrient for the body, vitamin E is made up of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). Tocotrienols are potent gene regulators and modulators of many enzymes involved in human health, helping to quash the inflammation, glycation, and other processes that contribute to age-related diseases. Tocotrienols are increasingly being recognized for their potential roles in protecting against cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even osteoporosis.

Tocotrienols are natural compounds found in select vegetable oils, including rice bran oil and palm oil, wheat germ, barley, saw palmetto, anatto, and certain other types of seeds, nuts, grains, and the oils derived from them. This variant of vitamin E typically only occurs at very low levels in nature.

In studies, Tocotrienols reduced plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is both a marker of and a cause in the inflammatory response that damages heart and blood vessels. They reduce other inflammatory mediators such as cytokines.

Tocotrienols are potent antioxidants, which appear to reduce the oxidant-induced inflammation that contributes to bone loss.

553f63ad3015dedf22d0017954155678Tocotrienols given to mice with pancreatic cancer significantly improved their survival. Only 10% of animals in the control group survived for the study period while 70% of those taking tocotrienols survived!1 Pancreatic cancer is a particularly fast-moving and lethal form of cancer, and this study presents a promising new treatment option. Beyond cancer, research is showing that tocotrienols have a place in reducing important risk factors for some of the most lethal chronic diseases. For example, tocotrienols have been found to promote new artery formation after a stroke, lower homocysteine levels, improve insulin sensitivity, protect vital brain circuitry, and even prevent bone loss.

In a study using rabbits, tocotrienol supplementation, after a high-fat diet, significantly lowered a host of markers of both inflammation and heart muscle damage.

Through studies, tocotrienols have been closely linked to neuroprotection through their potent antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to redirect the production of inflammatory molecules to non- or even anti-inflammatory actions.

SOURCES:

“Tocotrienol” Wikipedia  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocotrienol
“The Little-Known Benefits Of Tocotrienols” by Thomas Rosenthal http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2014/8/the-little-known-benefits-of-tocotrienols/page-01
Prasad K. Tocotrienols and cardiovascular health. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(21):2147-54.
Das S, Mukherjee S, Lekli I, et al. Tocotrienols confer resistance to ischemia in hypercholesterolemic hearts: insight with genomics. Mol Cell Biochem. 2012 Jan;360(1-2):35-45. Nazrun AS, Norazlina M, Norliza M, Nirwana SI. The anti-inflammatory role of vitamin e in prevention of osteoporosis. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2012;2012:142702.
Nizar AM, Nazrun AS, Norazlina M, Norliza M, Ima Nirwana S. Low dose of tocotrienols protects osteoblasts against oxidative stress. Clin Ter. 2011;162(6):533-8.
Muhammad N, Luke DA, Shuid AN, Mohamed N, Soelaiman IN. Two different isomers of vitamin e prevent bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis rat model. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:161527.
Tiwari V, Kuhad A, Bishnoi M, Chopra K. Chronic treatment with tocotrienol, an isoform of vitamin E, prevents intracerebroventricular streptozotocin-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative-nitrosative stress in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Aug;93(2):183-9.
Kaileh M , Sen R. Role of NF-kappaB in the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3 Suppl):334S-339S.

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The Link Between Stroke, Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

11111ast-stroke-posterYou may have read about a new study that’s getting a lot of press. The study shows that severe Restless Legs Syndrome is linked to increased stroke.

Here is an excerpt about the study from an article written by Megan Brooks of MedScape.

“More severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) is associated with an increased risk for stroke, particularly ischemic stroke, a new analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study II suggests.

“We were surprised at the importance of taking into account RLS severity — it was only severe RLS, not milder RLS, that was associated with increased risk of stroke,” principal investigator Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University in University Park, said in a statement.”

You can read the full article here:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846486

This is not actually news. There was a study published in 2008 that demonstrated a powerful link between Stroke and Restless Legs Syndrome.

“A new US study has found that people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) have double the risk of stroke and heart disease compared to people without RLS. The study is the work of Dr John W Winkelman, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, and is published in the Janaury 1st 2008 issue of the journal Neurology.” from “Restless Legs Linked To Increased Stroke And Heart Disease Risk” by Catharine Paddock, Medical News Today
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/92849.php

As is the case with many other diseases and conditions, logic dictates that inflammation is the common link and points to the fact that RLS is an inflammatory condition and can therefore be treated if an anti-inflammatory protocol is set into motion.

In other words, stop eating crap that messes up your body.strokex216

Here are some quotes about the link between inflammation and stroke (for more information about the link between RLS and inflammation visit http://www.RLcure.com).

“Inflammation is an all encompassing term for a complex process that entails multiple cellular, hormonal and biochemical alterations that are both systemic and organ-specific. A panalopy of acute and chronic infections as well as many exogenous and intrinsic sources of inflammation is associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke.”  from “Inflammation and Stroke” by Bruce M. Coull, Arizona Health Science Center, University of Arizona, Department of Neurology

“Evidence continues to accumulate to suggest important roles for inflammation and genetic factors in the process of atherosclerosis and specifically in stroke. According to the current paradigm, atherosclerosis is not a bland cholesterol storage disease, as previously thought, but a dynamic, chronic, inflammatory condition due to a response to endothelial injury.”  from “Genetic and Inflammatory Mechanisms in Stroke” by Sally Sultan, MD, Columbia University Medical Center

“Recent work in the area of stroke and brain ischemia has demonstrated the significance of the inflammatory response accompanying necrotic brain injury. Acutely, this response appears to contribute to ischemic pathology, and anti-inflammatory strategies have become popular.”  from the study: “The Inflammatory Response in Stroke” by Qing Wang, MD et al. J Neuroimmunol. 2007 May 14.

“Exactly how inflammation plays a role in heart attack and stroke remains a topic of ongoing research. It appears that the inciting event in many heart attacks and some forms of stroke is buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in blood vessels.”
Deepak Bhatt, M.D, Chief of Cardiology for the VA Boston Healthcare System (from “Inflammation and Heart Disease” The American Heart Association)

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Restless Legs Symptoms Lessened with D-ribose

ATP_moleculeWhenever I run across something that has helped lessen a person’s RLS symptoms, whether it be a personal story or through a study, I know with 100% certainty that if I do a search on whatever it is they took to lessen their symptoms, that healing ingredient will have proven anti-inflammatory properties.

Such is the case with D-Ribose.

“D-Ribose is a naturally occurring five-carbon monosaccharide that is found in all living cells, and has anti-inflammatory effects in renal ischemia/reperfusion injury” (Ueki et al. 2013).

“D-ribose has anti-inflammatory activities and protects against damage mediated via inflammation.” from “D-ribose for energizing brain, autism and ADD/ADHD” by Dr. Anil Minocha, Board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Nutrition

I ran across a RLS study that was done in 2008 that showed great promise in a father and son with Restless Legs that were both given D-ribose.

I am going to post the results of the study followed by some basic information about what D-ribose is.

I realize in the great theater of science that this study doesn’t prove anything. However, to someone still suffering from RLS that is trying to find the slightest glimmer of hope, this is yet more evidence shining its light on the DIRECT LINK between RLS and INFLAMMATION.

STUDY: “D-ribose benefits restless legs syndrome.” (Shecterle et al. 2008).400x250xheart.jpg.pagespeed.ic.8Q2L_vwUPa

We report on two affected male individuals, a father and son, ages 71 and 47, from a family in which three generations carry the diagnosis. To evaluate any potential benefit of D-ribose in this condition, each individual orally consumed 5-g doses of D-ribose daily at different trial stages. Each stage lasted 3 weeks with a 2-week washout period between stages.

The initial stage involved a single 5 gm dose of D-ribose consumed at breakfast. Throughout the second stage, D-ribose was taken at breakfast and lunch. In the third stage, D-ribose was taken at all meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Diaries by the subjects pertaining to their documentation and severity of restless legs syndrome symptoms was compiled. During the initial stage both men reported a general feeling of more energy and less fatigue, most notably after exercise, without any significant changes in their symptoms.

With the increase in the daily dose of D-ribose, in the second stage, their leg twitching and the feeling to move during the day was reduced for 1 subject, and rarely present in the other. Both still experienced the unpleasant sensations during the night.

However, during the final stage, a further increase in the daily dose of D-ribose eliminated their daily symptoms and the symptoms at night were of a lesser degree and had a later occurrence. Both men reported that D-ribose did not totally eliminate their discomfort, but the severity and onset of symptoms affecting their quality of life was substantially improved with D-ribose without any adverse reactions.

Jacob-Teitalbaum-Photo“D-Ribose–The Natural Body Energizer” from “Fatigued to Fantastic!” by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. (2007)

In looking at energy production, it helps to look at the “energy molecules” such as ATP, NADH, and FADH. These represent the energy currency in your body, and are like the paper that money is printed on. You can have all the fuel you want, but if it cannot be converted to these molecules, it is useless!

For years, I talked about the importance of B vitamins, which are a key component of these molecules. These helped to a degree, but it was clear that a key component was missing. In looking at the biochemistry of these energy molecules, they are also made of 2 other key components-adenine and ribose. Adenine is plentiful in the body and supplementing with adenine did not help CFS. We then turned our attention to Ribose. Ribose is made in your body in a slow, laborious process and cannot be found in food. We knew that CFS/FMS causes your body to dump other key energy molecules like acetyl-l-carnitine. We then found that the body did the same with Ribose, making it hard to get your furnaces working again even after the other problems were treated.

This was like one of those “Eureka!” moments where things came together. Not having Ribose would be like trying to build a fire without kindling—nothing would happen. We wondered if giving Ribose to people with CFS would jump-start their energy furnaces. The answer was a resounding yes!

Our recently published study (see the study abstract in Appendix B) showed an average 44.7% increase in energy after only 3 weeks (improvement began at 12 days) and an average overall improvement in quality of life of 30%. Two thirds of the CFS/FMS patients felt they had improved.19 Usually a 10% improvement for a single nutrient is considered excellent. A 44.7% increase left us amazed, and I am now recommending Ribose for all of my CFS/FMS patients, for athletes, and any one with pain, fatigue or heart problems. Ribose recently became available (over the counter) to physicians, and is one of the few natural products actually starting with physicians and then moving out into health food stores.

It is critical to use the proper dose for the first 3 weeks, which is 5 grams (5000 mg) three times a day. It can then be dropped to twice a day. I recommend the Corvalen form of ribose as it is the least expensive and highest quality and is packaged with a 5 gm dosing scoop in it. One 280 gm container will be enough to tell you if it will work. Corvalen M (which has ribose plus magnesium and malic acid) is also available, but if you are also taking the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder (see chapter X), you are already getting the magnesium and malic acid, and the regular Corvalen is a better deal financially. Bioenergy, which makes Corvalen, also conducts almost all of the research on Ribose, knows the most about it, and has outstanding customer service in case you have any questions. Because of its importance, it’s worth looking at energy production and Ribose in greater detail. Having had the chance to explore the research and speak with a number of the researchers, below is what I’ve learned from them.

D-Ribose Accelerates Energy RecoveryRiboseChart2

D-Ribose (which is what I am referring to when I say ribose) is a simple, five-carbon sugar (known as a pentose by biochemists) that is found naturally in our bodies. But ribose is not like any other sugar. Sugars we are all familiar with, such as table sugar (sucrose), corn sugar (glucose), milk sugar (lactose), honey (predominantly fructose), and others are used by the body as fuel. These sugars are consumed and, with the help of the oxygen we breathe, are “burned” by the body to recycle energy. Because they are used excessively, they can also be toxic, as we’ve discussed earlier. Ribose, on the other hand, is special. When we consume ribose, the body recognizes that it is different from other sugars and preserves it for the vital work of actually making the energy molecule that powers our hearts, muscles, brains, and every other tissue in the body.

A key molecule, called adenosine triphosphate (or ATP for short), is known as the energy currency of the cell because the amount of ATP we have in our tissues determines whether we will be fatigued, or will have the energy we need to live vital, active lives. Ribose provides the key building block of ATP, and the presence of ribose in the cell stimulates the metabolic pathway our bodies use to actually make this vital compound. If the cell does not have enough ribose, it cannot make ATP. So, when cells and tissues become energy starved, the availability of ribose is critical to energy recovery.

Normal, healthy heart and muscle tissue has the capacity to make all the ribose it needs. When normal tissue is stressed by overexertion, several days of rest will usually allow it to fully recover. The muscle may be sore during recovery, as we frequently see for the three or four days after a hard day of yard work or after a weekend pick up football game, but eventually energy levels will be restored and the soreness will disappear. But when the muscle is chronically stressed by disease or conditions that affect tissue energy metabolism, the cells and tissues simply cannot make enough ribose quickly enough to recover. Hearts and muscles just don’t have the metabolic machinery they need to make ribose very efficiently. The result is chronic, persistent pain, stiffness, soreness, and overwhelming fatigue that may never go away.
The Link between Ribose, Energy, and Fatigue

Clinical and scientific research has repeatedly shown that giving ribose to energy deficient hearts and muscles stimulates energy recovery. One important study involved healthy athletes participating in high-intensity, endurance exercise over the course of one week. After exercise the energy level in the athlete’s muscle was reduced by almost 30%. Giving 10-grams of ribose per day for three days following exercise restored muscle energy levels to normal, while treatment with placebo provided virtually no effect.20 This study clearly showed that ribose stimulated the energy recovery pathways in the body, helping the muscle rebuild its energy supply quickly and completely. Even after three days of rest, muscle that was not treated with ribose remained energy starved and fatigued.

Two very interesting studies in animals showed how dramatic the effect of ribose could be on energy recovery in fatigued muscle. These studies were conducted by Dr. Ron Terjung, one of the top muscle physiologists in the U.S. In their research, Dr. Terjung and his co-investigators found that ribose administration in fatigued muscle increased the rate of energy recovery by 340% to 430%, depending on which type of muscle was tested.21 He also found that even very small amounts of ribose had the effect of helping the muscle cell preserve energy, a process known as energy salvage, and the higher the ribose dose, the more dramatic the effect on energy preservation.22 Although this groundbreaking research was done in animals it was instrumental in defining the biochemistry and physiology associated with the use of ribose in overcoming heart and muscle fatigue. But most of us with CFS and FMS are neither top athletes nor animals, so the question remains, “How will ribose affect me?”

D-Ribose-ArticleResearch in Ribose and CFS/FMS began with a case study that was published in the prestigious journal Pharmacotherapy in 2004.23 This case study told the story of a veterinary surgeon diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For months, this dedicated doctor found herself becoming more and more fatigued, with pain becoming so profound she was finally unable to stand during surgery. As a result, she was forced to all but give up the practice she loved.

Upon hearing that a clinical study on ribose in congestive heart failure was underway in the university where she worked, she asked if she could try the ribose to see if it might help her overcome the mind-numbing fatigue she experienced from her disease. After three weeks of ribose therapy she was back in the operating room, practicing normally with no muscle pain or stiffness, and without the fatigue that had kept her bedridden for many months.

Being a doctor, she was skeptical, not believing that a simple sugar could have such a dramatic effect on her condition. Within two weeks of stopping the ribose therapy, however, she was out of the operating room and back in bed. So, to again test the theory, she began ribose therapy a second time. The result was similar to her first experience, and she was back doing surgery in days. After yet a third round of stopping (with the return of symptoms) and starting (with the reduction of symptoms) the ribose therapy, she was convinced, and has been on ribose therapy since that time.

I found this report intriguing and decided to design the larger study in patients with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome which I began to discuss earlier. Along with two research collaborators, I recently published a scientific paper describing the results of this research. The study we designed was intended to determine whether or not ribose would be effective in relieving the overwhelming fatigue, pain, soreness, and stiffness suffered by patients having this debilitating condition. Our study included 41 patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome who were given ribose at a dose of 5-grams three times per day for an average of three weeks. We found the ribose treatment led to significant improvement in energy levels, sleep patterns, mental clarity, pain intensity, and well being. Of the patients participating in the study, 65.7 % experienced significant improvement while on ribose, with an average increase in energy of 44.7% and overall well being of 30%- remarkable results from a single nutrient! 19 The only significant side effects were that 2 people felt too energized and hyper/anxious on the ribose. This is simply dealt with by lowering the dose and/or taking it with food.

To further validate these findings, we are currently conducting a much larger placebo controlled study, and hope to have theimages results published in the coming year. Interestingly, one of our study patients had an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. Ribose is outstanding in the treatment of heart disease as well, because it restores energy production in the heart muscle. Because of this, it was not surprising that this man’s atrial fibrillation also went away on the ribose and he was able to stop his heart medications as well! Because of its importance and the research showing marked heart muscle dysfunction (because of low energy) in CFS, let’s look at Ribose and the heart in more detail.

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“Is Vitamin D Deficiency to Blame for Your Restless Legs?” by Dr. Robert Rosenberg, The Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff

vitamindEditor’s Note: Please understand that although I publish any  hopeful information I can when it comes to natural remedies for RLS, I still stand firm in the belief that INFLAMMATION is the cause of RLS. So, a Vitamin D deficiency may be the cause (or may contribute) for some people, while others it may be a Vitamin B12 deficiency, for other an Iron deficiency, for others a Magnesium deficiency … and in most cases, just bad eating habits and stress.

They have yet to identify inflammation as being the real problem, and the ways that the inflammation is created, as being secondary. I don’t mean secondary as being ” less important,” what I mean is that you first have to identify the problem, admit that it exists, before the REAL healing can start. Once you have identified the problem, that your RLS is a symptom of the chronic inflammation in your body, then you can try and figure out how it got there, and how you can get rid of it.

As the saying goes “identifying the problem is HALF of the solution.”

However, instead of articles and studies that identify the real problem, what continually appears in the press are articles like the one below that attempts to identify the “ONE THING” that will set your legs free. They look for something we can BLAME it all on.

I totally agree with what Dr. Sircus stated in my previous post “no single medicine or nutritional agent has the power to both treat and prevent chronic inflammatory conditions.”

In other words, yes, a Vitamin D deficiency is inflammatory, and should be avoided at all costs. However, taking Vitamin D is not going to “cure” you if you are still leading an inflammatory lifestyle (including stress) or are consuming inflammatory foods.

Here is the article by Dr. Rosenburg:vitamindmonth2

“Within the past few years there have been several studies linking vitamin D to various sleep disorders. This connection is not surprising since vitamin D is involved in the regulation of calcium, phosphorous, and bone growth, as well as muscle function, immune regulation, and brain function.

There have also been studies linking vitamin D deficiency to sleepiness and enlarged tonsils in children, resulting in pediatric sleep apnea. Among the newer studies released, one of the most interesting studies is a new study, published August 2014 in the journal Sleep Breath titled The Effect of Vitamin D Supplements on the Severity of Restless Legs Syndrome, which links vitamin D deficiency to restless legs syndrome (RLS).

The study followed 12 subjects, all of whom were diagnosed with both primary RLS (meaning there was no other obvious cause) and vitamin D deficiency. All 12 patients were treated with vitamin D. After their levels returned to normal, they were reassessed. The severity of their RLS also significantly improved after treatment, causing the study authors to conclude that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with RLS.

This news comes on the heels of several other studies that have shown low levels of vitamin D in people with RLS.

vitd1There are many places in which you can find vitamin D. One source is our skin, which can produce vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods including:

Milk
Cheese
Eggs
Oily fish (salmon, cod, and mackerel)

Low levels of vitamin D can be caused by dark skin pigmentation, limited sunlight exposure, pregnancy, abnormal intestinal absorption, and some medications.

As a result of these studies — and several other studies correlating vitamin D to restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, excessive sleepiness, and nighttime muscle cramps – I intend to start checking my patient’s vitamin D levels more often. I am only sorry that I was not aware of this relationship before. Just a decade ago, most of us in sleep medicine would never have imagined that the same vitamin deficiency that can cause rickets and osteoporosis could be
involved in sleep disorders. Modern medicine never fails to amaze or humble me.”

7aa229a83d4c9bbb98f4434bf37fce83Dr. Robert Rosenberg first started practicing medicine in Chicago as an associate professor at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine where he taught students, interns, and residents and attended to patients. In 1982, he moved to Arizona and opened a private practice focusing on internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine. He continued to teach in Arizona and California. In recent years, he’s limited his practice to sleep medicine, and he’s also started writing, blogging, and lecturing on sleep. His expertise as a sleep physician has been featured in various publications, including Newsweek and Oprah Magazine, and he also serves as a forensic sleep medical consultant for legal cases. Dr. Rosenberg sees patients at his private practices, the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, both in northern Arizona. His first book is titled “Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day,”  

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