Why Taking Vitamin B6 to Counteract Carbidopa Will Not Work
WARNINGS --- LODOSYN (Carbidopa) has no antiparkinsonian effect
Parkinson’s disease is a severely debilitating neurodegenerative disease. Carbidopa decreases the amount of L-dopa needed by 75% to 80%. The weight of a carbidopa molecule is about the same as a vitamin B6 molecule. For every milligram of carbidopa taken one milligram of vitamin B6 or vitamin B6 dependent enzyme is irreversible and permanently removed from the system. Considering all the potential problems that can occur when carbidopa induces vitamin B6 depletion, “Why not simply take vitamin B6 with your Sinemet (carbidopa/L-dopa) or Madopar (benserazide/L-dopa)?
The answer is, properly think out what will happen if you take vitamin B6 with carbidopa or benserazide. For this illustration, we will assume that the patient is taking four pills of 25/100 carbidopa/L-dopa each day. The patient is getting 100 mg of carbidopa and 400 mg of L-dopa each day.
We assume that the only vitamin B6 taken is the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA) of about 2 mg per day. From the first day, the 100 mg of carbidopa is removing 98 mg of vitamin B6 from the system. Many would assume that the magical fix is to take 100 mg of vitamin B6 with the 100 mg of carbidopa to prevent depletion. It is not that simple, consider the following.
Carbidopa removes vitamin B6 from the system. Vitamin B6 removes carbidopa from the system. If you take enough vitamin B6 to compensate for the vitamin B6 removed by the carbidopa what do you have? Taking 100 mg per day of vitamin B6 while taking 100 mg per day of carbidopa leaves the system with “naked L-dopa,” i.e., L-dopa with no carbidopa. So, what are the consequences of this?
The patient was initially taking 100 mg of carbidopa with 400 mg of L-dopa each day. Remove carbidopa from the system and the patient will then need to take 1,600 mg to 2,000 mg of naked L-dopa to get the same effects observed when the patient was taking 100 mg of carbidopa to 400 mg of L-dopa. So, where will this patient get 1,600 mg to 2,000 mg of L-dopa? The obvious answer is to increase the Sinemet or Madopar daily dose to the point where daily intake is 1,600 mg to 2,000 mg of L-dopa. The next problem is the patient will be taking 400 mg to 500 mg of carbidopa per day and will need to increase the daily dose of vitamin B6 to 400 mg to 500 mg per day.
The real problem is patients with Parkinson’s disease who self-treat (including medical doctors who self-treat) do not have a clue what it means to achieve optimal relief of symptoms. The sad part is most Parkinson’s disease patients see their neurologist once every six months. At every visit, the patient is not markedly better. In general, patients are worse. You take a patient such as this and finally get some relief of symptoms they are very grateful and happy. But, they ignore the fact that they still have Parkinson’s disease symptoms. They delude themselves into thinking that taking some vitamin B6 is enough to compensate for the 29 causes of nutritional deficiencies collapse and symptoms addressed by this approach. They settle for results that are so poor that no doctor managing patients with this approach would consider it to be an end of optimal care. You can’t achieve optimal results if you are taking carbidopa while trying to compensate with vitamin B6.