~Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Part 5 - Therapeutic Approach

Therapeutic Approach
  • Protection Against Glutamate Toxicity
  • Antioxidants
  • Protect and Regenerate Neurons
  • Improve Mitochondrial Function
  • Minerals
  • Growth Stimulation
  • Miscellaneous
A great number of natural supplements may be helpful for patients with ALS. There are over 20 listed in this article. Careful history and laboratory testing will help guide the choice of which supplements are most important. In addition, there are many products that are formulated with high amounts of antioxidants. A basic protocol might include the following:
  • A high-quality multiple vitamin, which contains plenty of antioxidants
  • Reduced glutathione, 250-500 mg a per day
  • Methylcobalamin, 20 mg, 2-3 times per a day
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin), 100 mg per a day
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine, 3000 mg a per day
  • Creatine, 5 grams a per day on an empty stomach
Other supplements can of course be added based on the individual patient. SAMe may be more indicated in clients that are emotionally distressed. NAC is indicated if there is significant mucous congestion. Alpha lipoic acid is particularly useful for detoxification and associated liver disorders. Extra magnesium is helpful for constipation. A hormone blood test is a simple and effective way to determine which hormones may be useful.

It should also be noted that the protocol will dramatically change depending upon the underlying cause. For instance, chronic viral infections need specific treatment. Mercury and other types of C c helation therapy may be useful for mercury and other types of heavy metal toxicity. Detoxification of toxic chemicals and pesticides is beyond the scope of this article.

Of particular interest should be the type and quantity of carbohydrates in the patient's diet. It is not uncommon to find people that eat little else but simple carbohydrates (breads, pasta, donuts, sugar, beer, etc.) Subclinical disorders such as syndrome X (insulin resistance) should be considered. In these cases a switch to complex carbohydrates and protein can be accomplished with a suitable whey protein powder, along with proper diet counseling.

Despite the dire prediction of the conventional medical establishment, hope still remains, for these predictions of a quick demise are based on patients with severe problems that have not tried any nutritional supplements. Simple dietary changes and nutritional supplements can often result in dramatic health improvements when a true nutrient deficiency is the underlying cause.

The supplements that may be beneficial to ALS patients are:

Protection Against Glutamate Toxicity
  • Methylcobalamin, 20 mg, 2-3 times a per day
  • SAMe, 600-1800 mg a per day (should be taken with folic acid, B12, and B6)
  • Glutathione, 250-500 mg a per day
  • Zinc, 30 mg with 5 mg copper, with food
  • NAC, 600 mg 3 times per a day
  • Vitamin C, 1000 mg 3 times per a day
  • Vitamin E, 800 IU 3 times per a day
  • Alpha-lipoic acid, 250 mg 2-3 times per a day
Protect and Regenerate Neurons
  • Vitamin B12, methylcobalamin (see above)
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine, 3000 mg per a day
  • Essential fatty acids containing both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Pregnenolone, 50 mg 3 times per a day
  • DHEA, 25 mg 3 times per a day
  • Genistein, in a standardized soy isoflavone formula, 100 mg daily
Improve Mitochondrial Function
  • Coenzyme Q10, 300 mg 3 times per a day
  • Creatine, 5 grams per a day on an empty stomach
  • Minerals
    • Magnesium, 500 mg per a day, particularly if the patient is constipated
    • Calcium, 250 mg per a day
  • Vitamin D, 200 IU per a day
Growth Stimulation
  • Human growth hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1), 100 mg per a day
  • Ginseng, 400 mg twice daily
  • Branched-chain amino acids, 1200-2400 mg daily
  • Hydergine, 10-20 mg daily
  • Vinpocetine, up to 30 mg daily
  • DMG, 250 mg daily
  • TMG, up to 2500 mg (should be taken with folic acid, B12, and B6)
  • Sphingolin by Ecological Formulas, 2 capsules daily
For more information, contact the ALS Association National Office, 21021 Ventura Blvd., Suite 321, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 ; patient hotline: (800) 782-4747; e-mail, alsinfo@alsa-national.org. This association is a nonprofit, voluntary, national health organization committed solely to the fight against ALS through research, patient support, information, advocacy, and public awareness.

Contact the Family Caregiver Alliance, 690 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104; (415) 434-3388; Web site, www.caregiver.org; e-mail, info@caregiver.org. The Family Caregiver Alliance supports and assists caregivers of brain-impaired adults through education, research, services, and advocacy.

For a listing of physicians in your area who might be knowledgeable in these innovative approaches, call the Life Extension Foundation at (800) 544-4440.To see a list of all supplements, please check our Index or use our Search feature.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@lifeextensionvitamins.com, 1-510-527-3005 or 1-888-771-3905.

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