Original Article

Dietary Supplement Use is High among Individuals with Parkinson Disease

Authors: Christine C. Ferguson, MS, RD, Linda L. Knol, PhD, RD, Anne Halli-Tierney, MD, Amy C. Ellis, PhD, RD


Objectives: To assess the present use of dietary supplements among the Parkinson disease (PD) population and to determine which dietary supplements are most commonly taken.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used an online questionnaire that was administered to individuals with PD via support group Web sites. Dietary supplement users also were asked whether they spoke with a healthcare professional about their supplement use.

Results: Of the 205 respondents, 83.4% reported taking at least 1 dietary supplement. Although 94 different types of dietary supplements were identified, >50% of participants taking dietary supplements took multivitamins, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (52.6%, 74.3%, and 56.1%, respectively). Respondents reported taking coenzyme Q10, Mucuna pruriens, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, melatonin, and N-acetylcysteine most commonly for PD. Among supplement users, 29.2% did not discuss their supplement use with a healthcare practitioner.

Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate a high prevalence of dietary supplement use among individuals with PD, in addition to a wide variety of supplements being taken. This study’s findings also indicate the need for better dialog between patients and healthcare practitioners regarding the use of dietary supplements.
Posted in: Neurology6

This content is limited to qualifying members.

Existing members, please login first.

If you have an existing account please login now to access this article or view your purchase options.

Purchase only this article ($15)

Create a free account, then purchase this article to download or access it online for 24 hours.

Purchase an SMJ online subscription ($75)

Create a free account, then purchase a subscription to get complete access to all articles for a full year.

Purchase a membership plan (fees vary)

Premium members can access all articles plus recieve many more benefits. View all membership plans and benefit packages.


1. US Government Printing Office. Dietary supplement health and education act of 1994. https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/STATUTE-108/STATUTE-108-Pg4325. Accessed September 22, 2019.
2. Zesiewicz TA, Evatt ML. Potential influences of complementary therapy on motor and non-motor complications in Parkinson's disease. CNS Drugs 2009;23:817-835.
3. Gahche JJ, Bailey RL, Potischman N, et al. Dietary supplement use was very high among older adults in the United States in 2011-2014. J Nutr 2017;147:1968-1976.
4. Marcason W. What are the primary nutritional issues for a patient with Parkinson's disease? J Am Diet Assoc 2009;109:1316.
5. Wolfrath SC, Borenstein AR, Schwartz S, et al. Use of nutritional supplements in Parkinson's disease patients. Movt Disord 2006;21:1098-1101.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/index.htm. Published 2018. Accessed January 31, 2018.
7. University of Minnesota. Nutrition Data System for Research software. http://www.ncc.umn.edu/products. Accessed January 30, 2018.
8. Mischley LK, Lau RC, Bennett RD. Role of diet and nutritional supplements in Parkinson's disease progression. Ox Med Cell Longev 2017;2017:6405278.
9. Suzuki M, Yoshioka M, Hashimoto M, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in Parkinson disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:1004-1013.
10. Remig VM, Weeden A. Medical nutrition therapy for neurologic disorders. In: Mahan LK, Raymond JL, , eds. Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process. 13th ed. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:923-955.
11. Mischley LK, Allen J, Bradley R. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients with Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Sci 2012;318:72-75.
12. Beal MF, Oakes D, et al. The Parkinson Study Group QE3 Investigators. A randomized clinical trial of high-dosage coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: no evidence of benefit. JAMA Neurol 2014;71:543-552.
13. Zhang W, Chen XY, Su SW, et al. Exogenous melatonin for sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Neurol Sci 2016;37:57-65.
14. Cilia R, Laguna J, Cassani E, et al. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson disease: a double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study. Neurology 2017;89:432-438.
15. Katz M, Won SJ, Park Y, et al. Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of N-acetylcysteine after oral administration in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2015;21:500-503.
16. Gotta M, Mayer CA, Huebner J. Use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with multiple sclerosis in Germany. Complement Ther Med 2018;36:113-117.
17. Masullo L, Papas MA, Cotugna N, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use and nutrient intake among individuals with multiple sclerosis in the United States. J Community Health 2015;40:153-160.
18. Oɼ K, Weinstock-Guttman B, Carl E, et al. Patterns of dietary and herbal supplement use by multiple sclerosis patients. J Neurol 2012;259:637-644.
19. Pan W, Chen X, Bao J, et al. The use of integrative therapies in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Shanghai, China. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013;2013:613596.
20. Maxwell CJ, Hicks MS, Hogan DB, et al. Supplemental use of antioxidant vitamins and subsequent risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2005;20:45-51.