Nervous System Disorders

Disorders of the nervous system include epilepsy; Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke, migraine and other headache disorders; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson's disease; brain tumors; and others. These can all have nutrition-related causes, especially deficiencies or imbalances of specific micronutrients.

  • Each year approximately 6.2 million people die because of stroke; over 80% of these deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries
  • More than 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy
  • It is estimated that there are globally 35.6 million people with dementia and 7.7 million new cases every year
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of all cases of dementia
  • The prevalence of migraine is more than 10% worldwide (World Health Organization)

The scientific literature highlights the fundamental role of micronutrients in the prevention and control of nervous system disorders. Here are some examples:

Natural compounds contained in green tea offer health benefits in Alzheimer’s disease. Among the active constituents of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has the greatest beneficial properties. EGCG has distinctive benefits for the brain and central nervous system as it is able to cross the protective blood-brain barrier. Therefore it may exercise its action against diseases of the central nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system that can be highly invasive and metastatic, accounts for 8–10% of all solid childhood tumors in children under the age of 15 years. It was shown that a nutrient mixture containing vitamin C, amino acids and green tea extract has significant antitumor effects on neuroblastoma.

In addition, World Health Organization identified the following micronutrients deficiencies as the cause of nervous system disorders:

  • Vitamin B1 deficiency: beri-beri, polyneuropathy, Wernicke´s encephalopathy
  • Vitamin B3 deficiency: pellagra including dementia and depression
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency: polyneuropathy
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: progressive myelopathy with sensory disturbances in the leg
  • Folate deficiency: neural tube defects of the fetus with possible cognitive dysfunction in children and elderly
  • Iodine deficiency: iodine deficiency disorders
  • Iron deficiency: delayed mental development in children
  • Zinc deficiency: delayed motor development in children, depression
  • Selenium deficiency: adverse mood states

Scientific Studies

Alzheimer´s disease

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis