Nutritional Challenges for PALS

May is ALS Awareness month, and during this time of raising awareness it is also important to discuss some things that can help PALS with maintaining their quality of life. Nutritional concerns are an issue for anyone facing any disabling disease. Every type of illness impacts people differently and maintenance of nutritional and key vitamin balance is critical for well-being.  The ALS Association wrote an article called “Maintaining Adequate Nutrition: A Continuing Challenge in ALS,” which provides some helpful information on the challenges of getting and maintaining appropriate nutrition and the impact on quality of life for PALS.  Getting adequate nutrition can be hard for even a healthy individual, but for someone with a disabling disease like ALS, who will face the additional issues of difficulty or loss of the ability to swallow, it is life threatening.

Supplements are often recommended by medical providers to help ALS/MND patients get the appropriate nutrition they need. This means getting adequate calories, vitamins and minerals. This is in addition to the ingredients in the Deanna Protocol (DP™ Plan), which have been shown in studies, and reported by many PALS, to improve quality of life.

The DP™ Plan is a natural, drug-free, and inexpensive metabolic program developed for ALS. Scientific studies have proven that the DP™ Plan significantly slows the progression of ALS and extends life span.[1]  The goal of the DP™ Plan is to provide energy to the nerve and muscle cells to prevent them from dying. To do this, the DP™ Plan includes a list of several supplements that are taken in doses throughout the day.   These supplements may be found online by doing an internet search for each supplement individually, or Simplesa® makes products in powder or liquid form and combines several of the supplements into single products. The Winning the Fight website provides very detailed information on how the DP Plan is helping not only ALS patients but is also now being tested and used on others with Neurodegenerative diseases.  Some of the key points in regard to metabolic and nutritional importance of the DP Plan are explained by Winning the Fight®:

Glutamate, ALS, and Cell Death
To understand the basis for the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan, one must first consider the pathology in neurodegenerative conditions in general and ALS specifically. Death of motor neurons spreads throughout the body in individuals with ALS due to glutamate. When cells die, they burst and release intracellular glutamate into the extracellular space. This increase in extracellular glutamate causes neighboring healthy motor neurons to die, to burst, and to release more glutamate into extracellular space, which will kill even more neighboring cells. This so-called storm of glutamate in ALS causes cell death to happen at an exponential rate. (The spread of cell death via excess extracellular glutamate has already been proven in other neurodegenerative conditions, such as traumatic brain injury. It has not yet been proven in ALS research. However, we know that all cells release glutamate when they die and that excess extracellular glutamate kills neighboring cells, regardless of the disease/condition.)

​Dr. Tedone, Winning the Fight’s Medical Liaison, hypothesizes that somehow, the exposure to excess extracellular glutamate in ALS kills neighboring healthy neurons by interrupting the Krebs Cycle in each of them. Dr. Tedone’s hypothesis holds that this Krebs Cycle interruption is a chief cause of cell death. After all, when cells cannot produce energy efficiently, they die.

How the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan Stops Cell Death Caused by Extracellular Glutamate in ALS 
Does the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan (DP™ Plan) neutralize the excess extracellular glutamate in ALS? No. the DP™ Plan focuses on cell metabolism. The DP™ Plan delivers Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) to the Krebs Cycle in the neurons. The increase in AKG enables their mitochondria to produce enough energy to keep cells alive, despite their exposure to an unhealthy amount of extracellular glutamate.  AKG usually does not pass through the cell membranes in normal healthy cells.  Based on our experience, we found that the permeability of the cell membrane in diseased or damaged cells changes and allows AKG to permeate the cells. Due to the fact that AKG only enters diseased cells, the substance only goes where it is needed. [2]

The needs of anyone who has a disabling disease when it comes to nutrition is complex and varies from individual and disease. One common factor is the importance to maintain weight, nutritional balance, and allow the person enough energy to fight the disease and also maintain quality of life. For more information on the Deanna Protocol, please feel free to contact is for additional information.