Correcting muscle weakness
Q: Can you help with the problem of “muscle deficiency”? Both my legs from the knee down are 95 percent useless and my two hands…I drop everything. Is this a lack of a vitamin?
Dr. Wright: I assume you have already consulted a neurologist and that no “neurologic disease” was found. If you haven’t, please do!
So far, I’m not aware of any vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient deficiency known to cause these symptoms. However, if you’re over 50 and/or have digestive symptoms, you might try a concentrated preparation of the eight essential amino acids, which I’ve observed to help muscle weakness in some individuals. The eight essential amino acids are as follows: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Poor protein digestion resulting in deficiencies of one or more of the eight essential amino acids is relatively common in those of us past 50 and in those with digestive symptoms. Since muscle is mostly protein, and protein is synthesized from amino acids, for those with muscle weakness I check for essential amino acid deficiencies (remember all the other dozens of amino acids in our bodies can be made from the “eight essentials”). From time to time (but not in every case), essential amino acid deficiencies are found. To have an essential amino acid (blood) test done, contact a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (1-800-532-3688, www.acam.org) or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (1-703-610-9037).
If such a deficiency is found, trying an essential amino acid preparation would be worthwhile. Essential amino acids are very safe; the total “daily requirement” is usually estimated at a minimum 50 to 60 grams daily. If you’re experiencing a deficiency, it’s usually necessary to take a total of 5 to 10 grams daily to bring your levels up to the “daily requirement” level. It can take several weeks to notice improvement. If there’s no improvement at all in three to four months, this isn’t the answer.
And please remember…make sure you’ve consulted a neurologist!