Original Contributions: PDF OnlyBioavailability of Levodopa after Consumption of Vicia faba Seedlings by Parkinsonian Patients and Control SubjectsVered, Y.; Rabey, J. M.*; Palevitch, D.†; Grosskopf, I.‡; Harsat, A.; Yanowski, A.; Shabtai, H.*; Graff, E. Author Information Clinical Chemistry Laboratory and *Department of Neurology, Tel-Aviv Elias Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv †Department of Plant Genetics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet Dagan ‡Department of Internal Medicine, Tel-Aviv Elias Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel Clinical Neuropharmacology 17(2):p 138-146, April 1994. Buy Abstract Recently, we have shown that ingestion of Vicia faba beans improved substantially the clinical features in parkinsonian patients. However, the supply of the beans is season-dependent and their digestion can be quite unpleasant due to flatulence. In the present study, we verified that the L-Dopa content of V. faba seedlings is 20-fold higher than that of the fruit. Moreover, the germination of the seedlings is easy and not season-dependent, and their ingestion does not cause any adverse digestive effects. In the present study, seven Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and nine healthy controls ingested V. faba seedlings. Plasma L-Dopa and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels were measured by a high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) method. Plasma L-Dopa increased in both populations, and a substantial clinical improvement was observed in the patients according to the Webster scale. Vicia faba seedling ingestion is a useful tool in the treatment of PD patients, especially those in low-income societies where limited resources do not allow the purchase or manufacture of expensive drugs. This treatment might also appeal to those people who prefer natural treatment in PD and in other conditions for which L-Dopa is prescribed. © Williams & Wilkins 1994. All Rights Reserved.