Iodine, Cortisol, and Transcortine

Dear all,

I've been DX some 20 months ago (still with small level of symptoms and not taking L-dopa yet). My lab tests show that I'm deficient in Iodine and in free cortisol and that I have too much Transcortine (plus that I have some signs of inflammation). I suspect these might play an important role in PD and am trying to find out more about them. But so far I am struggling to find relevant and actionable stuff on these specific topics and wonder if anyone had any ideas, references, thoughts, experiences that could help me understand them better.

Here's what I know/understand so far:

1. PD apparently occurs more frequently in regions know to be iodine deficient, suggesting there might be a link between the two (see

2. PD also seems to be linked to Cortisol deficiency. Cortisol level seems to correlate directly with NADPH and NADH levels (as show in J Endocrinol. 1986 May; Effect of glucose, NADH and NADPH on cortisol metabolism by mononuclear cells; Klein A, Chan AW, Malkin A.); The lack of THFA in the reaction to convert L-tyrosine to L-dopa seems to create a superoxide anion instead, which creates the cell damage typical of Parkinson’s, and NADH seems to be essential for the formation of THFA.

3. Excess transcortine apparently is what causes low unbound cortisol (and unbound cortisol seems to be what's important for our bodies - as opposed to the stuff that gets bound to transcortine).

4. Cortisol also regulates inflammation, so low cortisol probably results in high chance of inflammation (which could help explain why PD is also linked with inflammation).

5. Iodine supports the good functioning of the Adrenal glands (which is where cortisol is created).

Specific questions I have and wonder if anyone can help me better understand them:

A. Are there any research studies better/more direct than the ones above showing these relationships?

B. Fixing Iodine deficiency seems to be very simple. You just need to take supplements that are pretty easy to find (I'm taking them now). Did anyone else try this before? Any good/bad results?

C. Is there an easy way to manage one's Transcortine/Cortisol levels? I know that one can take Cortisol/cortisone in pills, but these sound like they are some pretty heavy duty stuff (apparently drive your body to naturally create less and less of the stuff, so you quickly grow dependent for life on the pills) - are there any other ways? More specifically is there a way to influence one's Transcortine levels (excess transcortine seems to be what really is driving my low unbound Cortisol levels)?

D. Any other research, thoughts, experiences on the above?

Thanks a lot for your insights,



this is interesting stuff and something I'm also curious about - but the human endocrine system is so circular and inter-linked I quickly lose the plot, trying to piece together all the interactions between all the chemicals!

One piece I have put together is that cortisol mops up adrenaline after a fight-or-flight response, and that adrenaline is produced from dopamine. So it seems logical to investigate a possible link where low cortisol = excess adrenaline = low dopamine?

What I do know is that my father has low cortisol and takes hydrocortisone to keep his levels normal. And that I was diagnosed with "idiopathic" (ie they don't know what caused it) PD in my thirties. Coincidence? My neurologist seems to think so, and doesn't seem interested in delving any further. So it's left to us to keep puzzling away.

Hi mmj,

Thanks for sharing. The link with adrenaline seems interesting. Also interesting that your father takes hydrocortisone. I have an aunt that does too. Maybe just a coincidence, but you never know.

Warm regards,


Hi Hikoi,

Sorry it took me a while to respond and for the abuse of medical acronyms. I normally try to not use too much of them, but did over-use them. Be reassured, that I don't speak "medicalacronymus" either... just getting used to some of them by seing them so often :-( I do use google a lot to translate them :-)

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your article. It makes an interesting link between stress and cortisol. I'm not sure I get how this Cortisol thing works (actually, I'm sure I don't get it), but I'm sure to find out more about it as I get this feeling that it plays an important role - it clearly is linked with stress and inflammation, and both, to me play a role in PD.