Familial dysautonomia is a debilitating pediatric disorder characterized by symptoms such as cardiovascular problems, increased sensitivity to pain and temperature, gastrointestinal dysfunction and increased occurrence of pneumonia. If left untreated, most children with the disease do not live past the age of three (1). However, recent breakthroughs in FD research have revealed that common nutraceuticals can be combined to prevent the mutated gene that causes FD from being transcribed in patients’ brain cells. These compounds include isoflavones, which are plant-derived substances with estrogenic activity, and EGCG, which is found in green tea (2). Both of these products, available at vitamin shops for less than $10 a bottle, are helping children affected by familial dysautonomia to live relatively normal lives.
2. Anderson S.L., Liu B., Qiu J., Sturm A.J., Schwartz J.A., Peters A.J., Sullivan K.A., and Rubin B.Y. (2012). Nutraceutical-mediated restoration of wild-type levels of IKBKAP-encoded IKAP protein in familial dysautonomia-derived cells. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 56: 570-9. [Link here]