What diet reduces the risk of Parkinson's?


With the increase in global human population and life expectancy, the number of aged people is increasing. Accordingly, the prevalence of neurological disorders like PD has surged among those over 60 and 80 years by 1% and 3%, respectively.

PD causes both motor, e.g., postural instability, and nonmotor impairment symptoms, e.g., gastrointestinal dysfunction. So far, there is no treatment for PD; thus, strategies for primary prevention and treatment for PD are needed.

Thus, identifying and targeting modifiable PD risk factors, such as diet, might be the new avenue for PD prevention at an early stage. Population-based studies exploring the neuroprotective activity of compounds like vitamins C, A, E, and beta-carotene have fetched inconsistent results. Studies have more consistently suggested that caffeine intake might slow down PD progression.

More recently, plant-based diets, such as Mediterranean, vegan, and vegetarian diets, have garnered researchers' attention. The EAT-Lancet Commission's report recommended plant-based diets to improve human and planetary health.

The potential synergistic effects of different components in a plant-based diet, e.g., fiber, vitamins, and bioactive compounds, are favorable. They could reduce oxidative stress, cognitive impairment, and inflammation and exert neuroprotective effects; thus, these diets could help prevent the onset or progression of chronic diseases. Even though preliminary evidence shows high intakes of plant-based diets might reduce PD risk, overall data evidence of the protective effect(s) of diet on PD is limited.

A recent study in the journal Movement Disorders examined the association between plant-based diets and Parkinson's disease (PD) risk, using data from 126,283 UK Biobank participants. The research found that those in the highest quartile for healthful plant-based diet indices (hPDI) had a 22% lower risk of PD, while unhealthful plant-based diets (uPDI) correlated with a 38% higher risk.

The authors noted no association between dairy intake and PD in the current study. However, higher intakes of vegetables, nuts, and tea lowered PD risk, especially when consumed in three, 0.5, and five portions/day.

Source: News Medical