Parkinson’s disease: Polyphenol diet ‘associated with lower PD risk’ – what to eat

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons, leading to bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor at rest, and postural instability, as well as non-motor symptoms such as olfactory impairment, pain, autonomic dysfunction, impaired sleep, fatigue, and behavioural changes.

Ageing is an inevitable fundamental process for people and is their greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative disease.

The ageing processes bring changes in cells that can drive the organisms to experience loss of nutrient sensing, disrupted cellular functions, increased oxidative stress and impaired cellular defences.

A loss of these vital cellular processes in neuronal cells can lead to life threatening neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Lewy body dementia and Lewy body dementia.

Previous studies have highlighted the potential role of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that could possibly be the most effective preventative strategy against these diseases.

In a study published in the National Library of health, the potential benefit of dietary polyphenols in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) was analysed.

Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants, which have shown benefit in several experimental models of PD.

“Intake of polyphenols through diet is also associated with lower PD risk in humans,” noted the study.

The study found that the intake of dietary polyphenols may inhibit neurodegeneration and the progression of PD.

“Polyphenols appear to have a positive effect on the gut microbiome, which may decrease inflammation that contributes to the disease.

“Therefore, a diet rich in polyphenols may decrease the symptoms and increase quality of life in PD patients,” the study concluded.

Polyphenol foods include berries, dark chocolate, nuts, cloves and other seasonings.

Following a balanced diet improves general well-being and boosts your ability to deal with symptoms of the disease.

Eating plenty of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean protein, beans and legumes, and whole grains, and staying hydrated are key.

It’s been advised to reduce the amount of dairy products as they have been linked to a risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Something in dairy products might negatively impact the oxidation levels in your brain, making symptoms more persistent, according to Healthline.

Spotting the early symptoms

A healthy diet may help to reduce risk or lessen symptoms however is not a cure researchers have warned.

More research needs to be done on the risk factors, treatments and prevention of Parkinson’s disease.

There is still a pressing need to develop better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s to improve life for the 145,000 people in the UK and the millions around the world living with this devastating condition.

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