Healthy Eating Could Delay Onset of Parkinson’s

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) – As researchers continue to try to find the key to unlocking the cause of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests that what a person eats could make a difference.

Researchers in Canada have found a strong correlation between a Mediterranean diet or MIND diet (which combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and a diet known as dietary approaches to stop hypertension) and a delay in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

“Sticking very closely to these diets, both the MIND diet and the Mediterranean diet, coincided with the subsequent onset of Parkinson’s disease,” said Avril Metcalfe-Roach, graduate student at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. “For women it was actually up to 17.4 years old when they adhered very closely to the MIND diet and for men it was about eight years old.”

The study, recently published online in the journal Movement disorders, offers a silver lining because there is a lack of drugs to prevent or delay Parkinson’s disease, the researchers noted.

Metcalfe-Roach acknowledged that the study had limitations. He asked the 167 study participants what they ate after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and they presumed these were eating habits they had maintained for some time.

“This is a limitation of our study. We don’t really know how long they’ve been on these diets, but ideally for neurodegenerative diseases and your overall health, it’s best to start as early as possible, ”Metcalfe-Roach told me.

The study highlights the connection between the microbiome and the brain, according to the research team, which plans to further investigate this potential connection.

The gut microbiome is like a giant factory that produces beneficial chemicals, Metcalfe-Roach explained. Your contribution affects how the microbiome works.

Diets like the Mediterranean and MIND diets are believed to use the microbiome to reduce inflammation, he said.

Understanding how these diets affect the microbiome and how products of the microbiome affect Parkinson’s disease could open the door to new therapies, suggested Metcalfe-Roach.

Both diets encourage the consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fish, and reduced amounts of meat and dairy products.

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Jothi Venkat

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