||Currently there is not a certain diet that prevents Parkinson's disease, but there are dietary suggestions that may help manage the symptoms. There are specific foods that decrease your risk of being diagnosed with PD, and particular changes to your diet may prevent the onset of certain symptoms if you already have Parkinson's.
It is highly recommended that a person with Parkinson's carefully watch their protein intake. Taking a balanced approach to protein is best because protein inhibits the absorption of levodopa in the gut. If you have been prescribed levodopa, avoiding high protein meals can help to prevent this potential absorption problem.
A vegetable-rich diet will promote health and digestion and prevent constipation and other disease. Fresh vegetables have numerous nutrients, as you know, that aid with whole body health, and eating your veggies will also increase your folic acid level.
Eating organically is also highly suggested. Avoiding as much pesticide and insecticide as possible helps your whole body function better, and then your immune system doesn't have to deal with an onslaught of free radical damage caused by these chemicals. Free radical damage, or oxidative stress, has been strongly linked to the development of Parkinson's disease.
An un-denatured whey product that is still bioactive is of excellent benefit to someone living with Parkinson's. Un-denatured (not purified by heat) whey is your best defense against free radical damage because it contains an essential amino acid. This amino acid, cysteine, is the hardest to get and thus the most necessary for the production of the Master Antioxidant, Glutathione.
Remember that it is vitally important to get an un-denatured whey product that has each dose individually packaged. This is important because otherwise the whey's bioactivity (where the amino acid lives) is compromised. If you get a tub of whey, the bioactivity will be oxidized after just a few times of opening it and exposing the contents to the air.
Co-enzyme Q10 is also a very useful supplement for people with PD. Normally, CoQ10 is produced by the liver but the levels are lowered when a person is taking statin drugs. If you are on a lipid-lowering statin drug, taking a supplement of CoQ10 can greatly reduce your risk of heart failure.
In short, eating adequate amounts of organic vegetables, limiting yourself on high-protein meals, taking a supplement of CoQ10 and protecting yourself from the damage of free radicals with a denatured whey supplement are some of the best ways to manage your symptoms. Keeping all your systems as healthy as possible so that proper digestion can be aided and constipation can be avoided will support you greatly in your experience of living with Parkinson's.
Before radically altering any of your dietary practices, always check with your trusted health practitioner.
Clearly prevention is the most desired option. So let's take a look at some suggestions for lowering your risk of developing this devastating disease.
• A diet rich in iron and manganese may double your risk of developing Parkinson's.
Whether you get your iron and manganese from dietary sources or from supplements, high levels of these minerals have been linked to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, which is damage from free radicals, has in turn been linked to the degeneration of the dopamine neurons characteristic of Parkinson's. Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps regulate movement.
Research from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle shows that those whose diets contained the highest levels of iron and manganese were twice as likely to develop Parkinson's as those with the lowest levels.
Before you lower your levels of these minerals, check with a doctor in whom you trust.
• Caffeine may lower your risk of developing Parkinson's.
New research is suggesting that men who drink coffee may lower their risk of developing Parkinson's by 3 to 6 times.
A study monitoring coffee and caffeine intake was conducted on 8,004 Japanese-American men. Over 30 years, just over 100 of the men developed Parkinson's. The risk of developing Parkinson's fell progressively as the men's intake of caffeine varied from 4 to 24 ounces per day. Regardless of the source of the caffeine, those who consumed less than 2.8 milligrams per day were 3 times as likely to develop the disease, as compared to those whose intake was more than 107 milligrams.
Why does caffeine intake appear to lower your risk of developing Parkinson's disease so dramatically? The researchers are uncertain. Other substances within coffee were analyzed, but no certain results were yielded. There are a couple of theories pertaining to why caffeine lowers your risk. One is that it is the caffeine itself that actually protects the brain and nervous system. This is, of course, of great benefit in preventing PD. The other theory has to do with the kinds of personalities that tend to develop the disease. Generally, those people who have a 'thrill-seeker' nature don't develop Parkinson's. This coffee drinking personality may fit into that category and thus have a much lower rate of risk.
The jury is still out on the benefits versus the hazards of drinking a lot of coffee. Certainly one of the main issues with coffee is that it is a crop highly dowsed with pesticides. Consequently, it is highly recommended that if you are going to drink coffee choosing an organic brand would be of the greatest advantage.
• Deficiency in the B vitamin, Folate, linked to increased rate of developing PD.
A recent study has shown that people with a diet low in folate or folic acid increases their risk of developing Parkinson's. Folate is a B vitamin.
This study was conducted on mice. Researchers found that when the mice were fed a folate-deficient diet, the dopamine producing cells in the brain were more susceptible to damage and death. (In Parkinson's patients, the cells that produce the neurotransmitter, dopamine, slowly degenerate. The brain chemical, dopamine, regulates movement.)
The study also showed that the mice on the folate-deficient diet had elevated levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a compound formed naturally when protein is metabolized in the body. When the scientists injected homocysteine directly into the brains of these mice, their Parkinson's-like symptoms increased.
The precise role of homocysteine in the development of Parkinson's is still unclear. Previous studies have proven that people with PD do have elevated levels of homocysteine. These higher levels do indeed render neurons more vulnerable to Parkinson's.
Thus, a diet low in folic acid (folate) increases your homocysteine levels. Elevated levels of homocysteine render neurons in the brain more susceptible to damage, dysfunction and death. Consequently, your risk of developing Parkinson's disease is much greater.
It is important to remember that taking folic acid supplements are not the answer to regulating your homocysteine levels. Many people have elevated levels because their intake of fresh vegetables is low. Adequate amounts of fresh vegetables, as you know, promote health and prevent disease, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. Also, if you closely monitor the amount of sugar and grains you eat, you will lower your insulin levels and this will help to normalize your homocysteine levels.
Prevention is certainly the best option when it comes to Parkinson's, but if you already are living with the disease it will definitely serve you to eat a low-protein diet rich in fresh, organic vegetables. Also supplementing your diet with an un-denatured whey product and with Co-enzyme Q10 can be of great benefit.
To find out more about the huge benefits of the un-denatured whey click on the diet link, the GSH page will give you a rundown on this wonderful supplement.
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