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Nutrition And Parkinson’s Disease

Eat Well Stay Well With Parkinsons Disease: A Nutrition Handbook For People With Parkinsons

Nutrition and Parkinsons Disease

This book, written by a registered dietician and PD professional, includes recipes and menus specific to the needs of those with PD – especially those who may be working to coordinate meals with medication timing, nausea, constipation, weight loss, protein timing and more.

Check your local library, or inquire at any bookstore.

Parkinsons Nutrition & Living Well

In this 1-hour webinar Dr John Eric Duda discusses how dietary choices can affect symptom control in PD, how particular foods and timing of meals may interfere with PD medications, dietary management of some non-motor symptoms, the role of the gut microbiome in PD, how nutrition can change the molecular mechanisms present in people with PD and even provide disease-modifying effects, and more. Registration is required, but it is free.

Nutrition The Genome And The Epigenome

A poor diet will have a negative impact on an individual’s health. With regards to neurodegeneration, nutrition affects multiple aspects of neurodevelopment, neurogenesis and the functions of neurons and neural networks . Nutrition-gene interactions play a critical role in dysfunction and disease . Individual differences in genes such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, mutations and copy number variants significantly modify the effects of nutrition on gene expression .

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Diet In Parkinson’s Disease

There is a growing body of epidemiological evidence to support that diet impacts the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. The Western diet is among the greatest risk factors for developing neurodegenerative diseases such as PD . The Western diet is characterized by high caloric intake of energy dense foods, high in saturated and omega-6 fatty acids, refined sugars, excessive salt intake, and low consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber . Studies of PD patients support total caloric intake of macronutrient and micronutrient correlate with symptom severity, with higher caloric intake associated with worse PD-related symptoms . Consumption of high quantities of animal saturated fat has been widely reported to be associated with increased risk of developing PD . Foods associated with more rapid PD progression include canned fruits and vegetables, soda, fried foods, beef, ice cream, and cheese .

Diet can impact the body through multiple different mechanisms including direct effects of dietary components on the body, but diet may modulate the development and/or progression of PD indirectly through effects on the intestinal microbiome . Indeed, diet is perhaps the single greatest factor determining the structure and metabolic function of the intestinal microbiota .

Getting The Right Balance

Can the Ketogenic Diet Help Patients with Parkinson

A balanced daily diet will contain a wide variety of foods from the five food groups listed below. Ideally you should eat food from at least three different groups at each meal, making sure that you cover all groups throughout the day. This may not be possible if you take certain medications so always follow any instructions you are given regarding medication and diet.

General dietary recommendations currently include:

  • maintaining energy intake at 25-30 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight, with additional calories if you experience dyskinesia
  • a carbohydrate to protein proportion of at least 4-5:1
  • a recommended daily protein allowance of 0.8g/kg of body weight.

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Calcium And Vitamin D Intake

Osteoporosis is particularly important to avoid as falls are common in Parkinsons. It is now thought that there is a link between the severity of Parkinsons and bone density so you should ask your doctor to assess your calcium and Vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Although Vitamin D is not found in food, the following foods may be fortified with Vitamin D:

  • Good food and beverage sources of calcium are low fat milk, fortified soy/rice beverages, fortified juice, low fat cheeses and yogurts.
  • Good food and beverage sources of vitamin D are low fat milk, fortified soy/rice beverages, fortified juice, fatty fish, and fortified yogurt.
  • There are many different kinds of calcium and vitamin D supplements. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the different kinds available. If you unable to move around, do not take calcium or vitamin D supplements without consulting your doctor.

Do as much weight-bearing exercise as you can, such as walking, dancing, or aerobics. Aim for 30 minutes or more of activity per day as often as you can. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist on how to safely include activity into your lifestyle.

Other vitamins and minerals

Vitamins A, D, E and K tend to be found in milk and dairy food and are fat-soluble, which means that they remain in the body for some weeks before being used or expelled.


Co-Enzyme Q10


Try These Healthy Swaps

To put the research into practice, focus on replacing some of the foods in your diet with healthier alternatives.

  • Instead of cows milk, try calcium-fortified soy milk.
  • Swap processed snack foods for nuts.
  • If you drink alcohol, have one to two glasses of red wine instead of other alcoholic beverages.
  • Buy seafood and tofu instead of red meat or poultry.
  • Instead of refined carbohydrates and sugar, go for high-fiber whole grains or naturally sweet berries.
  • Ditch saturated fats like butter and lard in favor of unsaturated fats like olive oil.

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Social Engagement: Improvisations Part 2


This session introduces people with PD to the foundation of improvisation to address symptoms associated with PD, including hand-eye coordination, communication, mood, and more.

Host: Parkinsons Foundation

This webinar will be posted on PFs Past Wellness Wednesdays webpage

Wednesday, November 9, 10am

A recording of the webinar will be posted to the WPC Research Spotlight 2022 page

Tuesday, November 15, 11am-1:30pm

Dry Brittle Or Crumbly Foods

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Those living with PD often struggle with chewing and swallowing food. Thus, stay away from dry, brittle, crumbly, tough, or chewy foods. If you must eat tough or chewy meat, Use smaller portions and add sauce or gravy to ease consumption.

Note: the swallowing issues that may accompany Parkinsons can be dangerous, and dietary modifications may be required to safely eat and drink. Please talk to your health care team about any swallowing issues you are experiencing.

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General Nutrition Recommendations For People With Parkinsons Disease

PD is a highly variable disease. Each person has their own unique combination of symptoms and progression. Nutritional advice should be customized to treat the specific needs of the person. However, there are some general guidelines for nutrition for people with PD:

  • Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods. A balanced diet includes foods from all the food groups .
  • Drinking plenty of water each day.
  • Getting enough fiber each day. Fiber is found in foods like fruits with the peel, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Fiber intake is important in reducing constipation, which is a frequent symptom of PD.1,3

What We Know About Avoiding Particular Foods & Supplements For Parkinsons

A frequently suggested blog topic is the role of nutrition foods and supplements in the management of Parkinsons disease . . For a general overview of nutritional tips for someone with PD, I encourage you to view an excellent APDA webinar, Living Well Every Day, archived on our website. The webinar presents strategies, based on firm scientific evidence, that help support a healthy lifestyle for people with PD.

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Diet And The Pd Microbiome

The human gastrointestinal tract harbors trillions of microorganisms collectively referred to as the microbiome . We have a symbiotic relationship with the microbiota . We provide them with an environment and food and they provide us with a myriad of benefits. The microbiota helps ward off harmful microorganisms , regulate immunity, and produce substances such as vitamins, secondary bile acids, and short chain fatty acids . For example, dietary fiber is used as a food source by the intestinal microbiota. Dietary fiber is a general term for consumed plant-based complex carbohydrates that are largely not digested by mammalian enzymes in the small intestine and consequently cannot be absorbed. However, they are available to be used as a food source by the intestinal microbiota . Colonic bacterial fermentation of these dietary fibers generates metabolic byproducts and especially important are SCFA . In contrast to these beneficial commensal bacteria, there are also pathogenic bacteria that can cause GIT dysfunction and inflammation in the intestinal mucosa, systemic circulation, and even in the brain . Thus, the balance of microbiota influences not only the GIT, but also organs throughout the body including the brain .

Tips For Getting Started

Parkinsons Disease Reducing Symptoms with Nutrition and Drugs. Revised ...

Changing your diet can be difficult. Try making one change at a time, like eating a handful of nuts a few times a week or avoiding white bread. Small changes can add up to big benefits.

  • Consult with a registered dietician, who can help you plan menus and make shopping lists for preparing nutritious meals that you like and that account for your individual needs and the timing of your medications.
  • An occupational therapist can help you explore assistive devicesto make eating and drinking easier.
  • If you experience anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor. These symptoms can suppress appetite.
  • If swallowing issues are causing problems eating, a speech-language pathologist may be able to help.

I believe that exercise and weight training remain the most essential self-help one can practice, in addition to diet.

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Nutrition And Parkinsons Disease

In this 1-hour webinar movement disorders specialist Delaram Safarpour, MD, encourages people to think of food and exercise as medicine. If you do that, you will need less medication to control your Parkinsons symptoms. In addition to outlining a healthy diet, she offers pro tips for feeding oneself with tremor, overcoming loss of interest in food, reducing noturnal urination, swallowing safely, managing excess saliva, and more. Note: the presentation begins at timestamp 3:29.

Lets Talk About Dementia


This webinar will review the various types of dementia, their clinical features as well as ways to manage dementia in Parkinsons.

Speaker: James Leverenz, MD, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas

Host: Parkinsons Foundation

This webinar will be posted on PFs Expert Briefings webpage

Wednesday, November 2, 11am

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Fluids For Constipation In Parkinsons Disease

Be guided by your doctor, but general suggestions include:

  • Try to drink six to eight glasses of fluid every day. Water is best, but you can also include fluid in the form of soup, juice, tea and coffee.
  • Limit drinks that cause dehydration such as alcohol, tea and coffee.
  • Spread your drinks throughout the day.

Forget Fava Beans For Parkinsons

Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease

Fava beans contain an amino acid known as levodopa. Levodopa is an active ingredient in some Parkinsons medications. Seems like a good reason to eat a lot of fava beans, right?

Nope. Dr. Gostkowski explains that the amount in the beans is tiny compared to whats in your medication. You cant eat enough fava beans to have any effect on your symptoms, he says.

Bananas also have levodopa in them, Dr. Gostkowski says. But, like fava beans, its not possible to eat enough bananas to affect PD symptoms. Of course, if you like fava beans or bananas, enjoy! But dont go overboard or expect them to work like medication. Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains for balance.

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Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In

Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.

The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.

Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.

Foods containing iron

The following foods are good sources of iron:

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From Grief To Gratitude & Growing Awareness


The day after the speaker turned 38, he was diagnosed with Parkinsons. It took a year to receive the correct diagnosis. His experience turned into a commitment to spreading real understanding and public awareness of what it means to live with the disease.

Speaker: Kuhan, person with young onset PD

Host: PMD Alliance

The webinar recording may be posted to the PMD Alliance YouTube channel

Lunes, 7 de noviembre, 12h

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Downsides Of Probiotics For Parkinsons

Although probiotics are generally considered safe, there are some potential concerns with probiotic supplementation in people with Parkinsons disease .

First, some Enterococcus species found in some probiotic supplements may inactivate levodopa, a dopamine-replacement medication used in the treatment of PD. However, this needs more research and clarification in PD patients .

Further, probiotic supplementation may exacerbate SIBO , common in people with Parkinsons disease .

Its also unknown which probiotic strains are most effective in treating PD symptoms and if theyre more effective in combination or taken as single strains.

An individualized assessment of the microbiome may be warranted to determine the best course of action (

The Benefits Of Diet For Parkinsons

The New Parkinson Diet : Most Up

With 50,000 people being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease every year in the US, thousands of individuals are just beginning to learn what to expect, what things to avoid, and what types of food to eat to manage Parkinsons.

Eating the right foods, combined with medication and healthy habits can help you manage symptoms such as rigidity, tremors, postural instability, and dystonia among others to improve quality of life.

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Foods High In Saturated Fat

Although the specific role of saturated fat in Parkinsons is still being studied, research suggests that a high dietary fat intake may increase your risk of this disease .

Generally speaking, diets high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease. As such, you may wish to keep these foods in moderation (

  • some baked and fried foods

Conversely, a very small study notes that the keto diet which is high in fat is beneficial for some people with Parkinsons. However, a low fat diet also showed benefits. Overall, more research is needed .

A Complete Parkinsons Diet Guide

When living with Parkinsons, diet can help you stay healthy and may help with some of the symptoms. Eating a healthy diet will lead you to not only feel better but will also lead to more likely living a longer and more full life.

Before we get started it is important to say that the only evidence-based diets that are shown to be good for Parkinsons are general healthy diets that work for everyone regardless of Parkinsons. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets out there, which is why we recommend it to those with Parkinsons.

So, with that said here are some tips and foods you should consider including in your diet if you have Parkinsons.

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Bump Up Your Fiber Intake

A high-fiber diet is a proven way to avoid constipation, a common problem for people with PD.

Parkinsons can slow down the intestines and cause constipation, Dr. Gostkowski says. Fiber helps keep things moving. There are plenty of high-fiber foods out there, so choose your favorites. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should get 38 grams.

Are Complementary Therapies Beneficial

On the Menu: Nutrition and Parkinson’s disease – Day 1

Theres no simple answer to this. There are so many types of therapy that its impossible to generalise.

Theres evidence of the beneficial effect of some complementary therapies . For other therapies, there is no research to prove it has any benefits for people with Parkinsons. But we hear from many people affected who feel it helps them.

It will also depend on what you expect from complementary therapies. For example, you may feel a particular therapy is not having a positive effect on your Parkinsons symptoms, but you may enjoy the experience. For you, this might be enough of a reason to continue.

Weve included comments from people affected by Parkinsons who have tried some of the therapies. We hope this will give you a better idea of what people are trying and how they found it. But remember that everyone will have a different experience.

Please remember these are peoples personal opinions Parkinsons UK doesnt endorse any particular therapy.

People may use complementary therapies alongside prescribed medication for many reasons, for example:

  • Conventional medicine might not always control someones symptoms.
  • Complementary therapy is a way of taking control of your own health.
  • Group therapy can be an opportunity to socialise. Equally, complementary therapies can be a time to enjoy your own company.
  • Complementary therapies can be relaxing.

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Parkinsons Diet And Nutrition: Which Foods To Eat And Avoid

Theres no specific diet thats recommended for Parkinsons disease, but what you eat does matter. Choosing a balanced diet full of nutritious, antioxidant-rich foods may help slow disease progression, reduce specific symptoms, and improve your quality of life. Hearing from others who have faced similar challenges can help you find everyday solutions that make it easier to eat well.

Symptoms And Warning Signs

Symptoms of Parkinsons fall into two major categories: those related to motor functions, and those related to changes in someones mood. The four most common signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease include:

  • Trembling: This usually presents itself in the arms, jaw, legs and face.
  • Rigidity: Most patients experience stiffness of the bodys core as well as their arms and legs.
  • Bradykinesia: This is the term for slowness of movement. Some patients pause or freeze when moving without being able to start again, and others begin to shuffle when trying to walk.
  • Postural instability : This results in loss of strength, loss of balance and problems with moving muscles or coordinating body parts.

Other symptoms that can also occur, which often impact someones moods and other behaviors, include:

  • Sexual dysfunction

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