How To Prevent Parkinsons Disease
Diet and exercise may play key roles
Parkinson’s disease results from the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells within an area of the brain called the substantia nigra.
Since dopamine regulates movement, depletion of it results in motor symptoms like shaking, stiffness, and walking problems. Non-motor symptoms, like depression, sleep problems, and loss of smell, also commonly occur.
While there is no definitive way yet to prevent Parkinson’s disease, eating a “brain-healthy” diet and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine might help reduce the risk or delay symptom onset. This article reviews the potential roles of diet and exercise in PD prevention.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
Vitamins That Might Help With Parkinsons Tremors
Parkinsons is a brain disorder that leads to tremors, stiffness, and adds difficulty to walking, balance, and coordination.
Parkinson’s occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, that are in the area of the brain that controls movement become impaired, and scientists still do not know what causes the nerve cells to die.
Although there is no cure for Parkinsons, there are some solutions that can often help to reduce some of the symptoms. Other supportive therapies include a healthy diet and exercise to strengthen muscles and improve balance along with many vitamins that are considered essential to reduce tremors.
The best way to get vitamins and minerals is in the healthy food you consume on a daily basis. Still, vitamins and mineral supplements need to be taken following your doctors guidelines, because the type of tremors and effective vitamins varies. You can also read The Most Common Questions About Essential Tremor.
Taking a daily multivitamin is good for your health. However, it wont stop the symptoms of essential tremor . Tremors and other movement disorders are usually associated with vitamin deficiency, most vitamins are B1, B6, and especially B12.
The most well-studied vitamins are the B vitamins. Deficiency in B1 , B6 , B9 , or B12 in particular have been linked to numerous neurological conditions including postural and internal tremors.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
DO NOT try to treat Parkinson disease with alternative therapies alone. Used with conventional medications, complementary and alternative therapies may help provide some relief of symptoms and slow progression of the disease. Some CAM therapies may interfere with certain medications, so work with your physician to find the safest, most effective CAM therapies for you.
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Complications Of Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons can be a hard disease to live with, which is why there is so much interest in ways to prevent Parkinsons Disease. As the disease progresses, it can affect the patients mental and emotional health in addition to the physical symptoms. Some of the common complications of Parkinsons Disease include:
- Disturbed sleep: Patients with Parkinsons Disease often have trouble sleeping and may act out their dreams in their sleep.
- Hallucinations and delusions: One of the commonly observed Parkinsons Disease symptoms at later stages is the occurrence of hallucinations, which involve seeing or hearing things that arent there, as well as delusions, which involve fixed beliefs about things that are not true. This can lead to paranoia, panic attacks, and potentially harmful behavior towards themselves or their loved ones.
- Depression and anger problems: Depression, anxiety, and anger can occur as symptoms of disease progression, side effects of medication, and general frustration about being sick and dependent on others.
A Review Of The Relationship Between Vitamin D And Parkinson Disease Symptoms
- 1Department of Neurology, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, United States
- 2Parkinsons Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States
- 3Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Vitamin B12 And Folate
Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant. It helps keep red blood cells and nerve cells healthy and helps produce DNA. Sources of vitamin B12 are typically red meat, chicken, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and bread, and nutritional yeast.
Researchers discovered that patients with early-onset Parkinson’s disease had lower vitamin B12 levels, which reduced motor and cognitive functions. In some cases, taking a multivitamin that included vitamin B12 slowed the loss of those functions.
Folate is found in organ meats , yeast, and leafy green vegetables. Folate plays several roles in the body and brain.
Both B12 and folate are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are seen in various cognitive disorders. Studies show that Parkinson’s disease patients taking levodopa for the condition are also more likely to have elevated homocysteine.
In one meta-data analysis, researchers investigated the correlations between cognitive function , homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12 levels in patients with Parkinson’s disease. They discovered that patients with cognitive dysfunction had high levels of homocysteine and lower levels of folate and vitamin B12.
A Higher Consumption Of Vitamin E Also Reduced Patients’ Risk Of Parkinson’s By 32 Percent
The study’s results showed a higher intake of vitamin E and vitamin C yielded very similar results. “Researchers found a rate of 67 cases of Parkinson’s disease per 100,000 person-years in the group that consumed the highest amounts compared to a rate of 110 cases in the group that consumed the lowest amounts,” the study authors stated. “After adjusting for the same factors, people in the highest consumption group had a 32 percent lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than those in the lowest group.”
Meanwhile, a 2005 meta-analysis published in the journal Lancet Neurology also found that an increased amount of vitamin E reduces your risk of developing Parkinson’s by 19 percent.
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is also an antioxidant that’s used to boost your body’s immune system. The fat-soluble nutrient, which can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, and green vegetables, also protects your cells from free radical damage, according to NIH.
And to see if you’re lacking another common nutrient, here are 20 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency, According to Medical Experts.
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How Vitamin B12 Can Help
“This is very compelling research suggesting that B12 plays an important role in this devastating disease,” Arielle Levitan M.D., co-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC, and author of The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health, tells Eat This, Not That!
“The fact that B12 likely plays a role in preventing PD is not surprising, given we know B12 is essential for optimal nerve function,” Levitan explains. “High plasma homocysteine levels are harmful to brain and nerve function and consuming B12 is known to lower these levels. It seems plausible that B12 helps our nerves work smoothly and transmit the brain’s messages to other parts of the body.”
Vitamins For Parkinson’s Disease
Verywell / Michela Buttignol
Apart from traditional pharmaceutical treatments, if you have Parkinsons disease, your doctor may recommend vitamins with antioxidant properties. While it is best to get these from food sources as part of a healthy, balanced diet, some people need to take supplements. These vitamins include:
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/5healthy Diet Prevents Several Diseases
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are the two vital fat-soluble vitamins imperative for the body to function properly. Densely present in citrus fruits, veggies and whole grains, the two vitamins are known for their powerful antioxidant compound. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron, aids in healing wounds and keeps the eyes healthy, while Vitamin E plays a critical role in cell regeneration. Besides, both vitamins help to boost immunity and improve skin health. Now the scientists have found another reason to load up on these two vitamins: To reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Possible Neuroprotective Mechanisms Of Vitamin C In Pd
There is evidence that ascorbic acid can protect against both levodopa toxicity and the MPTP neurotoxicity . Vitamin C can increase the production of dihydroxyphenylalanine . Seitz et al. noted overproduction of DOPA in a dose-dependent manner after incubation of the human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-SH with ascorbic acid for 2 hours. Additionally, the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase increased threefold after incubation with ascorbic acid for 5days. The scholars speculated that ascorbic acid may be effective in the treatment of early-stage PD .
Vitamin C can improve the absorption of levodopa in elderly PD patients with a poor levodopa bioavailability . Previous studies showed that ascorbic acid can reduce the levodopa dosage under the premise of equal efficacy . Combination of anti-PD drugs and vitamin C may be more effective for alleviating the symptoms of PD.
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Possible Neuroprotective Mechanisms Of Vitamin E In Pd
Unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine injections into the striatum can cause circling behaviours and biochemical abnormalities in rats. Cadet et al. found that pretreatment with either D-alpha-tocopherol or all-racemic-alpha-tocopherol significantly attenuated these pathological changes . Roghani and Behzadi and Sharma and Nehru also demonstrated the similar phenomenon in 6-OHDA-induced PD models and in rotenone-induced PD models, respectively. However, some studies have shown that vitamin E did not completely protect dopaminergic neurons from MPTP-mediated damage in PD models . The protective effects of vitamin E may be achieved through preventing oxidative stress in cells and inhibiting apoptosis. Moreover, one study has found that tocotrienol participates not only in antioxidant stress but also in estrogen receptor beta signal transduction . Then, Nakaso’s team demonstrated a protective effect of vitamin E via this signaling pathway. Firstly, they reported that -tocotrienol/-tocotrienol exerts neuroprotective effects through the ER-PI3K/Akt signaling pathways in SH-SY5Y cells by resisting 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridiniumion- induced toxicity . Secondly, they verified this mechanism in a mouse model of PD. Meanwhile, they found -tocotrienol administration can reduce the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ER inhibitors can attenuate this neuroprotective effect . These findings indicate vitamin E may be potential therapeutic agents for PD.
What The Science Says
A study published in the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society suggests that patients in the early stages of Parkinsons disease who show low vitamin B12 experienced faster motor and cognitive decline. This suggests that vitamin supplements may help slow the progression of these symptoms.
In the study, researchers measured vitamin B12 and other B12-related factors in 680 participants with early, untreated Parkinsons Disease. They then followed up with 456 samples. The results showed that 13% of these participants had borderline low B12 levels, and 7% had elevated homocysteinean amino acid whose levels are inversely related to a vitamin deficiency. Elevated homocysteine may increase your risks for dementia, heart disease, and stroke without treatment.
Therefore, the study showed that low levels of B12 were common in those with early stages of Parkinsons Disease. Low B12 predicted greater worsening of mobility, while elevated homocysteine predicted greater cognitive decline.
So, if youre in need of a vitamin boost, a B12 supplement may help do the trick. As always, consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
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Foods That Are Hard To Chew
Another Parkinsons symptom is difficulty chewing and swallowing. In fact, its estimated that 80% of people with this condition experience difficulty swallowing as the disease progresses .
Choosing foods that are easy to chew and swallow may be important, as may working with a speech language therapist.
Can These Two Nutrients Lower Your Risk For Parkinson’s
People who consume high levels of dietary vitamin C and E may lower their risk for Parkinson’s disease by almost a third, a new study suggests.
Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, collard greens, pumpkin and nuts such as almonds and peanuts.
How might the two nutrients ward off Parkinson’s? According to the European researchers involved in the new study, vitamins C and E are also antioxidants that could ward off the cell damage Parkinson’s causes. Specifically, antioxidants might help counteract “unstable” molecules and the oxidative stress that can lead to a loss of a brain chemical called dopamine, which is a hallmark of the condition.
“The protective effect of vitamins on Parkinson’s disease risk might be limited to specific vitamins, such as vitamins E and C. Therefore, eating foods that are rich in vitamins E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease,” said researcher Essi Hantikainen, from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy.
“Also, high concentrations of vitamin C are found in the central nervous system, where it has neuroprotective properties,” she explained.
Hantikainen noted that this study can’t prove that vitamins E and C prevent Parkinson’s, only that high levels of these vitamins are associated with a lower risk of developing the disease.
Throughout the study, 465 people developed Parkinson’s disease.
More information:Journal information:
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Foods Containing Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Some studies suggest that dietary fat intake may increase the risk of Parkinsons.
Although having a higher intake of cholesterol can elevate a persons Parkinsons risk, having a higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk.
Therefore, a person with Parkinsons may wish to reduce their intake of cholesterol to help control the symptoms of the condition. They may also wish to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet.
However, further studies are required to explore the link between dietary fat and Parkinsons.
Heres How You Can Prevent Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons Disease is a neurological condition that typically affects people in their mid-50s and early 60s, and requires advanced medical care as it progresses. Getting a thorough consultation and proper treatment can keep the symptoms under control and significantly improve the patients quality of life. Heres a guide to the essential facts you need to know about Parkinsons Disease, its causes and symptoms, as well as the answers to questions like can Parkinsons Disease be prevented.
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What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons is caused by the degeneration of brain cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons are responsible for the production of a particular neurotransmitter called dopamine and it is the lack of this neurotransmitter that is responsible for the main Parkinsons symptoms. The cause of the disease is not known. However, like most degenerative illnesses, it is likely to be due to a range of factors including interactions between genes and environment. Contributory factors may include environmental toxicity, physical trauma, genetics, drugs, disease , nutritional deficiency, mitochondrial insufficiency, enzyme deficiency and unremitting stress.
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/5what Is Parkison’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement. The symptoms start to appear slowly and get worse with time. The first signs may be a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand, later on, it may cause difficulty in walking, writing, speaking and carrying out other daily activities. In this disease, certain nerve cells in the brain gradually break down or die. This leads to loss of neurons, responsible for producing a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine. When the level of dopamine in the body decreases, it leads to abnormal brain activity, impaired movement and other symptoms.
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But Too Much Vitamin E Can Also Have Negative Side Effects
According to Hantikainen, more research is needed to truly know the exact amount of vitamins C and E that would best prevent Parkinson’s.
But, she said in a statement, “the possibility of being able to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease simply with the foods we eat is encouraging news”emphasis on “foods we eat.” Hantikainen says people should exercise caution when it comes to taking supplements, particularly in the case of vitamin E. “While increasing the amounts of healthy foods in our diet is beneficial, it is important to note that excess intake of some vitamins may be harmful,” she said, adding that “too much vitamin E from supplements has been linked in other studies to a higher risk of certain cancers or stroke.”
Possible side effects from a higher dose of vitamin E include nausea, headache, blurred vision, fatigue, or intestinal cramps, the Mayo Clinic says. They note that vitamin E use can also increase the risk of prostate cancer, or worse, death in people with a “severe history of heart disease.” So, as always, it’s best to consult your doctor before you add any supplements to your routine.
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 .
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A New Study Found That Vitamin C And Vitamin E Could Successfully Reduce The Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease
The new researchpublished on Jan. 6, 2021 in the journal Neurologywas conducted with 41,058 adults, a mix of men and women ranging in age from 18 to 94 years old, who were studied for an average of 17.6 years. None of the participants were previously diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The participants were divided into three vitamin consumption groups for the study, those with the highest intake, those with moderate intake, and those with the lowest intake. Across the nearly 18-year timespan of the research, 465 peopleor 1.1 percent of participantswere diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
After looking at the results, the researchers concluded that vitamin C and vitamin E can reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease. “Our large study found that vitamin C and vitamin E were each linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, and we found the association may be even stronger when intake of both vitamin C and E is high,”Essi Hantikainen, PhD, of one of the co-authors of the study, said in a statement.
And for more vitamin news you need to know, check out If You Take Too Much of This Vitamin, It Could Be Toxic, Experts Say.