Parkinson’s: what role does diet play? | – Guide

Status: 07.03.2022 12:05 p.m.

Parkinson’s disease is considered incurable. However, studies now show that a good diet can prevent disease and possibly even slow it down.

Parkinson’s disease is a previously incurable disease in which nerve cells in the brain gradually die. More and more studies now show that you can reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease with the right diet – and probably even influence the course of the disease.

Mediterranean cuisine can reduce the progression of Parkinson’s disease

Lots of fresh green vegetables and other healthy ingredients: cooking around the Mediterranean not only awakens holiday feelings, but is also particularly healthy with lots of vegetables, oils with unsaturated fatty acids, fish, legumes and little meat. A growing body of research suggests that this type of diet may also slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and even reduce the risk of developing it in the first place.

Parkinson’s disease often starts without symptoms

Parkinson’s disease begins quietly and slowly, hiding in the body for many years before becoming visible with tremors or frozen facial expressions. Especially in this phase, a healthy diet is of crucial importance. Experts assume that in this early phase it is still possible to have a particularly positive effect on the disease.

Does Parkinson’s disease start in the gut?

Researchers now speculate that Parkinson’s disease begins with changes in the gut in at least some people. One explanation could be that substances migrate from the intestines to the brain and can have a harmful effect there. Although much is still unclear, the exchange of messenger substances between the gut and the brain is considered safe. They can migrate from the intestines to the brain via blood or nerve pathways. This is called the gut-brain axis.

Parkinson’s patients often have bowel problems

Until now, it is known that the intestines of patients with Parkinson’s disease are modified. Many patients complain of digestive problems such as severe constipation years before typical symptoms appear.

The composition of the microbiome, i.e. the community of gut bacteria, is also altered in people with Parkinson’s disease. studies. Normally, the beneficial inhabitants of the gut turn our food into nutrients, but there are also gut bacteria that can make you sick if the balance is upset. In people with Parkinson’s disease, for example, bacteria that make the intestinal wall permeable often predominate. Inflammatory substances can then enter the blood.

More information

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Which foods are particularly suitable for reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease? These and other questions in an interview with Professor Daniela Berg. 9 minutes

Therapy for Parkinson’s disease: food protects nerve cells

One possible treatment approach is to rebalance the gut as early as possible with a specific diet, thereby reprogramming the gut microbiome to some extent. In addition, many of those affected are nutrient deficient, especially vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin B12 need to be checked.

Studies show that certain foods can protect nerve cells.

Are good:

  • vegetables
  • full flower
  • Polyphonols (from olive oil, green tea and red fruits)

The bad ones are:

  • ready meals
  • saturated fats
  • too much sugar

Those who do not want to do without meat should at least bet on white meat, that is to say poultry rather than beef or pork.

Food and drug interactions

But not only what you eat is important. Timing is also important because some Parkinson’s disease medications should not be taken with certain foods. Anyone who takes the standard drug for Parkinson’s disease, L-dopa, should not take it with foods containing protein, because then the drug has a worse effect. Therefore, affected individuals should always take a break before and after taking the tablets.

Does intermittent fasting help with Parkinson’s disease?

A study is currently examining whether the gut microbiome can be normalized by what is called intermittent fasting. For a week, participants eat only vegetable broth, after which they take long breaks between meals for a year. Many participants report temporary symptom relief and improved quality of life. The final result of the study is still awaited.

subject specialists

More information

The model of a brain on a gray background.  © Photo: fergregory

Studies show that exercise can be just as effective as medication for Parkinson’s disease. Continued

A doctor in the operating room uses a pacemaker © picture alliance / dpa Photo: Maurizio Gambarini

If the drugs are no longer effective, patients with Parkinson’s disease can be fitted with a brain pacemaker. Deep brain stimulation is said to reduce symptoms such as tremors in the hands. Continued

Mediterranean cooking ingredients © Colourbox Photo: JuNiArt

The basics are mainly vegetables, salad, fresh fruit, nuts, plus little meat and lots of fish and seafood.

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Visit | 08.03.2022 | 8:15 p.m.

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