A healthy diet may reduce risk of Parkinson's

December 5, 2007 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

A healthy diet may reduce risk of Parkinson's

A diet focused on fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, poultry, and fish could lower risk of Parkinson's by as much as 32 percent, say researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In this report, data from two large studies were combined and analyzed for associations between specific diet patterns and risk of Parkinson's disease. Two dominant diet patterns emerged from the analysis: the prudent diet and the Western diet.

The prudent diet consisted of high intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, poultry, and fish with moderate alcohol consumption while the Western diet had an emphasis on red meats, processed meats, refined grains, French fries, desserts and sweets, and high-fat foods.

People who frequently followed the prudent diet had a lower risk for Parkinson's disease than those who often deviated from this eating pattern. Following a Western diet was not associated with an increased Parkinson's disease risk.

The researchers believe the high amounts of antioxidants and folic acid and limited saturated fat content in the prudent diet helped to lower the risk of Parkinson's.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to co-ordinate their movements. According to the Parkinson's Society of Canada, nearly 100,000 Canadians are affected by Parkinson's disease.   

Previous studies have examined the link between Parkinson's disease risk and intake of individual foods and nutrients. This is the first study to look at overall diet patterns in relation to the risk of Parkinson's disease.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.