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Want to Help Prevent Parkinson’s Disease? Avoid This.

Four things we can do that may reduce our risk of developing Parkinson’s disease are: increase exercise; and avoid dairy products, pesticides, and accidents that damage the head. (The latter means wearing your seatbelt and bike helmets.)

What about avoiding pesticides and other industrial pollutants? A recent autopsy study found higher levels in the brains of Parkinson’s victims of certain PCBs found in Monsanto’s Aroclor, which was banned in 1979. The more PCBs found in the brain, the worse the brain damage. The worst three appeared to be PCBs 138, 153, and 180, all of which are significantly lower in the bodies of those eating plant-based diets (see Industrial Pollutants in Vegans).

So, does a vegan diet reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease? If you watch the above 3-min. video you’ll see that every prospective study looking at dairy products and Parkinson’s disease found an increased risk associated with consumption. This may be because dairy products in the United States are contaminated with neurotoxic chemicals. Autopsy studies consistently find higher levels of pollutants in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients, and some of these toxins are present at low levels in dairy products.

Tetrahydroisoquinoline is one such parkinsonism-related toxin found predominantly in cheese. Although the amounts of this neurotoxin—even in cheese—are not very high, the concern is that the chemical may accumulate in the brain over long periods of consumption resulting in the brain damage associated with Parkinson’s diease.

I also touch on Parkinson’s in:

Avoiding dairy may have other benefits. See, for example:

What if it’s too late and you or a friend or family member already have Parkinson’s? In my Care2 post on Friday I’ll cover Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos here and watch my full 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: National Cancer Institute / Wikimedia Commons

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


+ add your own
3:21PM PDT on Apr 11, 2015

Thank you for sharing the important information.

1:14PM PDT on Jul 3, 2013

Thank you doctor, very informative article and I enjoyed reading the comments from the care 2 members..

5:53AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

6:14PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

If it is genetic....there is no way of stopping it! Or anything else genetic....

1:54AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013


7:13PM PDT on Apr 8, 2013


5:49PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Thanks :-)

1:25PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Wow,great info, thank you!

9:38AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Thank you, I'll make sure I stay away from these things.

11:49PM PDT on Apr 5, 2013


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Interesting. But I agree, need to look for updates.


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