Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet

Caffeine consumption appears to help prevent Parkinson’s, but what if you already have the condition? A recent study found that giving folks the equivalent of about two cups of coffee a day worth of caffeine significantly improved symptoms of the disease. Of course, there’s only so much you can charge for coffee, so drug companies took caffeine and added a few side groups so they could patent it into new drugs (Preladenant and Istradefylline). These drugs appear to work no better than plain caffeine, which is dramatically cheaper and probably safer. You can see more of the risks and benefits of coffee and caffeine in†Coffee and Cancer and†What About the Caffeine?

7 Coffee Pros & Cons

Similarly, certain plants, such as berries, and plant-based diets in general may help prevent Parkinson’s. See my last Care2 post Avoiding Dairy to Prevent Parkinsonís. This may be partially because of pollutants that magnify up the food chain into the meat and dairy supply, but it could also be from the protective phytonutrients in healthy plant foods. For example, as you can see in the above video, I profile a case report in which a dietician struck with Parkinsonís was able to successfully clear most of her symptoms with a plant-based diet rich in strawberries, whole wheat, and brown rice. These are rich sources of two particular phytonutrients, N-hexacosanol and fisetin, but there hadn’t been a formal interventional trial published, until now.

At its root, Parkinson’s is a dopamine deficiency disease due to a die-off of dopamine-generating cells in the brain. These cells make dopamine from L-dopa derived from an amino acid in our diet. Just like we saw with the serotonin story I described in my three-part series†The Wrong Way to Boost Serotonin,†A Better Way to Boost Serotonin, and†The Best Way to Boost Serotonin, the consumption of animal products blocks the transport of L-dopa into the brain, crowding it out.† With this knowledge, researchers first tried what’s called a “protein redistribution diet.” This is where people could only eat meat for supper so the patients would hopefully be sleeping by the time the negative effects of the animal protein hit.

The researchers didn’t consider cutting out all animal products altogether until it was discovered that fiber consumption naturally boosts L-dopa levels. Thus, a plant-based diet would be expected to raise levodopa bioavailability and bring some advantages in the management of the disease through two mechanisms: reduced animal protein intake and an increased fiber intake. That’s why plant protein is superior, because that’s where fiber is found. So researchers put folks on a strictly vegan diet, saving beans for the end of the day, and indeed found a significant improvement in symptoms.

More on what fiber can do for us in videos such as:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít 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: Stirling Noyes and†Elvert Barnes / Flickr

Related:
Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Boost Serotonin Naturally
What Should Women Eat to Live Longest?

92 comments

Adbul W
Adbul Willy29 minutes ago

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Past Member
Past Member 4 days ago

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Charlotte Cora
Charlotte Cora1 months ago

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Charlotte Cora
Charlotte Cora1 months ago

Hello everyone i am charlotte cora by name.I was diagnosed with HERPES for close to a year and 4 years my friend Cindy introduced me to Dr Abaka that i can be cured by him which I never believed because I have spend so much money on different doctors. She advised that i give it a try because he cured her of Cancer with natural herbs. So I mailed him and complain to him about my illness, he said to me I am in the right place. Today i am the most happy person on Earth all thanks to Dr Abaka, he cured me with his herbal medicine. All i did was to order for the herbs which he sent through courier delivery services and he instructed me on how to apply it for a period of 2 weeks, before the completion of the 2nd week i was totally cured .I'm so happy thank you Dr Abaka. I share this because of the pain i passed through when i had it and i care about those passing through the same pain. He also said he has herbs for all kind of illness including HIV/AIDS, ASTHMA, CANCER, DIABETIC 1&2, BARRENNESS, IMPOTENCE, WOMB DAMAGE, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE and EPILEPSY, Email him now on drabakaspelltemple@gmail.com or call him on +2349063230051.Thank you doctor i will keep on telling the world about you because i am free of genital herpes forever.

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Chethan HC
Chethan HC2 months ago

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Roxana Saez
Roxana S4 months ago

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Richiee L.
Richiee L.5 months ago

I was diagnose of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 2 years ago, my family doctor told me there is no cure but it can only be controled. Ever since then i have been running heather scepter looking for a solution to my problem because i was going to lose my Job if i dont get better, until i ran into this online testimony of Mrs Stacey who have been cured of COPD by this herbal clinic in Africa (Astoria Herbal Clinic), i immediately contacted them via their email (astoriashrine@gmail.com), to God be thy glory i bought this COPD herbal remedy and was cured within 3 weeks of usage, at last this is a break through for all COPD patients contact this herbal clinic via their email astoriashrine@gmail.com or whasapp +2349051441669

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Richiee L.
Richiee L.5 months ago

I was diagnose of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 2 years ago, my family doctor told me there is no cure but it can only be controled. Ever since then i have been running heather scepter looking for a solution to my problem because i was going to lose my Job if i dont get better, until i ran into this online testimony of Mrs Stacey who have been cured of COPD by this herbal clinic in Africa (Astoria Herbal Clinic), i immediately contacted them via their email (astoriashrine@gmail.com), to God be thy glory i bought this COPD herbal remedy and was cured within 3 weeks of usage, at last this is a break through for all COPD patients contact this herbal clinic via their email astoriashrine@gmail.com or whasapp +2349051441669

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Shirley Klassen
Shirley Klassen5 months ago

The love of my life for the last 17 years was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nearly 4 years ago, at age 52. He had a stooped posture, tremors, muscle stiffness, horrible driving skills, and slow movement. He was placed on Sinemet 50/200 at night for 7 months and then Sifrol and rotigotine were introduced which replaced the Sinemet but he had to stop due to side effects. He started having hallucinations, lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medications I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor's knowledge) In March this year his primary physician suggested we started him on Natural Herbal Gardens Parkinson’s Herbal formula which eased his anxiety a bit, i’m happy to report this PD herbal treatment worked very effectively. His Parkinson’s is totally under control, he had a total decline in symptoms, the tremors, shaking, stiffness, slow movement and speech problems stopped. Visit Natural Herbal Gardens official web page ww w. naturalherbalgardens. c om. My family are amazed at the change and rapid improvement. This herbal treatment is a breakthrough for all PD sufferers. SHARE WITH FRIENDS!!

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Shalley L
Shalley Lloyd7 months ago

I was around 58 when my thumb started giving me problems. As time passed i had other symptoms; hand tremors, restless sleep, muscle weakness, cognitive decline, voice spasm, stiff achy right arm and ankle. At 60 i was diagnose of PARKINSONS DISEASE, i was on Carbidopa and Pramipexole for two years, they helped alot but not for long. As the disease progressed my symptoms worsened, with my neurologist guidance i started on natural alternative PARKINSONS DISEASE treatment from R.H.F. (Rich Herbs Foundation), the treatment worked very effectively, my severe symptoms simply vanished, i feel better now than I have ever felt and i can feel my strength again. My neurologist was very open when looking at alternative medicines and procedures, this alternative parkinson disease treatment is a breakthrough.

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