What diet is best in Parkinson's disease?

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Brian Kirchmann

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What diet is best in Parkinson's disease?
« on: 10/05/2011 16:01:02 »
Brian Kirchmann  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris,

I so enjoy your programme on 702.
I was diagnosed with early Parkinson's in August 2010. My Doctor prescribed Azilect, which has made a big difference in how I feel.
I also see a Biokinetisist twice a week.

My diet is relatively healthy. However I would like to know what or what not to eat.
I look forward to hearing from you,
With grateful thanks,
Yours sincerely,
Gail Kirchmann.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 10/05/2011 16:01:02 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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What diet is best in Parkinson's disease?
« Reply #1 on: 10/05/2011 17:19:07 »
Most notes on the WWW indicate a balanced diet, and if you are having difficulties with GI symptoms, selecting foods that you can tolerate. 


An important metabolic pathway is:

phenylalanine --> tyrosine --> L-Dopa --> Dopamine

All three of these metabolic precursors for Dopamine can be found in plants and foods.  So, you may choose tyrosine and phenylalanine rich foods as long as you are NOT taking L-Dopa.  Azilect is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) type B inhibitor, and slows the degradation of Dopamine in your brain.

Notes on the above page indicate that protein rich diets may actually inhibit the absorption of L-Dopa.  However, that would not be as big of an issue when using a MAO inhibitor.

Consult your physician before taking dietary supplements, or making any major dietary changes.


Offline RD

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What diet is best in Parkinson's disease?
« Reply #2 on: 10/05/2011 17:30:35 »
There is a bean which contains a dopamine precursor and has bean been used to treat Parkinson disease ... 

M.pruriens seeds ... formulations of the seed powder have shown promise in the management and treatment of Parkinson disease

NB: Just because a substance is "natural" does not necessarily mean it it safe.
"natural" remedies can also interact with prescription medication.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2011 17:33:10 by RD »


Offline Kevan Gelling

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What diet is best in Parkinson's disease?
« Reply #3 on: 20/05/2011 13:40:28 »
Low vitamin D levels are common in people with Parkinson's disease (1) and may even be a cause (2)(3), so a diet high in vitamin D (lots of oily fish) will help.

Check your vitamin D levels checked and try to get your 25(OH)D level above 40 ng/mL.  If you can't achieve this with diet alone, then supplement (1000 IU/d = +10ng/mL)

1. Evatt, M. L. et al.  High prevalence of hypovitaminosis d status in patients with early parkinson disease. Arch Neurol 68, 314-319 (2011). URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2011.30 [nofollow].
2. Butler, M. W. et al.  Vitamin d receptor gene as a candidate gene for parkinson disease. Annals of human genetics  75, 201-210 (2011). URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1809.2010.00631.x [nofollow].
3. Knekt, P. et al.  Serum vitamin d and the risk of parkinson disease. Arch Neurol 67, 808-811 (2010). URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2010.120 [nofollow].