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Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?

Sunday June 24, 2012

A recent report at the 2012 American Academy Meeting suggested that greater than 3 large cups of coffee could protect against development of brain Lewy body disease. Lewy bodies are abnormal cell deposits associated with Parkinson’s disease.  Results come from research conducted as part of the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HAAS), a prospective analysis of more than 8000 Japanese American men who were living on the island of Oahu at the initiation of the study in 1965.

Coffee (caffeine) is an A2a adenosine antagonist thought to play a role in motor control which could be beneficial in PD.

It is not known if drinking coffee after a person has PD alters the course of the disease.  Whether caffeine is neuroprotective is unknown and will be a subject for future.

Other foods found to reduce the risk of developing PD

  • Mediterranean diet- high in fruits vegetables, vegetable protein, fish, grains, nuts, beans, olive oil.
  • Vitamin B6 foods (cheese, mild, eggs, beans/legumes, potatoes, fish, meat, flour, grains, carrots, and peas)
  • Vitamin E rich foods (olive oil, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables)
  • Beer
  • Berries- blackberry, blueberry, raspberry (high in flavinoids)
  • Green tea
  • Omega 3 Fish oil such as that foundin cold water fish like salmon (reduced Parkinson’s in animal studies)

Increase risk of developing Parkinson’s was found with

  • Saturated fat- diet high in animal protein over vegetable protein)
  • Milk consumption in men

What nutrition research is clear about is that no single vitamin or food leads to ideal health.  Healthy meal patterns are your best best.  Talk to your healthcare provider before making any change in your diet. Find out more about diet, health and Parkinson’s disease at the Wellness Center.

Monique L. Giroux, MDMonique L. Giroux, MD
Medical Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

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