Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder. It gradually reduces dopamine, a chemical in the brain, affecting speech, walking and balance.
The causes aren’t known, and there are no effective treatments, nor is there a cure.
In a recent study from the University of Milano-Bicocca, researchers found that people who consume high levels of dietary vitamin C and E may lower their risk for Parkinson’s disease by almost a third.
They found vitamins C and E are also antioxidants that could ward off the cell damage Parkinson’s causes.
Specifically, antioxidants might help counteract “unstable” molecules and the oxidative stress that can lead to a loss of a brain chemical called dopamine, which is a hallmark of the condition.
The study is published in Neurology. One author is Essi Hantikainen.
In the study, the team followed nearly 44,000 adults in Sweden for an average of 18 years. None had Parkinson’s at the start.
Participants completed a questionnaire at the outset about their medical history, diet and exercise, including height, weight and physical activity.
They were then divided into three groups: those with the highest intake of vitamins E and C, those with moderate intake and those with the lowest intake.
Throughout the study, 465 people developed Parkinson’s disease.
The team found people who got the most vitamins E and C had a 32% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than those who got the least.
Researchers suggest antioxidants may be one of the factors that protect against Parkinson’s. Vitamins C and E are also antioxidants that could ward off cell damage.
Therefore, eating foods that are rich in vitamins E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, collard greens, pumpkin and nuts such as almonds and peanuts.
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