`Adherence to MedDiet Reduces Risk of Contracting Symptoms Associated With Parkinson’s, Study Finds - Olive Oil Times

Adherence to MedDiet Reduces Risk of Contracting Symptoms Associated With Parkinson’s, Study Finds

By Paolo DeAndreis
Sep. 2, 2020 08:43 UTC

Following the alter­na­tive Mediterranean diet appears to lower the risk of con­tract­ing sev­eral pro­dro­mal symp­toms of Parkinson’s dis­ease, accord­ing to the results of a study from Harvard University.

Prodromal symp­toms are non-motor symp­toms that man­i­fest them­selves years or decades before the onset of a dis­ease and indi­cate that a per­son may be at higher risk for con­tract­ing that dis­ease.

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The study, which was pub­lished in the sci­en­tific jour­nal Neurology, ana­lyzed data from 47,679 indi­vid­u­als that had been col­lected dur­ing two long-term, large-scale stud­ies: the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Dietary infor­ma­tion was col­lected at four year inter­vals from the par­tic­i­pants, begin­ning in 1986. Participants’ adher­ence to the dif­fer­ent dietary pat­terns, includ­ing the alter­na­tive Mediterranean diet – a scor­ing sys­tem used by researchers to deter­mine how closely the MedDiet is fol­lowed – and the alter­na­tive Healthy Eating Index (aHEI), was then cal­cu­lated.

At first, researchers focused on par­tic­i­pants who had responded to a 2012 sur­vey regard­ing con­sti­pa­tion and rapid eye move­ment sleep behav­ior dis­or­der, both of which are pro­dro­mal symp­toms of Parkinson’s dis­ease.

A few years later – in 2014 and 2015 – the researchers fol­lowed up with 17,400 par­tic­i­pants who had responded to the 2012 sur­vey and asked about a wider range of pro­dro­mal symp­toms, includ­ing loss of the sense of smell, alter­ations in the color vision, exces­sive day­time sleepi­ness, depres­sion and bod­ily pain.

A com­par­i­son of par­tic­i­pants’ symp­toms and diets found that higher adher­ence to the two diets was inversely asso­ci­ated with symp­toms. Adherence to the alter­na­tive Mediterranean diet reduced the chances of pro­dro­mal symp­toms occur­ring in 33 per­cent of par­tic­i­pants. Those fol­low­ing the aHEI diet saw a reduced chance of 32 per­cent.

While this study does not show cause and effect, it cer­tainly pro­vides one more rea­son to include more veg­eta­bles, nuts and legumes in your diet,” Samantha Mosberry, a co-author of the study and researcher from Harvard University, said.

More research is needed to deter­mine if a healthy diet could delay or even pre­vent the devel­op­ment of Parkinson’s dis­ease among peo­ple who already have these pro­dro­mal symp­toms,” she added.


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