Dairy Food Products Increase the Risk of Developing Parkinson's disease (PD)

Dairy Food Products Increase the Risk of Developing Parkinson's disease (Pd)

People who have Parkinson's disease (PD) experience tremors or shaking as a result of the damage to their nerve cells. Tremors caused by Parkinson's get worse when the person is at rest and better when the person moves. The tremor may affect one side of the body more than the other, and can affect the lower jaw, arms and legs. Handwriting may also look "shaky" and smaller than usual. Other symptoms of Parkinson's disease include nightmares, depression, excess saliva, difficulty walking or buttoning clothes, or cutting food.It is known to affect people from all ethnic groups. Although the incidence is higher in the elderly population, more than one in ten sufferers is diagnosed by the age of 50.


Arvid Carlsson's research revealed that dopamine is a transmitter of the brain that helps to control movements and that Parkinson's disease is related to lack of dopamine. As a result of this discovery, there is now an effective treatment (L-DOPA) for Parkinson's disease. Carlsson's work also demonstrated how other medications work, especially drugs used to treat schizophrenia, and has led to the development of a new generation of effective antidepressant medications

.Eating less protein may help to make levodopa work better. However, do not begin a low-protein diet without first talking to your health care provider. A major risk with a low-protein diet is weight loss and malnutrition. If you have closed-angle glaucoma, you should not take levodopa.

By keeping homocysteine levels low, folic acid can protect cerebral vessels and can prevent the accumulation of DNA damage in neurons caused by oxidative stress and facilitated by homocysteine.

The loss of these specific brain cells and decline in dopamine concentration are the cornerstone of signs and symptoms of PD as well as the target for treatment. The biological mechanism responsible for the brain cell loss has not been identified.

Parkinson's disease is progressive, meaning the signs and symptoms become worse over time. But although Parkinson's disease may eventually be disabling, the disease often progresses gradually, and most people have many years of productive living after a diagnosis.

Recent study in the UK has demonstrated that quality of life may not be strongly correlated with severity of Parkinson's disease but is affected by additional factors, such as the patients' access to a support group, the ability to gain the information and quality of contact they require, their use of non-drug therapies, etc.

Involuntary movements associated with PD result in increased energy expenditure, while both disease symptoms and medication side-effects can limit food intake. In addition, patients with the disease may choose to follow unconventional nutritional therapies that exacerbate malnutrition. Dietitians play a key role in helping patients with PD to optimize their nutritional status and manage various nutrition-related symptoms and medication side-effects. PD patients' food habits changed so that they consumed a lower number of prepared complete meals. PD patients with weight loss had a higher intake of fat and energy than those without weight loss, although this was obviously not sufficient to prevent weight loss. Impaired absorption of fat in PD should be discussed.

The role of antioxidants in slowing the progression of certain neurological disorders has been suggested as oxidation may be a causative factor in several disorders of the nervous system. Supplementation with vitamin C and E might be of benefit in slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease. Further trials, however, need to be conducted to substantiate these claims.
“Many people are spending a lot of money hoping to find something that can help them, but there was no evidence available to show that nutritional supplements, including Vitamin E, are useful in slowing the progress of the disease or improving Parkinson’s symptoms,” says Stephen Reich, M.D., a guidelines contributor who is co-director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In fact, the reviewers found that while there are good medications to manage Parkinson’s symptoms, there are no medicines at this time, including conventional therapies, which have been shown to actually slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

A new study has confirmed a relationship between consuming large amounts of dairy products and an increase in the rate of Parkinson's disease in men, but the reason for this relationship remains a puzzle.

Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults followed for 9 years, those who ate the largest amount of dairy foods had an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a disorder in which movement-regulating cells in the brain die or become impaired.

There was a clear pattern seen among men, whose Parkinson's risk increased in tandem with consumption of diary, particularly milk. The results were more ambiguous among women, however.

The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology, echo those of earlier studies that found a link between dairy consumption and Parkinson's in men, but not women.

For now, it's not clear what effect, if any, dairy foods might have on women's risk of the disease. Nor is it known why there is a relationship seen in men, lead study author Dr. Honglei Chen, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, told Reuters Health.

Larger studies are needed to find out which dairy products might be responsible, and why, according to Chen.

The findings are based on detailed dietary and lifestyle information collected from 57,689 men and 73,175 women who took part in a cancer prevention study. Over 9 years, 250 men and 138 women were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Men with the highest levels of dairy consumption were 60 percent more likely to develop the disease than those who consumed the least amounts of dairy, the study found. Men in the highest-intake group consumed an average of 815 grams of dairy per day, which is roughly equivalent to three to four glasses of milk; those in the lowest-intake group consumed 78 grams of dairy per day, on average.

Milk, rather than dairy products like yogurt and cheese, explained most of the association, according to Chen's team.

This study and previous ones indicate that calcium, vitamin D and fat are not responsible for the link between dairy foods and Parkinson's disease. One theory is that pesticides or other nerve-damaging toxins present in milk could contribute to Parkinson's disease over time. However, dairy foods would likely be only a small part of most people's exposure to these chemicals, according to Chen.

Furthermore, pesticide residues may also be present in other foods, but no other foods were related to Parkinson's disease risk in this study, the researcher noted.

For now, Chen said there is no reason to shun dairy because of the potential relationship to Parkinson's disease. "Given some of the potential health benefits of dairy foods, people can still enjoy their moderate amounts."

However, the researcher added, since the dairy-Parkinson's link has now been seen consistently in different studies, further research is needed to understand why.

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