Scientists have identified diets that may delay the onset of Parkinson's disease

A new study by scientists at the University of British Columbia has found a correlation between following the MIND diet and the Mediterranean diet and a later onset of Parkinson's disease. Experts believe there is strong evidence that both diets can delay the onset of the disease by as much as 17 years in women and 8 years in men. The work was published in the journal Movement Disorders.

While scientists have long known about the neuroprotective effects of the MIND diet in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia, the new study is the first to suggest a link between the diet and brain health in Parkinson's disease.

MIND combines aspects of two very popular diets: the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches for Hypertension (DASH). The DASH diet reduces sodium levels in the body and contains a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. The differences in these diets are small, but they may hold clues to what effect certain foods and micronutrients have on brain health.

The study involved 286 volunteers. Experts studied food frequency questionnaires from 167 participants with Parkinson's disease and 119 participants in the control group. They evaluated adherence to the MIND diet and two versions of the Mediterranean diet. It turned out that the MIND diet was most beneficial to women, delaying the onset of Parkinson's disease by 17.4 years. Also, women adhered to the MIND diet more strictly than men. Men benefited most from the Greek Mediterranean diet, which delayed the onset of the disease by 8.4 years.

Jan. 14, 2021, 12:02 p.m.

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