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Nutrition Notes for Parkinson's disease

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

- Hippocrates

Managing your nutrition is one way you can take control of your PD.

Currently, there is no specific diet recommended for Parkinson's disease.  This may be due to the fact that Parkinson's disease manifests very differently in every individual.  Food choices often times depend on many other factors for each individual including allergies, preferences, budget, other existing conditions (comorbidities), and medications to name a few.

The best recommendation is to make a commitment to improve your diet and eat as healthfully as possible.  Get educated on how to avoid diet related problems, and keep up with the latest updates on nutrition for PD.  If you are unsure about your eating habits, consult a certified nutritionist to help set you on the right path and find a diet that will help maintain your optimal health.

Below is information meant to peak your curiosity into further research, it is not an endorsement or prescription.  Get educated.  Read the latest research and decide for yourself what type of diet and supplement regimen could work best for you on your journey with Parkinson's disease.

Bowls of raspberries, blueberries, and cereal

- TAKE NOTE -

Meals high in protein may interfere with your medication absorption. If you feel as if your medication seems off after a high protein meal, consult your doctor and get a referral to a certified nutritionist for help with meal planning.

- NUTRITION TIPS -

  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

  • eat smaller meals more regularly

  • include fiber rich foods daily

  • to increase saliva production eat something tart before a meal

  • maintain weight at healthy levels

  • make sure meals include essential minerals and vitamins

  • avoid heavy caffeine, alcohol, & dairy

  • consult a certified nutritionist for help if needed and for more nutritional content information visit www.nutrition.gov

Dietary practices and Parkinson's disease progression

Foods associated with change in the PRO-PD score*
(Patient Reported Outcome in Parkinson's Disease questionnaire score)

10 Foods associated with no change 

  1. fresh vegetables

  2. fresh fruit

  3. nuts

  4. fish

  5. Olive oil

  6. wine

  7. turkey

  8. coconut

  9. fresh herbs

  10. spices

10 foods associated with disease progression

  1. canned fruit

  2. diet soda

  3. canned vegetables

  4. fried food

  5. beef

  6. soda (especially diet)

  7. ice cream

  8. yogurt

  9. cheese

  10. frozen vegetables

*This information is reported from a research article in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Please refer to the article in the Reference section for details and a direct link.

Best supplements associated with no progression of Parkinson's disease* 

Inosine

Glutathione, oral

DHEA

Lithium, low dose

Low dose Naltrexone

CoQ10

Fish Oil

Quercetin

Turmeric/curcumin

Gingko Biloba

*This information is reported from a research article in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Please refer to the article in the Reference section for details and a direct link.

Healthful Meal Planning can have a positive impact on overall well-being

Click the food colors to see several days of actual diets from PD clients, and what types of changes can be made to improve upon their nutrition. 

Place Setting

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Place Setting

Get Educated.

 

 

Due to the success of the KD applied to children with Epilepsy, most research notes beneficial use of the Keto Diet (KD) with Epilepsy patients.  Therefore, the idea to apply the same diet for people with PD was proposed.  However, there is not enough scientific data to conclude that this diet would be beneficial for Parkinson’s Disease (PD).  It is important to note that people with neurodegenerative conditions are already at high risk for malnutrition, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal disorders, and will not likely maintain a strict diet like Keto long term, as it is not easy nor feasible.  Also, most of the studies done applying a strict KD have been either in vitro, or on animals (mice/rats) by inducing a neurotoxin which mimics PD, not actual PD.  Further, there have not been enough long term human studies to conclusively prove that the KD is appropriate to attenuate PD progression or improve symptoms.  

Is the Keto Diet good for Parkinson’s disease? 
by Cecilia Pulido

Keto diet & PD

It is very difficult to study whether specific nutrients help one to avoid developing Parkinson’s disease (PD), or if these nutrients affect disease progression.  Since PD affects individuals very differently, to study the effects of nutrient specific substances would require a very large test group for a long period of time.  To conduct a study of this magnitude would be very expensive and difficult to determine outcome measures [16].

 

However, understanding the effects of nutrition on Parkinson’s disease is valuable.  Therefore, in a study of over 1000 participants, researchers used a questionnaire inquiring about food and supplement choices in people with stages 1-3* Parkinson’s disease.  In this scenario, the heterogeneity of the disease became the outcome measure [16].  Of interest was that although gender, income, disease stage and age of participant had moderate variance, the striking difference throughout the entire test group was that there was dramatic dominance of Caucasian ethnicity.  Nearly 93% of participants with Parkinson’s disease were Caucasian.  The study measured dietary variables, nutritional supplements, and nutritional behaviors.  

 *Hoehn & Yahr Scale which categorizes Parkinson’s disease into 5 stages

How nutrition and supplements can affect Parkinson’s disease progression
by Cecilia Pulido

Supplements for PD
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