In a study from the University of British Columbia, scientists found a strong link between following the MIND and Mediterranean diets and the later onset of Parkinson’s disease.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea.
The diet contains many plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.
The MIND diet combines aspects of two very popular diets, the Mediterranean diet, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
The DASH diet limits sodium intake, sweets (in drinks and foods), and red meat.
It limits saturated and trans-saturated fat while increasing the intake of potassium, magnesium, protein, fiber, and nutrients thought to help control blood pressure.
The MIND diet has been linked to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline, but it has not been fully tested for Parkinson’s disease.
In the current study, researchers aimed to determine whether eating the MIND diet is associated with the later age of Parkinson’s disease onset in a manner superior to that of the Mediterranean diet.
They tested 167 participants with Parkinson’s disease and 119 healthy people with food frequency Questionnaires.
The responses were scored for MIND and 2 versions of Mediterranean diet adherence. Parkinson’s disease diet adherence was correlated with age at onset.
The researchers found women adhered more closely to the MIND diet than men.
Later age of onset was associated most strongly with MIND diet adherence in women.
Women who had the highest adherence to the MIND diet were 17.4 years later to have Parkinson’s disease than women with the lowest adherence to the MIND diet.
The team also found Greek Mediterranean diet adherence was also strongly linked to later Parkinson’s disease onset in men, with differences of up to 8.4 years.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that there is a strong link between the age of onset of Parkinson’s disease and dietary habits.
This suggests that nutritional strategies may be an effective tool to delay Parkinson’s disease onset.
The team says further studies may help clarify the mechanisms and differential prevalence rates in Parkinson’s disease.
The study was conducted by Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell et al and published in Movement Disorders.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Vitamin B supplements could help reduce dementia risk.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher dementia risk.
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