Boosting longevity in Parkinson’s disease: the power of flavonoids

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Did you know that the foods you eat can impact your health and even influence the progression of diseases?

A recent study conducted by scientists from Penn State has found that people with Parkinson’s disease who consume more flavonoids, found in colorful foods like berries, cocoa, and red wine, may have a lower risk of mortality.

These findings shed light on the potential benefits of incorporating flavonoid-rich foods into the diet of individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the brain’s reduced production of dopamine. This condition leads to symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and balance problems.

While PD itself is not considered fatal, its complications can increase the risk of mortality. Understanding the role of diet in managing the prognosis of PD is an area of ongoing research.

The researchers analyzed data from 599 women and 652 men who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Participants were asked about their consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, including tea, apples, berries, oranges and orange juice, and red wine. The study spanned a 34-year period to assess mortality risk.

The study revealed that individuals who consumed higher amounts of flavonoids had a lower chance of dying during the study period compared to those with lower flavonoid intake.

Participants in the highest 25% of flavonoid consumers had a 70% greater chance of survival than those in the lowest group.

The top group consumed approximately 673 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids per day, while the lowest group consumed around 134 mg.

The researchers also examined the effects of specific types of flavonoids. Those in the top 25% of consumers of anthocyanins, which are found in red wine and berries, had a 66% greater survival rate than those in the lowest 25%.

Similarly, individuals in the top 25% of flavan-3-ols consumers, found in apples, tea, and wine, had a 69% greater survival rate compared to the lowest 25%.

Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant properties, which may help reduce chronic neuroinflammation levels in the body.

Additionally, these compounds may interact with enzyme activities, slow down neuron loss, and potentially protect against cognitive decline and depression. Both cognitive decline and depression are associated with higher mortality risk.

By incorporating flavonoid-rich foods into their diet, individuals with Parkinson’s disease may enhance their chances of longevity.

Berries, cocoa, tea, apples, and red wine contain beneficial flavonoids that can potentially lower inflammation, slow neuron loss, and protect against cognitive decline and depression.

While further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms at play, these findings highlight the potential role of diet in improving outcomes for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Consider adding a splash of color to your plate and glass to support your health and well-being.

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