The Role of Pesticides in Parkinson’s Disease

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Within the unique description of Parkinson’s illness by none apart from Dr. James Parkinson himself, he described a attribute characteristic of the illness: constipation, which can precede the prognosis by a few years. In reality, bowel motion frequency may be predictive. Males with lower than one bowel motion a day had been 4 instances extra like more likely to develop Parkinson’s a mean of 12 years later. This may very well be merely a very early symptom of the illness tied to decreased water consumption, nonetheless. Many Parkinson’s sufferers report by no means actually feeling very thirsty, and maybe that led to the constipation. “Alternately, one might speculate that constipation additionally increases the chance of Parkinson’s illness as constipation leads to an extended keep of the feces within the bowel and thus extra absorption of neurotoxicants,” neurotoxins from the food plan.

Two research suggest an affiliation between constipation and Parkinson’s, however, on the identical time, 38 research hyperlink the illness to pesticide publicity and by now greater than 100 research link pesticides to an elevated threat of as much as 80 p.c.

Many of those research are on occupational publicity, like that skilled by farmworkers, who might reduce their threat of Parkinson’s by sporting gloves and washing their garments, however Parkinson’s has additionally been linked to ambient publicity. In the USA the place roughly a billion kilos of pesticides are utilized yearly, simply dwelling or working in high-spray areas might enhance Parkinson’s threat. It’s the identical with utilizing pesticides within the residence. I didn’t understand how widespread family pesticide use was, and a research out of UCLA suggests it won’t be such a good suggestion. 

Pesticides might cause DNA mutations that enhance susceptibility for Parkinson’s or play a extra direct position. Many neurodegenerative illnesses appear to be brought on by the buildup of misfolded proteins. In Alzheimer’s, it’s the protein amyloid beta; in Creutzfeldt-Jakob and mad cow illness, it’s prions; in Huntington’s, it’s a distinct protein; and in Parkinson’s illness, it’s a protein known as alpha synuclein. Quite a lot of pesticides—eight out of the 12 examined by researchers—had been in a position to set off synuclein accumulation in human nerve cells, not less than in a petri dish, although the research has since been retracted so it’s unclear what the information truly confirmed.

The buildup of synuclein might play a job in killing off specialised nerve cells within the mind, 70 p.c of which can be gone by the point the primary signs come up. Pesticides are so good at killing these neurons that researchers use them to attempt to recreate Parkinson’s illness in animals. Is there any solution to cease the method? As of this writing, there aren’t but any medication that may prevent this protein aggregation. What about flavonoid phytonutrients, pure compounds present in sure vegatables and fruits? Flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and will have neuroprotective results, so researchers examined 48 completely different plant compounds to see if any might cease the clumping of synuclein proteins into the little fibers that clog up the cell. And, certainly, they discovered quite a lot of flavonoids that may not solely inhibit the spider web-like formation of synuclein fibers, however some might even break them up. It seems flavonoids may very well bind to synuclein proteins and stabilize them.

In my video Berries vs. Pesticides in Parkinson’s Disease, you’ll be able to see wholesome nerve cells and the neurites, the arms they use to speak to 1 one other. After publicity to a pesticide, nonetheless, you’ll be able to see how the cell is broken and the arms are retracted. However, for those who first incubate the nerve cells with a blueberry extract, the nerve cell seems higher in a position to stand up to the pesticide results. So, this suggests that flavonoids in our food plan could also be combating Parkinson’s illness as we communicate, and wholesome diets could also be efficient in stopping and even treating the dysfunction. Nonetheless, these had been all petri dish experiments in a laboratory. Is there any proof that individuals consuming berries are shielded from Parkinson’s?

A research revealed fairly a very long time in the past suggested the consumption of blueberries and strawberries was protecting, however it was a tiny research and its outcomes weren’t statistically important. However, that was the perfect we had…till now. In a newer research, these eating quite a lot of phytonutrients had been much less more likely to develop Parkinson’s illness. Particularly, greater consumption of berries was related to considerably decrease threat. The accompanying editorial, “An Apple a Day to Stop Parkinson Illness,” concluded that extra analysis is critical, however, till then, “an apple a day is likely to be a good suggestion.” In fact, that’s coming from a person. Apples appeared protecting in opposition to Parkinson’s for males, however not ladies. Nonetheless, everybody appeared to learn from the berries.

We might not wish to have our berries with cream, although, as milk could also be contaminated with the identical sort of neurotoxic pesticide residues discovered within the brains of Parkinson’s illness victims.


I’ve produced different movies on Parkinson’s illness, together with: 

Study different neurological muscular issues, together with important tremor and ALS:

The identical motive Parkinson’s could also be associated to constipation may clarify the breast most cancers connection. For extra on this, see my video Breast Cancer and Constipation.

What else can berries do?

However what about all of the sugar in fruit? See my movies If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit? and How Much Fruit Is Too Much?.

In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: When you haven’t but, you’ll be able to subscribe to my free movies here and watch my stay, year-in-review shows:





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