Eating Berries May Reduce Risk of Parkinson's Disease;
Men Especially Benefit
Berries. They’re sweet, they’re natural, and they may even fight off Parkinson’s disease.
In a just-released study, researchers have found that men and women who regularly eat berries may have a lower risk of developing the disorder of Parkinson’s, which is currently incurable and attacks the central nervous system.
Men may further lower their risk for the disease by regularly eating apples, oranges and other sources rich in dietary components called flavonoids, according to study findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
In the study, researchers gave the study participants -- 49,281 men and 80,336 women -- questionnaires, calculated how many flavonoids they ate regularly, then analyzed the association between flavonoid intakes and risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
They also analyzed consumption of five major sources of foods rich in flavonoids: tea, berries, apples, red wine, and oranges or orange juice.
The participants were followed for 20 to 22 years. During that time, 805 people developed Parkinson's disease.
In men, the top 20% who consumed the most flavonoids were about 40% less likely to develop Parkinson's than the bottom 20% of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids.
In women, there was no relationship between overall flavonoid consumption and developing Parkinson's, but women who regularly ate berries, which contain a sub-class of flavonoids called anthocyanins, did receive added health benefits like the men in the study.
Study author Dr. Xiang Gao, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said this is the first study in humans to examine the association between flavonoids and risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
"Our findings suggest that flavonoids, specifically a group called anthocyanins, may have neuroprotective effects. If confirmed, flavonoids may be a natural and healthy way to reduce your risk of developing Parkinson's disease."
(Article courtesy of ConsumerAffairs.com)
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