(NaturalHealth365) New research is finding that gut health could play a primary role in the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Scientists at California Institute of Technology found a link between gut health and the nervous system disorder. The study examined mice with Parkinson’s disease and found that symptoms were alleviated using treatments to improve gut health. Healthy gut microbes seem to cooperate with specific genes to help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder affecting motor functioning. It comes on gradually, often beginning with barely noticeable tremors, stiffness and the slowing of movement. However, as it progresses, tremors get worse and motor skills become increasingly impaired.
Gut health: A potential paradigm shift in Parkinson’s disease treatment
The study was published in the journal Cell and is raising awareness about the benefits of probiotics and prebiotic therapies. Parkinson’s disease is currently the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S. It affects around one million people and 1 percent of persons 60 years old or older.
The findings run counter to the previous belief that Parkinson’s causes are localized in the brain and nervous system. Gut microbes and the benefits of probiotics have already received quite a bit of publicity lately, and these findings are sure to accelerate discussions about the benefits of probiotics.
Treating Parkinson’s disease at the level of the gut represents a true paradigm shift in how the progressive nervous system disorder is seen and treated, say researchers. New possibilities are now available for what was once seen as an irreversible condition.
Not just a brain and nervous system disorder
Parkinson’s disease is caused by an accumulation of abnormally shaped proteins in the brain’s neurons. This in turn causes toxic effects in the cells responsible for releasing dopamine in brain regions associated with movement and motor control. Patients begin to experience tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired movement that gets worse over time.
Current Parkinson’s treatments have focused on increasing dopamine levels in the brain. However, these treatments tend to lose effectiveness over time and can also cause a range of unpleasant side effects.
Patients afflicted with Parkinson’s disease have been found to have an altered gut microbiome. They can also have resultant gastrointestinal problems that may precede or accompany the more common Parkinson’s symptoms.
Benefits of probiotics now include lowered risk of Parkinson’s disease
Healthy gut microbe levels are already linked with positive neuronal development and healthy cognitive abilities. By contrast, gut health problems have been connected with brain and mood issues including depression, anxiety and autism. This recent research is shining a light on the role of the gut microbiome in avoiding neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
While more research must be done to identify the specific metabolites associated with Parkinson’s disease, taking steps to improve gut health is a good idea regardless. The list of benefits of probiotics keeps growing longer, and a lowered risk of Parkinson’s is highly compelling.
Some of the best food sources of probiotics include yogurt and fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir, kombucha, tempeh and kimchi. And, finally, eating plenty of organic, raw fruits and vegetables is critical for gut health.
Food & Nutrition
Natural Health 365
Natural Health 365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you informed! Articles range in topic from the cancer fighting qualities of Olive Oil, to the remarkably high concentration of anti-oxidants found in blueberries, to how to make your own almond milk, to a nutritional comparison of organic vs conventional produce, to an analysis of the health benefits of tree nuts. You can find all of the Food News Articles here
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Artichokes, Olive Oil, Almond Milk, Blueberries
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to exploring health benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements, we also aim to connect healthy eating and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting health and adding healthy, happy years to your life. For example, did you know that eating Granny Smith Apples on a regular basis can reduce your chance of building up unhealthy gut yeast? Or that ingesting ground hemp seeds can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
We’d love to know what you’re thinking! Please join the conversation on Facebook, post comments here on the website and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Please use and share the articles you find here with your friends, family and peers.