Poor gut health linked to Parkinson’s disease, NEW study finds

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poor-gut-health(NaturalHealth365) 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 worsen, and motor skills become increasingly impaired.

Although the development of Parkinson’s disease remains somewhat of a mystery, researchers suspect that gut health could play a primary role in the onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Recent research has uncovered that shifts in the mix of bacteria in the gut and their byproducts might influence the way Parkinson’s disease takes shape.  Interestingly, certain studies propose that including probiotics in our routines could bring antioxidant effects that aid in managing Parkinson’s symptoms.  These probiotics could potentially enhance the performance of cellular powerhouses called mitochondria, reducing the harmful impacts of Parkinson’s.

Gut health: A potential paradigm shift in Parkinson’s disease treatment

In 2022, a study supported by the Parkinson’s Foundation brought to light a concerning statistic: almost 90,000 individuals receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease each year in the U.S.  This number marks a significant rise of 50%, compared to the earlier estimate of 60,000 yearly diagnoses.  Now, the question arises: What factors contribute to this rise in prevalence?

A recently published article in the Journal of Advanced Research explored the influence of gut microbiome changes on Parkinson’s disease development.  The findings challenge the previous belief that Parkinson’s causes are confined to the brain and nervous system.

According to researchers, addressing Parkinson’s disease at the gut level signifies a fundamental shift in understanding and treating this progressive nervous system disorder.  This novel perspective opens up new avenues for treating a condition once considered irreversible.

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.

Scientific evidence points to a significant revelation: individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease exhibit an altered gut microbiome.  This alteration can be accompanied by gastrointestinal issues that might precede or coincide with the more familiar symptoms of Parkinson’s.

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 organic 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.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
NIH.gov
Parkinson.org
Dailymail.co.uk
NIH.gov

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