Parkinson’s patients ‘could live longer’ if they ate three fruits a day, study says


A daily intake of strawberries could help Parkinson’s patients, according to a study.

Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that other foods and beverages, such as apples, orange juice, and tea, also provide benefits to people with the disease.

The study tracked and analyzed the diets of 1,250 Parkinson’s sufferers over three decades.

It found that having a diet rich in antioxidants is beneficial for those with the disease.

The fruit provides the body with antioxidants that are believed to help protect brain cells that normally die during the fight against disease, according to research.

In particular, the study suggested that antioxidant flavonoids may help quell inflammation and treat a variety of other conditions, including diabetes and blood pressure.

Those who consumed at least 683 mg of flavonoids per day on average were found to be 70 percent more likely to be alive at the end of the three-decade study.

Eating 683 mg is the equivalent of eating an entire package of strawberries or six apples a day.

However, the researchers suggest that just three servings of flavonoid-rich foods per week could be beneficial for Parkinson’s patients.

And even switching to red wine might help, they said, because it also contains high amounts of flavonoids.

Pile of three fresh, ripe, organic strawberries on a white background.
Strawberries are full of antioxidants.

Epidemiology professor Xiang Gao, who led the study, admitted that more research is needed to explain exactly why flavonoids improve the condition.

The study, published online in Neurology, was observational, meaning it didn’t look at why strawberries and other fruits might have a protective effect in Parkinson’s patients.

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Writing in the study, Professor Gao said: “If someone with Parkinson’s can add a few servings of berries, apples, oranges and tea to their weekly diets, our results suggest that it may be an easy and low-risk way to possibly improve.” . your result

“And while we don’t encourage people who don’t currently drink alcohol to start, people who do drink might consider switching to red wine.”

The Parkinson’s patients included in the study had an average age of 72 years with an even split between men and women.

The results were drawn from major studies between 1986 and 2018.

They all filled out questionnaires about their diets every two to four years, which allowed the scientists to estimate how many flavonoids they consumed per day.

The participants were then divided into four groups based on their intake: the lowest consumers took 134 mg per day, compared to 673 mg among the highest.

A glass of red wine is poured.
Even switching to red wine could be beneficial…

Over the 32-year period, sadly, a total of 944, about 75 percent, of the participants died.

The patients died with the condition and not from it.

The study noted the difference in survival rates between the two groups based on daily intake and also looked at whether consuming three servings of berries per week had a protective impact.

The results mirrored those of the other group, and also showed that the patients were less likely to die at the end of the study, compared to people who only ate one serving per month.

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Another paper by Professor Gao from 2012 also found that eating strawberries reduced the risk of death in men with Parkinson’s by 40 percent.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects the brain.

It causes problems like tremors and stiffness that get progressively worse over time.

The condition is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects a person’s movement.

Parkinson’s gradually worsens over time as more brain cells die, and patients eventually have difficulty completing everyday tasks.

The condition affects around one in 500 people in the UK.

Parkinson’s symptoms

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually develop slowly over years.

The progression of symptoms is often a little different from person to person due to the diversity of the disease.

According to the NHS, the three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles

A person with Parkinson’s disease may also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms.

These include:

Is there a cure for Parkinson’s?

Currently, treatment focuses on managing symptoms and there is no cure for the condition.

Occasionally, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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