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Anthocyanins Rich Food Decreases Parkinson's Risk

Blackberries Blueberries and Raspberries Blackberries and Blueberries are Rich in Anthocyanins

The United States has one of the highest incidence rates of Parkinson's disease in the world. About 1 million cases out of the more than 10 million cases of Parkinson's disease worldwide occurred in the United States. Every year, nearly 60,000 Americans are added to the growing list of people living with this neurodegenerative condition. Now a new study has shown that a compound found in certain types of fruits can help stem the rising tide of Parkinson's disease in the general population.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health monitored the fruit intake of about 130,000 men and women for 20 - 22 years and estimated the Parkinson's disease odds ratios of all the subjects in the studied population. According to Xiang Gao, a research scientist at the Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, "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." 

Although the exact cause of Parkinson's disease is yet to be identified, researchers believed that free radicals play a significant role in the development of this neurodegenerative disorder. Parkinson's disease results from death of dopamine-containing neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The brain utilizes dopamine to send signals to other parts of the brain involved in the co-ordination of the movement. Excessive free radicals in the body contribute to the destruction of these dopamine-containing brain cells. Boosting the antioxidant capacity of the body help neutralize the damaging effects of these free radicals. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that can effectively counter free-radicals from damaging the dopamine-producing cells in the brain, thereby inhibiting the development of Parkinson's disease.

Indulging in foods rich in anthocyanins can supply the body with needed ammunition required to fend off Parkinson's disease. Examples of foods rich in anthocyanins include blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, eggplant, cranberries, plums and dried plums (prunes). Load your plates with these food to lower your chances of developing Parkinson's disease.

Additional Information:

(1) Compounds in Berries May Help Ward off Parkinson's Disease

(2) Eating Dietary Flavonoids Reduces Parkinson's Risk

(3) Dairy Increases Risk for Parkinson's Disease

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