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Dairy Increases Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

Female Doctor With Parkinson's Sign

The dairy industry wrongly tells us, through massive marketing campaigns, that dairy products are some of the healthiest, and most nutritious foods. However, evidence from various scientific studies have shown that dairy products can be among the most disease promoting foods people put in their bodies. Dairy products have been linked as a causal factor in osteoporosis, obesity, cancer, allergies, type1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

And if that was not enough, a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology showed that people who regularly consumed dairy products were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who avoid these types of foods. Using data from over 300,000 persons, a team of Chinese researchers observed that every extra 10g of cheese and 200g of milk consumed per day raised the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 13% and 17% respectively. The researchers concluded that frequent consumers of dairy products may have an overall higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

The findings of this Chinese study corroborated the results of another study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School. In this study, researchers following more than 120,000 men and women found out that subjects on diets rich in dairy products exhibited an increase in Parkinson's disease risk.

How Dairy Products Promote the Development of Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is primarily cause by loss of dopaminergic neurons located in the region of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta. Dopaminergic neurons produce the chemical messenger dopamine that sends signals to parts of the brain that controls and coordinates movements. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and other brain cells from oxidative damage induced by free radicals. 

Dairy products lower plasma concentrations of uric acid by promoting the excretion of uric acid and inhibiting the activity of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that plays a key role in the production of uric acid. Low plasma levels of uric acid are found in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. A decline in serum concentrations of uric acid is associated with increased risk of Parkinson's disease. In addition, most dairy products contain neurotoxins, such as tetrahydroisoquinolines, polychlorinated biphenyls, beta-carbolines, and pesticides that cross the blood brain barriers and promote the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra.

Another Great Reason to Avoid Dairy Products

About 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's disease are diagnosed in the United States each year. Parkinson's disease has no cure. Your best bet to preventing Parkinson's disease is to adopt dietary and lifestyle habits that will help to reduce your risk to the barest minimum. Removing dairy products completely from your plate will boost your chances of avoiding this incurable neurodegenerative movement disorder.

Additional Information:

(1) Health Concerns about Dairy Products

(2) Dairy Food Intake and Risk of Parkinson's Disease

(3) Intake of Dairy Foods and Risk of Parkinson's Disease

(4) Uric Acid as a CNS Antioxidant

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