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Eating Peppers May Reduce Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Edible sources of nicotine, like Solanaceae, may help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a study shows.  The research, which was published in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, suggests that eating edible sources of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes may provide a protective effect and consequently reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait.  Parkinson’s causes are unknown but genetics, ageing, and toxins are being researched.  An estimated one million Americans have Parkinson’s and about 60,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Up to ten million people worldwide live with this disease according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

A recent population-based study was conducted by Dr. Susan Nielsen and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle. The study included 490 newly diagnosed patients with Parkinson’s disease together with 644 unrelated individuals without neurological conditions (controls).  An assessment using questionnaires determined the participants’ lifetime diet and use of tobacco, which experts classified as smoking more than 100 cigarettes or using cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco regularly.

Researchers noted that an increased consumption of edible sources of nicotine from a flowering plant family Solanaceae was associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, the scientists learned that the protection from Parkinson’s occurred in individuals with little or have not since used tobacco, which has more nicotine than the other foods being studied.

Previous studies suggest that tobacco use might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.  Dr Nielsen states that the new research findings suggest a protective effect from edible sources of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes.


Wiley. Could eating peppers prevent Parkinson’s? Dietary nicotine may hold protective key. ScienceDaily.

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