Transcript: Preventing Parkinson’s Disease With Diet
Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.
Four things that we can do that may reduce our risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is exercise, avoiding dairy products, pesticides, and avoid getting hit in the head (which means wearing your seatbelt, bike helmet), and—if you read journal articles written by scientists with way too much time on their hands—avoid getting attacked by extraterrestrials, a leading cause of traumatic brain injury in comic books.
What about avoiding pesticides and other industrial pollutants? A recent autopsy study found higher levels in the brains of Parkinson’s victims of PCBs found in Monsanto’s Aroclor, which was banned in 1979, but still pollutes the world. And, the more PCBs found in the brain, the worse the brain damage. The worst three appeared to be PCBs appeared to be numbers 138, 153, and 180—the levels of all of which are significantly lower in the bodies of those eating plant-based diets.
So: “Does a vegan diet reduce risk [of] Parkinson’s disease?” Good question. Well, we know that every single prospective study on dairy products or milk and Parkinson’s disease tended to find increased risk. It may be that “dairy products in the United States are contaminated with neurotoxic chemicals.” There’s substantial evidence suggesting that “exposure to pesticides may increase Parkinson’s disease risk,” and autopsies found higher levels of pollutants and pesticides in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients, and some of these toxins are present at low levels in dairy products.
They’re talking about toxins like tetrahydroisoquinoline, a Parkinsonism-related compound found predominantly in cheese. Although the amounts of this neurotoxin—even in cheese—are not really high, the concern is that the chemical may accumulate in the brain over long periods of consumption.
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