Parkinson’s Disease, Dairy Products and Uric Acid
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. At present, there is no cure and medicines and procedures are mainly for treating symptoms. It is estimated that a million Americans are afflicted with PD and about 10 million people have it worldwide. PD is characterized by;
- Tremors (usually one-sided)
- Slow movement
- Muscle Rigidity
- Motor function problems
- Speech problems
- Swallowing and chewing problems
- Walking and balance problems – People with Parkinson’s have a peculiar shuffling kind of stooped over posture walk called the Parkinsonian Gait.
- Constipation and urinary problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Inability to smell
- Mood problems
- Sometimes there are also memory problems
- Tendency for falls
Association with Consumption of Dairy Products
Research shows that Parkinson’s disease is associated with the consumption of dairy products, although no one knows for certain why consuming dairy products leads to a higher risk for getting Parkinson’s disease. A Chinese meta analysis of 304,193 participants that included 1083 cases of Parkinson’s disease. was published June 4, 2014 in the European Journal of Epidemiology concluded that the risk for contracting Parkinson’s disease increased by 17% for every 200 grams a day consumption of milk and by 13% for every daily intake of 10 grams of cheese. Their results showed that consuming dairy foods like milk and cheese showed an association for an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
Possible Reasons Dairy Products can Increase the Risk for Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease has also been associated with exposure to environmental toxins and pesticides. Autopsies of the brains of deceased Parkinson’s patients show evidence of pesticides. The theory is that dairy products may contain large amounts of pesticides and other neurotoxic substances.
Uric Acid is an Anti-oxidant that can Protect the Brain Against Parkinson’s Disease
Another theory is that consuming milk and other dairy products lowers the blood levels of uric acid. Uric acid has been shown to be neuroprotective against Parkinson’s disease. Too much uric acid in the blood can lead to contracting gout and painful gouty arthritis, kidney and heart disease. However, too little uric acid in the blood can raise the risk for contracting Parkinson’s disease and having a stroke. According to a meta analysis study published January 2013, in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, high blood levels of uric acid have an anti oxidant effect and lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease, especially for men.
Other Risk Factors for Parkinson’s Disease
- Aging is a major risk factor for contracting PD and the risk increases with age.
- Men have a 50% higher risk for developing PD than women.
- History of head, neck or spine injuries
- Family history of Parkinson’s
- According to a recent study published August 25, 2018, in Movement Disorders, high LDL cholesterol has been associated with a reduced risk for contracting PD, especially in men.
The Need for short or Long-term Rehabilitation
People suffering with PD need all kinds of therapeutic treatments, as the disease causes considerable disabling motor and movement problems. If you are looking for a rehab place for yourself or your loved one, make certain that they have all the skilled therapists necessary for PD like speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, neurological therapy, orthopedic therapy and music therapy. The Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn, New York offers all of these and even have pet therapy as well.
Brooklyn Hospitals near Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center
NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly named NYU Lutheran Medical Center)
If you or your loved one have Parkinson’s disease or there is a family history of PD, then you might consider cutting back on eating a lot of dairy products. You should also be keeping an eye on your blood levels of uric acid.