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Berries Ward Off Parkinsons DiseaseBerries Ward Off Parkinsons Disease

February 14, 2011

1 Min Read
Berries Ward Off Parkinsons Disease

ST. PAUL, Minn.Eating a diet high in flavonoid-rich berries may help lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9-16. The findings also suggest men who regularly eat apples, oranges and other sources rich in flavonoids may further lower their risk.

Researchers analyzed the association between flavonoid intakes and risk of developing Parkinson's disease on 49,281 men and 80,336 women for more than 20 years. They analyzed consumption of five major sources of foods rich in flavonoidtea, berries, apples, red wine and oranges or orange juice. Over the course of the study, 805 people developed Parkinson's disease. In men, the top 20 percent who consumed the most flavonoids were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than the bottom 20 percent of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids. There was no relationship between overall flavonoid consumption and developing Parkinson's disease in women.

When sub-classes of flavonoids were examined, regular consumption of anthocyanins, which are mainly obtained from berries, were found to be associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in both men and women.

"This is the first study in humans to examine the association between flavonoids and risk of developing Parkinson's disease," said study author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "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."

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