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Eating Peppers May Slash Parkinsons Disease Risk by 30%Eating Peppers May Slash Parkinsons Disease Risk by 30%

June 6, 2013

2 Min Read
Eating Peppers May Slash Parkinsons Disease Risk by 30%

SEATTLEEating foods from the Solanaceae family, including peppers, tomatoes and potatoes, that contain naturally-occurring nicotine, may reduce the risk of Parkinsons disease, according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Neurology. The findings suggest eating two to four peppers a week lowered the risk by 30%.

Researchers at the University of Washington recruited 490 newly-diagnosed Parkinsons patients, and 644 unrelated individuals with no neurological disorders for the control group. The researchers examined whether Parkinsons disease was associated with self-reported typical frequency of consumption of peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice and potatoes during adulthood, while adjusting for consumption of other vegetables, age, sex, race/ethnicity, tobacco use, and caffeine.

They found consuming foods in the Solanaceae family did lower the risk for Parkinsons disease, with peppers displaying the strongest association. However, the consumption of all other vegetables did not have any association with Parkinsons disease. In fact, individuals who consumed Solanaceae vegetables lowered their risk by 19% on average. And eating two to four peppers a week lowered the risk by about 30%. In addition, the potentially protective effect of edible Solanaceae largely occurred in men and women who had never used tobacco or who had smoked cigarettes for less than 10 years.

The researchers concluded that confirmation and extension of these findings are needed to strengthen causal inferences that could suggest possible dietary or pharmaceutical interventions for Parkinsons disease prevention."

Peppers are popping up all over menus and retail stores as more and more consumers are turning up the heat on their culinary taste buds. In fact, a recent Packaged Facts report found 53% of U.S. shoppers like hot and spicy foods, rising to 58% for Generation Y. Check out the Image Gallery: Worlds Hottest Peppers on Food Product Design to learn more about the 10 hottest peppers according to Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

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