5 Ways a Vegan Diet Can Help Parkinson’s Disease

5 Ways a Vegan Diet Can Help Parkinson’s Disease


hey it’s Mike here and today we are going to look at five ways that a vegan diet can help with Parkinson’s we’re gonna start by looking at the literature on what might cause Parkinson’s and how a vegan diet can help with those particular causes and we’re also gonna look at a vegan diet intervention trial and some very compelling case studies so there’s a lot here to look at but I want to keep a level head this is ways that a vegan diet can help with Parkinson’s not a vegan diet automatically cures Parkinson’s okay furthermore I am NOT a doctor or some type of Parkinson’s specialist I am just super interested in this topic as it does a run in my family to an extent and many of you have requested this video as well so I will be relying heavily on quotes from the research and doctors and as usual all links will be in the description below alright let’s go starting with some background on the disease you probably already have some familiarity with Parkinson’s disease it’s a motor disease that affects movement such as speech and walking and it now affects about one percent of people over the age of 60 Michael J Fox has become a bit of a poster child for the disease and a major advocate funding a huge portion of Parkinson’s research with his foundation the exact cause of the disease can vary and there’s still mysteries around it but we do know that it is a loss of the dopamine creating neurons in the part of your brain called the substantia nigra which is a dark part of your brain right there now you may be thinking wait isn’t dopamine just that reward neurotransmitter no it does not stop there our motor control depends on dopamine quote neurons of the substantia nigra communicate with the neurons of the basal ganglia by liberating the neurotransmitter dopamine so dopamine does more than just fuel cravings that might lead to a midnight trip to the refrigerator it also helps you walk to the refrigerator at midnight still dopamine’s fault but as Parkinson’s progresses the substantia nigra becomes less substantial and less nigra or less black it lightens up and no longer produces as much dopamine and once you get down to around 50% of the cells and produce 80 percent less dopamine then symptoms start to occur but can’t we just give people with Parkinson’s dopamine straight up no we can’t because it does not cross the blood-brain barrier instead going treatment is l-dopa an amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine and can cross the blood-brain barrier here is l-dopa and here is dopamine and you can see super similar and here is how astounding the effects of that can be here is before l-dopa and here is after l-dopa but it’s not without side effects quote administration of l-dopa to Parkinson’s patients especially longtime therapy may cause side effects in the form of increased toxicity and inflammation response and people do build up a tolerance so it becomes less effective okay finally we’re ready for number one which is how fiber naturally raises l-dopa from this study quote we found a useful effect of diet rich in fiber on plasma l-dopa concentration and motor function the greatest effect on plasma l-dopa levels was found early at 30 and 60 minutes after oral administration aka putting it in your mouth I don’t think I really need to argue this point too hard but vegan diets are way higher in fiber as I mentioned in my recent bloating prevention video 97% of people in the u.s. do not meet their minimum intake for fiber they are effectively fiber deficient and it’s not just me the vegan dude saying that vegan diets are good here from the researchers a plant-based diet particularly a vegan diet has many advantages for Parkinson’s disease and they point to fiber and to our reason number two which is how vegan protein distribution also helps with l-dopa like I described in my depression video an excess intake of certain amino acids like the profile of animal protein can out-compete neurotransmitter precursors for transport through the blood-brain barrier in the case of serotonin it was the precursor tryptophan that was out competed by amino acids in meat but not in the amino acids of a vegan meal which led to a rise in tryptophan levels but in this case it is Terezin which is a precursor to l-dopa that would be out competed from this study quote the amount of tears in that crosses the blood-brain barrier is dependent upon the ratio of Terezin to other competing amino acids we have a very compelling case study that harnessed this principal this was described as a dramatic response to a vegan diet but it says parkinsonism not Parkinson’s disease so really quick let’s cover this distinction here which is Parkinson’s disease the normal disease we’re talking about and parkinsonism which is just an umbrella term for any parkinson’s-like symptoms such as hand tremors it could be in the case of somebody who has yet to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s or it can be induced by things like cocaine but in this case study the person was medicated with l-dopa so it has the same dopamine connection to motor control which is very relevant so at the age of 55 this man developed a variety of classic Parkinson’s issues but quote about nine months ago the patient changed his diet to avoid protein during breakfast and lunch and found that he had a better more predictable response to levodopa so at that point the idea was to just eat less protein in general so that the l-dopa could get through but then quote he adopted a vegan diet and since then has experienced steady and dramatic improvement in his motor symptoms his gait has returned to almost normal with near complete resolution of freezing and start hesitation he now runs in ice skates activities nearly impossible previously with no difficulty so he was able to lower his l-dopa intake by about 40% which is great because of the side effects and again you can build up a resistance so by removing animal protein l-dopa was really able to do its job okay now moving on to number three which is the high antioxidant intake on a vegan diet now we need to talk a little bit about how the disease is caused here because oxidative stress plays a major role in the damage to these dopamine neurons whether you want to refer to it as oxidative stress or these reactive oxygen species or free radicals either way they can shred things and it’s just not something you want in your brain this brings me to one of the major theories which involves alpha-synuclein which is a common protein throughout the brain and also calcium and this chart illustrates that well with quote some researchers believe that single alpha synuclein molecules bind together in a doughnut shape that inserts into the plasma membrane and forms a pore the hole allows calcium ions a tightly regulated ion that helps neurons regulate signals to accumulate in sell at toxic levels this excess calcium leads to a lot of oxidative stress which can then kill neurons and this may be why calcium blocking drugs that were designed to lower blood pressure have been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s by 25 to 30 percent depending on the study and the blocker now I’ll touch on why alpha synuclein might be malfunctioning in the first place but it’s worth noting that regardless of the cause of oxidative stress you’re gonna be way better off having a lot of antioxidants in your system and to a vegan diet as this study that looked at 3,100 foods found plant foods in general have about 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods do so can we just eat any old antioxidant and it will do the trick well the antioxidant has to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier the age-old issue now here are some antioxidants that can cross it there’s curcumin from turmeric there’s resveratrol from grapes cranberries blueberries peanuts cocoa and other foods there’s Co Q 10 now if you seen my greens video you know this is our own antioxidant that our body makes that once becomes depleted can then be regenerated by a combination of chlorophyll in your bloodstream and sunlight so yes humans photosynthesize and from this study it also helps directly with this alpha synuclein pathology another one is vitamin C which you know where to get and then there’s quercetin which is in spinach kale tomatoes blueberries and cherries and I talked about a lot in my depression video and then the last one you may have not heard of which is visitin which is in strawberries apples persimmons grapes onions and cucumbers and that brings me to another incredible case study of a dietitian who got Parkinson’s and decided to combat it by eating a low animal fat diet with a high level of two compounds one of which was visitin why those two though quote in cell culture studies both physical and hexaco señal have shown promising results as potential neuroprotective as they appear to enhance neural survival and growth visitin for example is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to help neurons survive oxidative stress and of 28 flavonoids tested in one study physican was the most effective along with quercetin strawberries are the physican king this chart shows and hexaco señal a long-chain saturated primary alcohol was shown to regenerate sensory fibers and improved neuromuscular function following a sciatic nerve crush in mice which is definitely pretty evil both the number of regenerative fibers and the diameter and thickness of myelin improved so her prescription was one to two cups of strawberries a day for physican and quote as a source of an hexa Kosan all rich foods one to two tablespoons of wheat germ was included daily whole wheat was also consumed daily brown rice was consumed several times weekly as a source of rice bran oil and other source of hexa Kosan all solo animal fat with strawberries wheat germ whole wheat and brown rice and if she strayed from that her symptoms would return but what were the results well her neurologist reported that a variety of her clinical Parkinson’s traits such as her impaired ability to move and diminish facial expressions appeared to be resolved unbelievable unbelievable but wait how would this work once neurons are destroyed they’re just destroyed right well from this study quote dopamine neurons are continuously formed in the adult substantial nigra now they don’t regenerate super fast and oxidative stress could easily kill the new ones but looking at the one-two punch strategy of loading your brain up with those antioxidants that could prevent that damage and then also that hexaco Sandahl that could possibly help you regenerate faster you can start to see how this would work but I do have to mention that there isn’t really a reason to believe that this would automatically work on everybody it just worked on her which is a very interesting okay now for number four which is toxin slash pollutants and as this study mentions about 95 percent of persistent organic pollutants in the diet come from animal fat pops will call them are a variety of chemicals such as dioxin and PCBs and organochlorines that can bioaccumulate up the food chain into animal fat and organochlorine insecticides are detected at higher levels in the substantia nigra of people with Parkinson’s than those without and from this study females with Parkinson’s had twice the PCB concentration in their brain than those who didn’t have the disease now the topic of toxins brings me right back to the beginning of why those sin nucleon proteins malfunction in the first place and then turn into fibery doughnuts which is as bad as it sounds from this study one reason could be heavy metals from this study those with the highest diverse lowest bone levels of lead had threefold risk of Parkinson’s disease and as I covered my bone broth video even organic chicken bones have more lead than you would want and I’m sure you’re familiar with heavy metals in fish and if you’re trying to go for lower mercury fish keep in mind that according to this Oceana report about 30 percent of the fish in the US is mislabeled so that’s definitely not as good of a strategy as not eating fish so if you can diet removes 95% of those persistent organic pollutants from your diet and helps you dodge those heavy metals and to number five also reduces dairy consumption to nothing from the study of 130,000 people high verse low intake of cow’s milk was associated with a 60% increase of Parkinson’s for both sexes and an 80% increase for men in particular those findings were mirrored by this study those who drank more than 16 ounces of cow’s milk in a day during midlife had twice the incidence of Parkinson’s as those that did not drink it during midlife one theory is the overconsumption of calcium in cow’s milk could contribute to that calcium oxidative stress in your neurons but this study found no connection between calcium here so instead they point to toxins in milk and another theory which is yet to be substantiated is a possible autoimmune reaction where your body responds to cow’s milk proteins and then attacks similar proteins in your own body which can be on your brain cells which I do cover in my MS video now at this point a skeptic might be like Mike okay you have these five fragmented reasons that a vegan diet could maybe help so let’s look at something more concrete which is this study an intervention Airi trial that took 25 people and put 12 of them on a vegan diet the rest became control they based this on the premise that quote worldwide people falling mainly a plant food diet show the lowest Parkinson’s disease prevalence and incidence rates the results after just four weeks on a vegan diet they measured a variety of scores such as overall Parkinson’s disease score and motor scores and in general they were all 30 to 40 percent better than people in the control group remember just one month later this is astounding and can you imagine if they had also been prescribing high doses of physican from strawberries and hexaco Sandahl from those other foods what results they might have got so let’s just go ahead and take 200 people with Parkinson’s and do that trial so anyone got like 10 20 million dollars okay now I have to include just a couple bonus points here that aren’t necessarily fully vegan related but I just felt like I needed to share and the first one is caffeine consumption particularly coffee consumption was associated with a laughably impressive decrease in Parkinson’s risk from this study about 10 times less of a risk for those who drink the most coffee versus those that didn’t drink it at all other studies didn’t get the same results though which is worth noting if you’re interested in the possible mechanisms of this they will be on page 5 of that free study which will be linked below next many pesticides have been linked to Parkinson’s the main one is paraquat which is very close to synthetic heroin or MPTP which can induce symptoms of parkinsonism it kills dopamine creating neurons and guess what paraquat is strikingly molecularly similar to mptp direct use of it is associated with a two-and-a-half fold risk of Parkinson’s and if you have the genes for it 11 times the risk which is a perfect example of how genes are loaded gun and environment pulls the trigger of course it is banned in the EU citing the Parkinson’s risk however in the u.s. we got freedom freedom to give yourself Parkinson’s in fact the CDC website doesn’t even mention any Parkinson’s risk in the long term risk section there’s a conspiracy afoot now the final point here is on gee as well Parkinson’s is definitely out of people’s control in most situations I feel like it’s not as gene related as most people might believe from this study most Parkinson’s disease cases are sporadic and are believed to be caused by exhaustion as’ environmental factors in general genetic mutation is an extremely rare cause of Parkinson’s disease okay so in conclusion a vegan diet has some pretty compelling benefits for Parkinson’s disease it’s a very complex disease so I don’t want to make any generalizations but it is not just me a random vegan dude on the internet saying vegan does good for Parkinson’s we have peer-reviewed studies saying it outright these are scientifically backed ways like how fiber increases l-dopa and protein redistribution also increases l-dopa availability it also means higher antioxidant intake lower toxin and pollutant intake and no dairy intake okay that’s it for today let me know down below what your thoughts on this are and a special thanks to people who helped me make this videos in the form of patreon contributions and buying my e-book and stuff like that so much appreciation alright feel free to like and subscribe and I will see you next time [Music]