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Gut Bacteria and Neurological Disorders like Parkinson's

April 5, 2019

 

Your body is colonised by a vast array of microorganisms that modulate every aspect of your health and physiology, moment to moment, and you can optimize your health by nourishing and protecting these microbes.
Gut bacteria manufacture neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, along with vitamins that are important for brain health.
Beneficial bacteria act to prevent leaky gut, which appears to be at the root of most autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders, including PARKINSON’S.

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder in which neurons and dopamine-producing cells in your brain begin to die. Symptoms progress over time and include tremors, slow movements, rigid limbs, shuffling gait, stooped posture and an inability to move. Patients may also experience a reduced ability to make facial expressions.While patients suffer significant physical disability, the condition may also trigger depression, speech impediments and personality changes. There is also an association with dementia. Parkinson’s affects as many as 7 million to 10 million adults worldwide, and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's every year.1Although incidence of the disease increases with age, an estimated 4 percent of those with Parkinson's are diagnosed before the age of 50. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson's than women, and treatment can be expensive. A recent study2 published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease once again demonstrates an association between the development of this neurological disease and your gut microbiome. The featured study focused on alpha-synuclein pathology, biomarkers and gut microbiome, and as other studies found alpha-synuclein plays a role in the development of familial and sporadic cases of Parkinson's disease. Two key strategies to nourish and protect your microbiome are to limit your consumption of antibiotics to when they're absolutely necessary, and be judicious in terms of the foods you eat. Ideally, opt for whole, raw organic, non-genetically modified (GM) foods, along with traditionally fermented and cultured foods. Good examples include fermented vegetables of all kinds, including sauerkraut and kimchi, kombucha (a fermented drink), and fiber-rich prebiotic foods like jicama (Mexican yam), Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, and dandelion greens.

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