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Peppers could protect against Parkinson’s

Friday May 10th, 2013

Foods that contain dietary nicotine, including peppers and tomatoes, could help to protect against Parkinson’s disease, researchers reported last night.

In the first study of its kind, it was found that as consumption of edible Solanaceae – the flowering plant family that produces food with edible sources of nicotine – increased, Parkinson's disease risk decreased. Peppers were most strongly linked to the reduced risk.

Dr Susan Searles Nielsen and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, came to the conclusion after assessing 490 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients and 644 control patients who had no neurological conditions. All participants completed a detailed questionnaire about their diets and tobacco use.

The results, published in Annals of Neurology, suggests that eating foods that contain even small amounts of edible nicotine could help to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Eating vegetables in general had no effect.

The research team said the men and women who had used little or no tobacco were most likely to gain apparent protection from Parkinson’s.

“Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr Searles Nielsen.

“Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson’s, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco.”

Dr Searles Nielsen said further studies were needed to confirm and extend their findings.

Searles Nielsen S et al. Nicotine from Edible Solanaceae and Risk of Parkinson Disease. Annals of Neurology. 9 May 2013. doi:10.1002/ana.23884. [abstract]

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Diet & Food | North America

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Comments

1At 13/05/2013 09:02pm RAS wrote

Is this what it really shows? My blog comment here

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