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Can Eating Peppers Lower the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease?

Sturgeon Bay, WI (PRWEB) July 23, 2013

Nearly 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease, with over 50,000 new cases diagnosed yearly according to the National Parkinson Foundation. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease affecting the brain, and is characterized by muscular tremors, stiffness affecting the arms, legs, and trunk; slow movements, and balance problems. Researchers have noted a decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s among smokers and other users of tobacco. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP questions whether nicotine or some other chemical could provide some type of protection against Parkinson’s.

A research team led by Dr. Susan Searles Nielsen of the University of Washington—Seattle, looked into this question by testing whether eating peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes, which are in the same plant family Solanaceae as tobacco, would lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s.

A group of 490 patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease of unknown origin during 1992 to 2008, was compared to 644 neurologically normal patients. The patient’s self-reported consumption of peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, and potatoes (Solanaceae vegetables) was examined to determine if there were any differences in the development of Parkinson’s. The consumption of Solanaceae vegetables was then adjusted for the consumption of other vegetables, tobacco and caffeine use, age, sex, and ethnic background.

It was found that the consumption of all of the Solanaceae vegetables combined decreased the risk of developing Parkinson’s by 19% compared to all other vegetables combined. The decreased risk was even greater among the vegetables with the highest nicotine concentration. Peppers showed the highest benefits overall. Those eating peppers twice weekly had a 30% lower risk of Parkinson’s, while those eating peppers more than 5 times weekly decreased their risk almost 50%, compared to those who ate peppers less than once a week. The results were not as clear with tomatoes. The potentially protective benefits were most notable among those who had never used or smoked tobacco in the past 10 years.

Publishing their findings in the May 9, 2013 edition of Annals of Neurology, the researchers noted that dietary nicotine or other constituents in tobacco and peppers may reduce the risk of acquiring Parkinson’s disease, but more research needs to be done to confirm these findings and extend their results to possible dietary interventions for prevention of the disease. While these findings are promising, they stress that an association has been found, but this is not necessarily a cause and effect.

Although the research on the benefits of peppers is promising, there are other research studies with proven results in decreasing the risk of Parkinson’s and even improving the symptoms. Following are 4 findings.

1) Decrease (or eliminate) NSAIDs
According to the journal Neurology, April 22, 2009, there is a 66% increased risk of dementias such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s when daily taking one NSAID (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) for 16 months. Earlier studies suggested that NSAIDs may possibly delay the onset by reducing the inflammation leading to dementias, but increases the risk of liver and kidney damage. Other ways to reduce chronic inflammation should be considered.

2) Eliminate gluten consumption
Over 40% of Caucasians are genetically prone to gluten sensitivity because of lacking the enzymes to break it down. The cytokines in the immune system react with the undigested gluten, resulting in inflammation. Avoiding wheat, barley, and rye, such as in the Paleolithic diet, can stop the inflammatory process.

3) Use 4 to 8 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil daily
Dr. Richard L Veech has successfully used coconut oil in treating and preventing Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias. Coconut oil increases blood flow to the brain by 39%.

4) Cold Laser
Inflammation causes oxidative damage to the cells, reducing metabolism, and eventual mitochondrial failure. Low Level Laser Therapy (cold laser) has been shown to increase the enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase which are critical to counteract free radical production in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. Cold laser upregulates mitochondrial function by as much as 30%.

There is still much to be learned in preventing and treating Parkinson’s disease, but following the above suggestions has improved the lives of many suffering from this disease.

Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural treatment of neurological conditions, neck and back pain, and other health conditions without drugs or surgery. Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP
Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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