(Extraído de Natural Therapy Pages)
Mar 7, 2011 by Rob Schneider
In the past, Parkinson's disease was known as "shaking palsy." It may have been an unfortunate name for this terrible affliction, but it was descriptive. Parkinson's symptoms include muscle tremors, difficulty with walking and poor coordination. These are the symptoms of the disease, but the cause is in the brain. A brain chemical called dopamine controls muscle movement. When the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are destroyed, Parkinson's develops. There are no known cures for Parkinson's and the treatments prescribed are for controlling the symptoms only. A recently released study suggests that common berries may reduce the risk of contracting Parkinson's. Since "prevention is better than cure," it is a study worth looking into.
The study began over 20 years ago and followed the lives of 49,281 men and 80,336 women. The purpose of the study was to see what effect the intake of flavonoids had on the subjects' health over time. Known collectively as citrin and vitamin P, flavonoids naturally occur in berries, chocolate and some citrus fruits, including grapefruit. The participants in the project were given questionnaires and a database was used to accurately calculate their intake of flavonoids.
The Verdict: Berries May Reduce Risk of Parkinson's in Men and Women
Over the course of 22 years, 805 of the participants developed Parkinson's disease. The results varied between men and women. There was no relationship between flavonoid consumption and Parkinson's in women, but among the male participants, the 20% who consumed the most were around 40% less likely to develop the disease than the 20% those who consumed flavonoids the least. This was not the end of the story, though.
When the researchers examined sub-classes of flavonoids, they discovered the regular intake of anthocyanins, substances that are primarily obtained from berries, both men and women showed a decreased risk of contracting Parkinson's.
During that time, 805 people developed Parkinson's disease. In men, the top 20 percent who consumed the most flavonoids were about 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than the bottom 20 percent of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids. In women, there was no relationship between overall flavonoids consumption and developing Parkinson's disease. However, when sub-classes of flavonoids were examined, regular consumption of anthocyanins, which are mainly obtained from berries, were found to be associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in both men and women.
The author of the study, Xiang Gao, MD, PhD of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass., concluded that the regular intake of flavonoids and specifically anthocyanins as found in berries "may have neuroprotective effects." He went on to say that "flavonoids may be a natural and healthy way to reduce your risk of developing Parkinson's disease."
Since the health benefits of all kinds of fruits are well established, there certainly can be no harm in adding berries to your diet. They are delicious on whole grain breakfast cereals, in fruit salads or just on their own. Aside from being a rich source of vitamin C, the flavonoids, which give berries their rich colour, just may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's.