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Want to avoid Parkinsons? Eat more peppers!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Consuming nicotine from vegetables could help stave off Parkinson's disease, according to a new study. Previous research has already shown that nicotine can help prevent Parkinson's disease and that consumptions of vegetables related to the tobacco plant can help.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vegetables belonging to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family, which includes certain kinds of edible peppers, may help reduce the risk of developing the disease. Nicotine, oft vilified for its addictive properties, is the chemical agent responsible for the benefit.

Various chili peppers are included in the list of vegetables which can prove beneficial. Tomatoes and potatoes also belong to this family of vegetables.

The study followed 500 people who were recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and another 650 who did not have the neurological disorder. Participants who consumed more peppers appeared to have significantly lower risk of developing the disorder.

Susan Searles Nielsen, PhD, who led the study said, "If our results are confirmed in similar studies, and we also learn more about why peppers might be protective, then the research may be of particular interest to people who want to eat foods that might benefit their health, especially people without PD already."

Although eating the peppers can help reduce risk of developing the disease, there was no evidence that it could help slow the effects of the disease once it was developed. To discern this, further research will be required.

It has already been documented that smokers and people who consume nicotine products enjoy a lower risk of developing Parkinson's. However, smoking and nicotine consumption are universally discouraged because their health risks far outweigh the benefit of reduced Parkinson's risk.

Another study is already underway in which nicotine patches are being used on patients with early Parkinson's disease.

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