A recently published study provides strong evidence that consuming a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity may improve outcomes for people with Parkinson’s.
It is a well-known fact that a healthy diet combined with regular exercise contributes to a healthier life-style. Now, researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Harvard University have published a research report which provides the strongest evidence to date that diet quality and regular physical exercise can help improve symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.
The researchers collected health and lifestyle data over a long period of time (a longitudinal study) from two large population cohorts. The first study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, collected data from 51,529 male doctors; and the second, Nurses’ Health Study, collected data from 121,700 female registered nurses. Within these groups, they found that of the 1251 confirmed cases of Parkinson’s, healthy eating either pre or post diagnosis was associated with a lower mortality rate; a similar result was observed for exercise.
Importantly, when the researchers looked at the benefits of both diet quality and exercise before and after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, the results suggested that the rate of Parkinson’s progression was slowed; something medical intervention has thus far been unable to do.
This is exciting and empowering for the Parkinson’s community because diet and exercise are aspects of daily living that individuals control and adjust.
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