Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content material. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, pictures, and quotes to which Dr. Greger could also be referring, watch the above video.

Parkinson’s illness is an ever-worsening neurodegenerative dysfunction that outcomes in loss of life and affects about 1 in 50 of us once we become older. A small minority of circumstances are genetic, and run in households, however 85 to 90 % of circumstances are sporadic, that means they only seemingly pop up out of nowhere. It’s brought on by the loss of life of a sure form of nerve cell in the mind. Once about 70 % of them are gone, the signs start. Okay, so what kills off these cells? It’s nonetheless not fully clear, however the irregular clumping of a protein known as α-synuclein is considered concerned. Why? Because when you inject blended Parkinson’s brains into the heads of rats or monkeys you’ll be able to induce Parkinson’s pathology and signs, and even simply injecting the pure clumped alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) strands themselves. Okay, however how do these clumps naturally find yourself in the mind?

It all appears to start in the intestine. The a part of the mind the place the pathology usually first reveals up is instantly linked to the intestine, and we’ve got direct proof of the unfold of Parkinson’s pathology from the gastrointestinal tract to the mind. Alpha-synuclein from brains of Parkinson’s sufferers is taken up in the intestine wall and creeps up the vagal nerves from the intestine into the mind. But this was in rats. If solely we had a manner to return and have a look at individuals’s colons earlier than they acquired Parkinson’s… And certainly, we will. Old colon biopsies have been dredged up from individuals who would later develop Parkinson’s, and years earlier than signs arose, you could possibly see the α-synuclein in their intestine.

Research supported by the Michael J. Fox Foundation has discovered you can reliably distinguish the colons of sufferers from controls by the presence of the Parkinson’s protein lodged in the intestine wall. But how did it get there in the primary place? Perhaps vertebrate food merchandise as a possible supply of prion-like α-synuclein. Nearly the entire animals with backbones that we eat—cows, chickens, pigs, and fish—specific the protein α-synuclein. And so, once we eat frequent meat merchandise, once we eat skeletal muscle, we’re eating nerves, blood cells, and the muscle cells themselves. Every pound of meat has like a teaspoon to a tablespoon of blood in it, and that alone could possibly be an α-synuclein supply to probably set off a clumping cascade of our personal α-synuclein in the intestine. Though it might appear intuitive that dietary α-synuclein may seed this sort of buildup in our intestine, what proof do we’ve got that it’s really occurring?

These are fairly attention-grabbing information. There’s a surgical process known as a vagotomy, in which the large nerve that goes out of your intestine to your mind is reduce as an old-timey remedy for abdomen ulcers. Would reducing communication between the intestine and the mind cut back Parkinson’s threat? Apparently so––suggesting that the gut-to-brain vagal nerve could also be critically concerned in the event of Parkinson’s illness.

Now after all, many individuals usually devour meat and dairy merchandise, however solely a small fraction of the final inhabitants will develop Parkinson’s. So, there should be different components at play that will one way or the other present a possibility for undesirable dietary α-synuclein to enter the host and provoke illness. For instance, your intestine turns into leakier as you age, so would possibly that play a job? What else makes your intestine leaky? Dietary fiber deprivation has additionally been proven to degrade the intestinal barrier and improve pathogen entry. So, this all raises potentialities for food-based therapies.

Parkinson’s sufferers have considerably much less Prevotella in their intestine, a pleasant fiber-eating flora that bolsters your intestinal barrier perform. And so, low ranges of Prevotella are linked to a leaky intestine, which has been linked to intestinal α-synuclein deposition. But fiber-rich meals might deliver Prevotella ranges again up. Therefore, by adopting a plant-based food regimen, in addition to getting the beneficial results of phytonutrients, it’s potential that growing total fiber consumption might modify the intestine microbiome and intestine leakiness in beneficial methods.

So, does a vegan food regimen—one with a number of fiber and no meat—cut back threat for Parkinson’s illness? Parkinson’s does seem like uncommon in quasi-vegan cultures, with charges about 5 occasions decrease in rural sub-Saharan Africa, as an example. Now all this time, we have been pondering the advantages seen for Parkinson’s from plant-based diets was as a result of antioxidants and anti inflammatory nature of the animal-free diets. But perhaps it’s additionally as a result of elevated intestinal publicity to fiber and decreased intestinal publicity to ingested nerves, muscle tissue, and blood.

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