Parkinson’s Research

More and more research is coming out showing the benefits of drinking a few cups of green tea a day, and some of the latest research shows that green tea is also good for Parkinson’s Disease.

Chinese Research The Michael J Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is collaborating with the Chinese Government and the Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, at Xuanwu Hospital to look into the effects of green tea for Parkinson’s sufferers.

Double-Blind Study Conducting a double-blind study, the research is looking at people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for less than five years. As research already shows that drinking green tea can help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s, the research team wanted to see if it could also help slow the progression of the disease in newly diagnosed patients. Green tea polyphenols (GTPs), the main active ingredient in green tea, seems to protect against neuronal loss. If this active ingredient is also effective in preventing further deterioration in Parkinson’s patients, drinking green tea may be a pleasant choice of treatment for many patients.

One of the unusual features of this study is that apart from testing different doses over the twelve-month course of treatment, (0.4, 0.8 or 1.2 grams daily given in 2 equal oral doses) control patients taking the placebo were switched to the active ingredient half way through the study period. This was in order to see if patients receiving the full treatment did significantly better than people who only took it for the shorter period. Although both groups improved while taking the GTP’s it seems that the benefit is only symptomatic, but that is still helpful for people who are only recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  The brain abnormalities of Parkinson’s apparently start to develop several years before the symptoms begin to appear. However, research still needs to be done to see if drinking green tea may delay or even prevent the development of the illness.

Iron Binding Properties Other research published in the Archives of Toxicology, (Aug 2010)by University of ManchesterProfessor Douglas Kell, shows that one of the causes of debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s, is poorly-bound iron in the system. This poorly-bound iron can cause the production of dangerous toxins called hydroxyl radicals, which appear to cause various types of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. In order to bind the iron it is necessary to have nutrients called iron chelators which make sure that the iron can be used by the body effectively, without producing toxins. As Parkinson sufferers tend to have problems with iron releasing toxins in the system, which causes some of the symptoms, Professor Kell believes that it is very important to eat and drink good iron chelators. These chelators are found in variety of highly colored fruits and vegetables as well as a few other things.