A startling report published in the Journal of Medicinal Food details a single case of a 53-year-old woman who had moderately advanced Parkinson’s disease. Her motor symptoms — cogwheel rigidity, micrographia, bradykinesia, dystonia, reduced arm swing, and retropulsion, all classical signs of Parkinson’s disease — improved rather dramatically. She also experienced significant improvement in dressing, showering, walking, conversing, climbing stairs, gardening, typing, and writing.
And she did this by following a special diet rather than taking medications.
Her disease was diagnosed in the year 2000 by two neurologists, one of whom was a medical center specialist. She started her special diet eight years later, and her symptoms have not progressed since being on the complete diet program.
She began by following a diet high in vegetables, with fruits, some dark chocolate, coffee, black and green teas, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, and less than 25 percent animal fats. And no processed foods. She avoided all trans fats, most sweets, chemical additives, all milk, and all meats cooked at a high temperature.
On this diet, her symptoms and disability continued to progress. She then added strawberries and wheat germ. She ate 1 to 2 cups of fresh strawberries a day and 1 to 2 tablespoons of wheat germ a day.
After three months on this new diet, she experienced a progressive improvement in most of her symptoms, but not her tremors. Deviations from the diet, especially adding sweets and stopping the wheat germ, resulted in a gradual return of her motor symptoms. Adding the wheat germ back once again caused the symptoms to disappear.
Researchers concluded that two compounds found in high concentrations played a major role in her improvement: fisetin from the strawberries and hexacosanol from the wheat germ. Fisetin has been shown to significantly increase glutathione levels in cells. Glutathione is known to be very low in the most affected area in the Parkinson’s brain. It is a major cell protectant.
Fisetin also has been shown to dramatically increase brain connections (neurites) and inhibit MAO-A, which can protect the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
Importantly, fisetin calms microglia, which when activated, plays a major role in Parkinson’s disease.
Hexacosanol can be extracted from wheat germ oil, which avoids the high levels of glutamate in whole wheat germ. High intake of glutamate can worsen Parkinson’s disease. Rice bran oil is also high in hexacosanol.
While this is a single case, it was well-documented and analyzed. The fact that adding two specific foods brought about such dramatic improvement in Parkinson’s symptoms is impressive, and must not be dismissed out of hand, as physicians often do.
It is known that special alcohols similar to hexacosanol can improve neurodegenerative diseases, and fisetin has properties that would make it a significant brain protectant.
Fisetin can be purchased as a supplement, and strawberries have been shown to prevent brain aging. A number of natural compounds have potential benefits for Parkinson’s disease: Nano Curcumin, Quercetin Phytosome, gastrodin, luteolin, apigenin, resveratrol, taurine, EGCG, saffron, vinpocetine, grape seed extract and tocotrienol, to name a few. Each affects brain protection in ways that should prevent progression and may improve certain symptoms of the disease.
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