21st April 2011 - New research


The Journal of  Neurological Science [2011] Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print] (Miyake Y, Tanaka K, Fukushima W, Sasaki S, Kiyohara C, Tsuboi Y, Yamada T, Oeda T, Miki T, Kawamura N, Sakae N, Fukuyama H, Hirota Y, Nagai M) Complete abstract

In some people, metals such as iron and zinc have been claimed to be increased in the substantia nigra, which is the part of the brain most involved in Parkinson's Disease. Copper is sometimes decreased in the same part of the brain. It has consequently often been claimed that iron may contribute to Parkinson's Disease. However, instead of being a toxic substance, iron is a nutrient required for normal function in the brain. Iron is essential for the formation of L-dopa, whose deficiency causes Parkinson's Disease. So its deficiency rather than excess would be likely to cause Parkinson's Disease. Evidence for the association of the dietary intake of metals with the risk of Parkinson's Disease is limited. So researchers investigated the relationship between metal consumption and the risk of Parkinson's Disease using a self administered dietary questionnaire. Instead of causing Parkinson's Disease, higher intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc was actually associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's Disease. The lowest risk of Parkinson's Disease was associated with increased intake of iron, then magnesium, then zinc. There were no relationships between the intake of copper or manganese and the risk of Parkinson's Disease.
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