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Peppers to Help Prevent Parkinson's

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Parkinson's disease, characterized by inflammation, stiff muscles, tremors and progressively more difficulty walking, ranks second among the most common neurodegenerative disease in older people
  • Recent studies show that some foods can help reduce Parkinson’s symptoms, while other foods may change the factors that cause neurodegeneration and disease progression
  • Eating Solanaceae, aka nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplant and especially peppers, has protective potential; one of the phytochemicals such vegetables contain is nicotine, which appears to be the agent imparting the neuroprotective effects
  • The amount of dietary nicotine you’d get from eating healthy vegetables is significantly less than what you’d ingest from smoking one cigarette but may be enough to offset your Parkinson’s risk
  • Eating Solanaceae vegetables, particularly peppers, two to four times per week is recommended for increased neuroprotection

One of the most compelling statements in a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience is that in regard to Parkinson’s disease, “[A] growing body of evidence suggests that nutrition may play an important role.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that usually develops in older people, with such symptoms as inflammation, stiff muscles and tremors, all signs of decreased mitochondrial function. The disease is called idiopathic, which refers to conditions that occur spontaneously and with no known cause. It currently has no cure, one reason why prevention is key.


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