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The Gut's Role in Parkinson's Disease

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

parkinsons gut bacteria

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  • Intestinal hyperpermeability may trigger alpha-synuclein protein aggregation around enteric nerves, resulting in gastrointestinal symptoms long before the neurological symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appears
  • Increased expression of alpha-synuclein proteins inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, but at normal levels the proteins accelerate the release of these molecules if they are already occurring
  • When autophagy is dysfunctional, alpha-synuclein proteins may travel along the vagus nerve from the brain to the gut. Activating autophagy may successfully treat neurodegenerative diseases, cleaning out old cells and encouraging the growth of healthy cells
  • Consider reducing gut permeability by eliminating sugar, eating a cyclical ketogenic diet and providing your beneficial bacteria with plenty of healthy fiber; activate autophagy through water fasting or intermittent fasting for at least 16 hours, which can also support your immune system and boost brain derived neurotrophic factor

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder in which neurons and dopamine-producing cells in your brain begin to die. Symptoms progress over time and include tremors, slow movements, rigid limbs, shuffling gait, stooped posture and an inability to move. Patients may also experience a reduced ability to make facial expressions.

While patients suffer significant physical disability, the condition may also trigger depression, speech impediments and personality changes. There is also an association with dementia. Parkinson’s affects as many as 7 million to 10 million adults worldwide, and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's every year.


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