People on diets high in vitamins C and E may have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease.
The researchers followed 41,058 Swedish men and women for an average of 18 years and collected data on their health and diet. They rated vitamin C and E intake, as well as beta-carotene, and a measure called NEAC, which takes into account all of the antioxidants in food and their interactions with one another.
During the study, published in Neurology, there were 465 cases of Parkinson's disease.
After adjusting for age, gender, BMI, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other characteristics, they found that, compared to a third of people with the lowest intake of vitamin C or E, the third with the highest intake had a 32 percent reduced that Parkinson's Risk. Those with the highest third of consuming both vitamins combined had a 38 percent reduced risk. There was no effect for beta-carotene or the NEAC measurement.
The lead author, Essi Hantikainen, who was doing research at the University of Milan-Bicocca at the time of the work, said more research needs to be done before any final conclusions or advice on diet or supplement use and Parkinson's risk is given.
Still, she said, "Implementing a diet high in foods high in vitamins C and E could help protect against developing Parkinson's later in life. In any case, eating healthy is never wrong."