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Pesticides and Parkinson’s Disease: Is There a Connection?

  • March 17, 2014

At LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania in Collegeville and Williamsport, PA, Dr. David DiGiallorenzo and his team help patients from all over the country attain not only optimal oral health, but overall physical wellbeing through various holistic modalities and cutting-edge technology. As part of this endeavor, we believe it is our responsibility to help our patients and their families understand the ways that the environment affects us all. Today, we’d like to take some time to discuss one issue in particular: the connection between common pesticides found in our everyday environment and the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Research Proves Dangerous Link

In 2013, researchers from UCLA released proof of a link between a common fungicide (benomyl) and Parkinson’s disease.  The compound blocks a necessary enzyme that protects dopamine cells in the brain, a reaction that has been shown to contribute to Parkinson’s. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) subsequently banned the use of this chemical due to its carcinogenic nature. In light of this research, study leaders proceeded to test even more commonly used pesticides, checking for signs of similar effects on the human brain.

Recent studies revealed that 11 more pesticides that are frequently used in “parks and golf courses, and in pest control inside buildings and homes” can be linked to this enzyme-blocking phenomenon. In addition, it was discovered that some people possess a specific genetic variant that puts them at an even higher risk of suffering these effects, increasing their chances of developing Parkinson’s disease by a minimum of six times.

Dr. DiGiallorenzo holistic dentistryProtect Yourself from Parkinson’s Disease

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself and your family through healthful changes to lifestyle and environment. For one, you can make an effort to include more green tea and animal-based omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. If eating a substantial amount of wild-caught fish isn’t necessarily something that fits easily into your lifestyle, a krill oil supplement can go a long way toward helping to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

Consume a varied diet of whole grains, proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables to keep brain function at its peak, and supplement with a multi-vitamin for added protection. Studies show that a deficiency of Vitamin D may also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, so make sure that you’re getting an adequate amount of this key nutrient as well. Installing a quality water filtration system and eating organic foods as often as possible can also help protect your family against unnecessary exposure to potentially harmful pesticides in your food and environment.

Dr. DiGiallorenzo and his team value your health and happiness, so we’ll always provide you with the most up-to-date news and information regarding the things that affect you every day. If you have any questions or concerns about your overall wellbeing, contact our office in Williamsport or Collegeville today. We also happily welcome patients from Lock Haven, Pottstown, Bloomsburg, Sunbury, and the surrounding areas.