Linking Appetite and Parkinson's

December 2, 2009 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Linking Appetite and Parkinson's
Your stomach may be more powerful than you think. Its appetite hormone, ghrelin, has now been found to protect the dopamine nerves1 in your brain, a finding that is relevant to any person at risk for Parkinson's.

It is not all that surprising that a hormone that stimulates appetite would also communicate to reward-seeking dopamine-rich nerves. The combination would help drive a person to look for food so as to survive. It is quite surprising to find that ghrelin's impact on dopamine nerves directly helps them proliferate and not deteriorate.

When you follow the Leptin Diet and eat in harmony with leptin then you keep ghrelin in proper working order, in turn supporting the health of dopamine cells involved with nerve transmission. Conversely, ghrelin goes out of balance once leptin problems set in. This will increase the risk for nerve degeneration in the substantia nigra region of the brain that is involved with Parkinson's.

It is a good thing to have an appetite signal at the right time that is appropriate and results in the consumption of a moderate amount of food. This is one key to not becoming overweight and to correcting weight problems. It is a new idea that doing so may also prevent Parkinson's disease. We can now say that keeping your appetite in check and appropriate may save your nerves.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Ghrelin Function and Parkinson's  The Journal of Neuroscience  Zane B. Andrews, Derek Erion, Rudolph Beiler, Zhong-Wu Liu, Alfonso Abizaid, Jeffrey Zigman, John D. Elsworth, Joseph M. Savitt, Richard DiMarchi, Matthias Tschöp, Robert H. Roth, Xiao-Bing Gao, and Tamas L. Horvath

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