A major thrust of Parkinson’s research today is exploring potential ways to slow the progression of the disease. Exercise may be one way and is recommended. Another possible approach is nutrition, although the evidence is not as solid as for exercise. Nonetheless, there is evidence that good nutrition and dietary practices can have beneficial effects for people with Parkinson’s, including lessening digestive symptoms, as well as preserving quality of life by lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and dementia. Improving digestive function may even improve the absorption and actions of medications. Dr. John Duda, Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, recommends a plant-based, whole foods diet. In this podcast, the first of two with Dr. Duda, he explains what a whole foods diet is, how it differs from a standard American diet, and how people can reliably and comfortably change the way they eat.
- Expert Briefing: Nutrition and Parkinson’s (webinar)
- Episode 4: The Importance of Good Nutrition for People with Parkinson’s (podcast)
- Fact Sheet: Nutrition and PD
- Episode 68: The Role of the Microbiome in PD: Part One (podcast)
- Episode 70: The Role of the Microbiome in PD: Part Two (podcast)
- Episode 100: Nutrition Advice – Part 2 (podcast)
About This Episode
Released: February 23, 2021
John Duda, MD
John Duda, MD is the Director of the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) and Co-Director of the Center for Neurotrauma, Neurodegeneration and Restoration of the Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center and a Professor of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. For the past 19 years, he has worked with his colleagues in Philadelphia to provide state-of-the-art care for thousands of Veterans with PD and related disorders.
His research activities have included basic science investigations into the role of Lewy pathology in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders as well as investigations into the mechanisms involved in traumatic brain injury. He has also conducted clinical research in Parkinson’s disease with studies of deep brain stimulation therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, the benefits of a plant-based, whole food diet, and the use of olfaction as a biomarker of disease diagnosis and progression. He has received research grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, NIH, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research, and the Department of Defense. He has been recognized as a BLR&D Senior Clinical Research Scientist and authored more than 120 scientific publications including articles in JAMA, Science, Neuron, The New England Journal of Medicine and Neurology.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.