APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Nutrition in PD

Relevant Publications - Downloadable

“Diet and Parkinson’s”
Published by Parkinson’s UK, June 2016
This 34-page booklet provides some basic healthy eating information, to help you maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight.  It also looks at the diet issues related to Parkinson’s and what you can do to manage these, including constipation, eating and swallowing difficulties, medications and diet, vitamins, food supplements, low blood pressure, food shopping and preparation, dishes and cutlery.


“Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease”
Published by the Parkinson’s Institute, 2009
This 4-page article explains that slowing of the gut, common to Parkinson’s disease, affects absorption of medications and nutrients, putting one at risk for malnutrition and other medical conditions.  Several foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are recommended to be included in the diet.  Concerns specific to PD include protein interference with the uptake of levodopa, increased risk of falls and a focus on strong bones, and constipation.


Parkinson's Disease: Nutrition Matters
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), Revised 2016
This 70-page booklet, written by registered dietitian Kathrynne Holden, reviews the importance of nutrition in PD. Chapters discuss protein and levodopa; constipation; water needs; bone health; and unintended weight loss. Recipes and menus are included.
En Espanol: Enfermedad de Parkinson: La Importancia de la Nutricion


Relevant Online Information

“Diet and Parkinson’s Disease”
Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation
This short web page answers a few questions about diet and Parkinson’s disease including dietary changes to ease Parkinson’s symptoms, how antioxidants help everyone and what foods contain a lot of them, and lava beans contain levodopa, but concentration and availability is likely minimal.


“Diet & Nutrition”
Published by the Parkinson's Foundation
While there is no prescription for a PD-specific diet, this page lists dietary guidelines for both maintaining overall health and easing PD symptoms. It also discusses dietary challenges specific to Parkinson's disease and tips for getting started when making dietary changes.


"Common Nutritional Concerns in Parkinson's"
Published by the Parkinson’s Foundation
These typical nutritional concerns for people living with Parkinson's disease should be addressed early on to minimize complications: bone thinning, dehydration, bowel impaction, unplanned weight loss, and medication side effects.


Relevant Online Lectures and Webinars

“Diet and Parkinson’s”
By Parkinson’s South Australia, September 26, 2016
This 42-minute lecture reviews the basics of a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, the importance of protein in a healthy diet separated from the timing of taking levodopa.  The symptom management section includes tips for: proper nutrition with nausea and vomiting, excess saliva or dry mouth, bowels/constipation issues.  An occupational therapist can help with meal preparation if tremors interfere.  If you have swallowing difficulty ask your neurologist for a swallowing evaluation, speech therapist and dietitian can help. 


“Nutrition and Parkinson’s”
By the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), September 12, 2017
In this 69-minute audio with slides Dr. John Duda shares specific foods that are neuroprotective, and have anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties.  She explains where toxins collect in foods, so you know where to choose organics without overspending.  She discusses the effect of diet on medication uptake and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.


“Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease”
By the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), September 15, 2015
In this 69-minute audio with slides Dr. Heather Zwickey shares how dietary choices can affect symptom control in PD, how the gut microbiome may be involved in PD, and the possibility that sound nutritional choices may provide disease-modifying effects in PD..


Books - Not Downloadable

Check your local library, or inquire at any bookstore.

“Eat Well, Stay Well with Parkinson’s Disease: A Nutrition Handbook for People with Parkinson’s," by Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
Published by Five Star Living, Inc., 1998, 156 pages
This book, written by a registered dietician and PD professional, includes recipes and menus specific to the needs of those with PD - especially those who may be working to coordinate meals with medication timing, nausea, constipation, weight loss, protein timing and more.


“Cook Well, Stay Well with Parkinson’s Disease: Super Foods for Super People,” by Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
Published by Five Star Living, Inc., 2003, 211 pages
This book, written by a registered dietician and PD professional, features popular recipes, that are rich in the nutrients most needed by those living with PD.



Expert-Level Resources

“The Emerging Role of Nutrition in Parkinson’s Disease,” by Stacey E. Seidl, et. al.
Published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, March 7, 2014
This article reviews and summarizes studies that have addressed the role nutrition plays in both neuroprotection and neurodegeneration.  Epidemiological and biochemical studies suggest that inclusion or exclusion of certain food groups may elicit neuroprotection (those containing omega-3, vegetables, fruits, carotenoids, genistein, tea, caffeine, resveratrol) or neurodegeneration (milk).  Foods containing MUFA, PUFA, saturated fat, vitamin C, D, and E, riboflavin, carbohydrates, and meat have conflicting results and need to be studied further.


This list of resources was first compiled by Denise Dagan for the Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach Program, February 2017.

Design support by Kevin T. Boyd

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