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Antioxidants may slow Parkinson’s disease

Earlier studies suggest that low levels of antioxidants encourage Parkinson’s disease (PD) to develop and advance. In this study, doctors measured levels of antioxidants in 104 people with early-stage and advanced-stage PD, and compared them to 52 healthy people of similar age and gender.

Comparing the two groups, all of those with PD had lower circulating levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene than healthy participants. Levels of these three carotenoid antioxidants were also lower in those in the advanced stages of PD compared to those in its early stages.

After Alzheimer’s disease, PD is the second most common age-related nerve disease. Doctors think PD may progress as the ability of the body to fight off radical oxygen species—the cause of oxidative stress—decreases with age. With life expectancy increasing, doctors hope to show that maintaining good levels of antioxidants, especially carotenoids, can slow and possibly help prevent PD.

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