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April 29, 2015

A healthy gut may help prevent Parkinson's and ALS

Researchers are studying a connection between gut health and the brain

The saying "go with your gut" is taking on a more literal meaning as groundbreaking research has found a link between gut health and brain disorders.

In an article for The Daily Beast, David Perlmutter, MD, a board-certified neurologist and author of "Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life," shared several bodies of research showing an apparent link between inflammation in the gut and some of the most deadly and debilitating diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).

In one study he pointed out, researchers at Rush University Medical Center have uncovered the significant bowel issues associated with Parkinson’s disease - the world’s second-most common neurodegenerative condition - may have a role in its cause.

“Dr. Christopher B. Forsyth and his team have recently demonstrated significant gut permeability, more commonly referred to as 'leaky gut' in Parkinson’s patients. Their research has further revealed that this increase in gut leakiness enhances inflammation as well as the production of a unique protein—alpha-synuclein—both of which are characteristic of this disease."

He also shared similar research related to ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects as many as 30,000 Americans, with about 5,600 new cases in the U.S. being diagnosed each year.

“Inflammation, as a mechanism, is thought to underlie virtually every degenerative condition that humans experience—including Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and even cancer. And it has become clear that the integrity of the lining of the gut plays a fundamental role in determining the degree of inflammation that the human body experiences."

How the gut becomes unhealthy:

Gut bacteria can be altered by any number of events, including overuse of antibiotics, exposure to environmental toxins and bad food choices.

Read the full Daily Beast article here.

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