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Vegetable and fruit are good for you. Just in case you are not convinced of this already here is another news article about how plant based eating can improve your health and reduce your risk of disease…

Eating peppers twice a week could help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by up to a third.

Scientists found individuals who ate foods containing an edible form of nicotine, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines, gained a degree of protection against the condition.

The research adds to evidence linking a reduced risk of the disease with smoking and the use of nicotine patches.

But experts urged caution, saying other constituents in the produce may have played a role in the findings, while the disease itself may also influence whether people smoke or eat certain foods.

‘Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease,’ said Dr Susan Searles Nielsen from the University of Washington in Seattle.
‘Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson’s, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco.’

For the new study, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, 490 patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, were questioned about their dietary habits and tobacco use.

A further 644 individuals not suffering from any neurological conditions also participated in the study.

Vegetable consumption in general was not found to affect Parkinson’s risk.
But the likelihood of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s reduced the more people ate vegetables from the Solanaceae family, which contain tiny amounts of nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes.

The trend was strongest for peppers, mainly in people with little or no previous exposure to tobacco, with participants who ate them at least twice a week found to be 30 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson’s.

Although the evidence suggests nicotine to be the active ingredient, the team did not rule out another chemical shared by tobacco and its cousins being responsible for the effect. One possibility was anatabine, which had anti-inflammatory properties.

Previous experiments in animals, showed stimulation of nicotine-sensitive receptor molecules in the brain prevents the kind of nerve damage seen in Parkinson’s.

Human population studies have also found those who smoke are less likely to develop the disease.

Even passive smoking, which involves much less exposure to nicotine, seems to be protective.

Parkinson’s is a progressive condition in which damage to brain cells eventually leads to tremors, rigidity and slow movement, and there is currently no cure.
Most people with the condition are aged 50 or over, and it affects about 127,000 people in Britain.

Claire Bale, from the charity Parkinson’s UK, said the study was too small to draw any concrete conclusions.

She said: ‘This was a small study which involved just over 1,000 people and to produce convincing results, these types of studies really need to involve much larger numbers – tens to hundreds of thousands.

‘It also studied a relatively young group of people, the average age was mid-60s, when Parkinson’s is a condition which often develops much later in life.

‘At the moment we don’t fully understand the causes of Parkinson’s and we don’t know of anything which can prevent the condition, although there are a number of factors that may slightly lower risk including smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and exercise.’

Dietician Catherine Collins, from St George’s Hospital NHS Trust in London, said the study provided further evidence of the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers.

But she said the findings had ‘insufficient robustness’ to justify promoting peppers as a protection against Parkinson’s.

Nicotine content can vary in vegetables due to growing conditions, storage, and harvesting and cooking methods.

Cystic Fibrosis A Race We Must Win2013 Miles in 2013

I am doing my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles and in April I completed 192.1 miles. If you can please spare £7.85 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page:

2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules

The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.