Research suggests faster progression if you regularly drink cow's milk or eat lots of dairy

Here's the explanation. Cow's milk ACUTELY lowers blood levels of uric acid.

If you recall correctly, low blood levels of uric acid are linked with a faster progression in PD. While clinical trials that seek to raise levels of uric acid are ongoing, the way they're doing it (with inosine) is not without risk of serious complication.

Instead of going that route, let's adjust the things we CAN control. Regular, frequent consumption of cow's milk and dairy products is going to put your levels of uric acid in the lower-than-average range.

If you have PD or a related synucleinopathy, it would be SMART to limit your intake of cow's milk and dairy products. Instead, try soy milk (Silk, etc). If you eat lots of ice cream, try non-dairy alternatives like sherbert.

If you've never tried soy milk before, it's a teeny bit sweeter than cow's milk, but otherwise the taste is fairly similar. It is fortified with the same nutrients as cow's milk (calcium, vitamin D, etc) and just like cow's milk, it's a good source of protein. Similarly, in the grocery store, nowadays you'll find a fair number of tasty non-dairy alternatives to ice cream.

Now, I'm not advocating from removing dairy altogether. Feel free to enjoy the occasional macaroni-and-cheese with dinner.

On a final note, it seems that exercise is also something that can significantly increase blood levels of uric acid. This is probably ONE factor that explains why those who exercise regularly have a slower progression of their parkinson's.


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13 Replies

  • On about June 7-8, 2017, the media reported that "low fat dairy increases the risk of contracting Parkinson's." So far so good--this is compatible with your idea. But, on the other hand, "No link was identified between consumption of full-fat dairy and Parkinson's disease." To support your uric acid hypothesis, you will now have to bring in the added variable of milk fat. You will need to explain/show how the extra fat in full-fat dairy effectively cancels the alleged lowering of uric-acid. or otherwise helps protect against PD. Interesting, huh?

    Later addendum: Wow, I guess the following responds to my question and lends further credibility to your hypothesis: "In a 2011 study that examined the evidence on the effects of dairy products on hyperuricemia and gout observing the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), the researchers found that in both studies the decreased risk of gout development was primarily linked with low-fat dairy products! On the contrary, high-fat dairy products were not linked with the risk of gout. The data also suggested that dairy products have a protective effect against gout especially low-fat dairy products."

    In the trade-off between gout and PD, I think most healthy people would rather take the (increased risk of) gout. In that case, to avert PD, it makes sense for them to reduce their intake of low-fat dairy. But, if they prefer to avert gout, they will want to do the opposite and favor skim-milk products.

  • I'm confused. I see that consuming more low-fat dairy products may increase progression. But is it better to consume more high-fat dairy products or not eat them at all?

  • Well, according to this latest study, full-fat dairy is neutral with regard to risk of one's getting PD--neither good nor bad. It's a * different question * whether it's harmful or beneficial for someone who already has PD. The general consensus on this site and elsewhere is that (regardless of its fat content) milk interferes with dopaminergic medications because it is a high-protein food; therefore, except near bedtime, it tends to be shunned by Parkees. (Personally I take 20 grams of whey protein at bedtime, and my tremors be damned! Whey may promote glutathione in the body.)

    I do not know whether cow's milk (of any fat level) is reputed to benefit PDers in the long term. I have read several times that a high-fat diet is bad for cognition. That would seem to be a red flag since dementia is a high risk for folks with PD, and we don't want to push our luck.

  • Thank you

  • 20 gms of protein at once at night - almost half daily recommended- why so late ? To avoid drug-nutrient interaction?

  • Yes, during the day, I want my meds to be effective. When I am asleep, there are no tremors to worry about.

  • For a very nice discussion of the protein-levodopa conflict, you can see the longer post (3rd from the top) by Kathrynne Holden, M.S., R.D., who is an expert on nutrition for Parkinsons, and who has published a handbook on the subject:

  • Will review- I glanced at the link -a very nice reference that delineates well. TY Dumpelkin!🙋

  • I eat very little dairy and exercise regularly - I've had PD for nine years and am still fit with little effects of PD

  • I like hearing stories like that! Do you take any meds or supplements?

  • Hi Astra, thanks for replying yes I take Sinemet 4 times daily also Omega3

  • Dang! Keep posting @trusam2913 !

  • There is a number of controversies about soy milk consumption. Here is what Sally Fallon (nutrition journalist and food historian) says about it:

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