Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to control their movements. It occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain die, leading to a shortage of a chemical called dopamine. This shortage causes the movement problems associated with Parkinson's disease. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.
Research shows that oxidative stress plays a significant role in the development and progression of Parkinson's disease. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage cells, and antioxidants, which protect cells from damage. When there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs, which can lead to cell damage and death.
A clinical trial investigated whether taking synbiotic supplements for 12 weeks could help improve the total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidant status, oxidative stress index (OSI), glutathione, Malondialdehyde (MDA), Parkinson’s disease quality of life (PDQ-39), and mental and fatigue status in Parkinson's disease patients.
Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, and prebiotics, which are substances that help feed the probiotics. Previous research has suggested that synbiotic supplements may help improve gut health, which in turn could improve overall health and well-being.
The randomized controlled trial found that the synbiotic supplementation increased TAC and reduced MDA and OSI compared to the control group. TAC measures the body's ability to fight off free radicals, while MDA and OSI are both markers of oxidative stress. This suggests that the synbiotic supplements may help reduce oxidative stress in Parkinson's disease patients.
The trial also found that depression decreased in the synbiotic group compared to the control group. Additionally, the well-being and cognitive impairment domains of the PDQ-39 significantly improved, while activities of daily living and PDQ-39 summary index marginally improved in the synbiotic group compared to the control group. The PDQ-39 is a questionnaire that measures the impact of Parkinson's disease on a person's quality of life.
Overall, the trial suggests that synbiotic supplementation could be a complementary treatment for Parkinson's disease patients.
Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to control their movements. Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the development and progression of Parkinson's disease. A clinical trial found that synbiotic supplementation could help improve TAC, reduce MDA and OSI, and improve the quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. If you or someone you know is living with Parkinson's disease, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.