Parkinson’s Disease, for many of us, seems like a far off disease. Something that only the elderly deal with. Maybe someone we know had a family member that suffered from it or a friend.
The truth is that Parkinson’s Disease is on the rise. It has been highly misunderstood and this debilitating disease may not be far off from you. The research is revealing a remarkable link between your microbiota (your gut flora) composition and Parkinson’s Disease.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Many of us feel like this disease could never touch us. Let’s talk about what happens to PD patients. Every day many people wake up with PD and are unable to move. This disease slowly destroys you.
As it begins to worsen a person with PD will have progressively worsening cramps in the muscles. Ever had a cramp in your leg that lasted for half a minute and felt like an hour of searing pain? Well, a PD patient may experience that in multiple muscles.
Over time, the patient finally experiences these rhythmic muscle contractions from head to foot. It is absolutely searing pain in every muscle of your body. A truly terrible way to live.
Sadly, what researchers found in Bonn shows us that this reality may not be too far off for many of us. If what they uncovered is true then our entire society is in for a painful future, literally.
Gut Flora and Parkinson’s
In Bonn, Germany a team of researchers embarked on an unprecedented study. They decided that they would take fecal samples of a group of PD patients and compare them to a group of healthy patients.
The reason that fecal samples work so well is that the majority of your poo is made up of dead bacteria. Almost 90% off your fecal matter is made up of the large intestines microbes that are being excreted. Meaning, their job is done.
Once these fecal samples were taken they did a shotgun genome testing. This was a bit different than past studies that have used 16S genome typing.
This shotgun approach allowed a deeper understanding of the diversity of the microbes, pathogens and viruses present.
The Main Differences Between Healthy Patients and PD Patients
What was discovered is that there was a vast difference between microbial composition and the metabolic health of the bacteria between the two groups. To put it in simpler terms, the sick patients had poorly functioning microbes with a lower microbial diversity.
The conclusions made by the researchers is that gut flora composition in those with PD effects the gut wall lining, possibly causing Leaky Gut. Then, that the low diversity of gut flora is dramatically impacting the immune system function of those that are sick.
WHAT COULD THIS MEAN?
We, for years, thought that stress levels or mental conditions effected our gut flora. Studies have revealed that if someone had a certain mental problem or disease that, on the whole, they had similar gut bacteria composition.
Mostly, a lack of good bacteria within their gut. Yet, now we know without a shadow of a doubt that your gut flora actually impacts your mental health and overall heath. That it’s a two way street between your gut flora and your mind.
The Enteric Nervous System connects directly to the Central Nervous System through a nerve called the Vagus. These two Nervous Systems are interwoven to the point that they symbiotically effect one another.
So, to think that your gut flora may impact your chances of getting Parkinson’s Disease may, at first glance, seem far fetched. However, the research reveals the truth The breakthrough’s are occurring now.
The question is, how long will you take to realize the importance of your gut health? When will you take action?