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Because researchers have such a limited understanding of the cause of Parkinson’s disease, there are no current guidelines to reduce your risk of developing it.

Some studies have suggested that certain factors can lower your risk of Parkinson's disease. Examples include:

  • Having a higher caffeine intake
  • Having a higher intake of vitamin E and nuts
  • Having a higher intake of unsaturated fatty acids
  • Using of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Eating a Mediterranean diet, which includes plant foods (for example, fruits, veggies, grains, beans, seeds), olive oil, and fish
  • Regularly engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise

However, these were observational studies. They do not prove a cause and effect relationship for preventing Parkinson's disease. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or taking any new medication. The side effects may outweigh any potential benefits.


Camdelacreu J. Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease: environmental risk factors. Neurologia. 2014 ;29(9):541-549.

De Lau LM, Bornebroek M, Wittemen JC, Hofman A, Koudstaal PJ, Breteler MM. Dietary fatty acids and the risk of Parkinson disease: the Rotterdam Study. Neurology. 2005;64(12):2040-2045.

NINDS Parkinson's disease information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Updated June 2, 2016. Accessed June 16, 2016.

Parkinson disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated September 11, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.

Parkinson disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated September 2015. Accessed June 16, 2016.

Parkinson's disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: Accessed June 16, 2016.

4/8/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance Sofi F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A. Accruing evidence on benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on health: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(5):1189-1196.

6/17/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance : Xu Q, Park Y, Huang X, Hollenbeck A, Blair A, Schatzkin A, Chen H. Physical activities and future risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2010;75(4):341-348.

Last reviewed June 2016 by Rimas Lukas, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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