The composition of the gut microbes may be different in persons with Parkinson’s disease as compared to healthy individuals. Knowledge of how specific gut microbes influence the nervous system is ongoing and more research is needed to better understand them.
Diet is known to influence the gut microbiome by altering the composition of microbes along the GI tract. Beneficial microbes can play an important role in maintaining immune and GI function, maintaining integrity of the intestinal barrier, and maintaining healthy levels of prebiotic fibers. Prebiotic fibers can be naturally found in foods such as bananas, oats, onions, leeks, garlic, and asparagus. In addition, they are added to food products like yogurts or cereal bars. Recent research has found that a Mediterranean diet is associated with increased levels of beneficial bacteria, possibly due to increased fermentation of fibers from plant foods.
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