Parkinson’s disease is devastating. And it’s more common than you think.
It starts with a tremor or a twitch. Then you find yourself slurring your words. You start to move slowly and stiffly. Eventually your face becomes expressionless… even when you want to smile.
Fifteen percent of folks between 65 and 74 will get it. And more than HALF of those over 85 will develop the telltale symptoms.
Worse, rates of Parkinson’s have skyrocketed in the last 40 years. A new study shows that between 1976 and 2005 Parkinson’s rates shot through the roof. In fact, the risk for men DOUBLED in that period.
It’s been a mystery. One that has left doctors and scientists scratching their heads. What’s causing it? And why are the rates rising so fast?
But now experts say the picture is starting to become clear. Because new evidence reveals the cause of the jump in Parkinson’s could be lurking at the local golf course, in your garden, and even in your own refrigerator.
Parkinson’s risk skyrocketed 250%
Scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario recently decided to break tradition when it comes to Parkinson’s research.
Instead of studying rats or observing populations—something which HASN’T been effective so far—they studied human cells. They exposed the cells to two common pesticides that many researchers already suspected had links to Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat and maneb.
And what they found sent shockwaves through the scientific community. Because if you have a genetic risk for Parkinson’s and are exposed to even a tiny amount of these chemicals, your risk for the disease could jump a staggering 250 percent.
But you don’t even need to have a genetic risk to be in danger. Only slightly higher amounts sparked the Parkinson’s genetic mutation in all the human cells tested. And these were amounts FAR below the EPA’s “lowest observed effect level” for these poisons.
It appears these two pesticides replicate the Parkinson’s mutation in your cells. Which means they could kick-start the disease in your body no matter if you have a family background or not.
And where are these creepy chemicals found? EVERYWHERE. In your garden and lawn. At the golf course where you play the links. And even in your own refrigerator, hidden in the fruits and vegetables you buy.
And they’re popularity has grown over the years. Which explains the sharp upswing in rates of Parkinson’s since the 70s.
4 ways to protect yourself from Parkinson’s right now
Realistically you can’t entirely avoid these two toxic chemicals. But the good news is you can significantly lower your exposure.
1. Commit to organic:
Today almost all conventionally grown crops are regularly drenched with pesticides. So the only way to avoid the extra exposure is to commit to eating 100 percent USDA certified organic fruits and vegetables.
When produce is marked organic that means it was grown without using any chemicals. And that, of course, includes these two hazardous pesticides. Organic food is more expensive for farmers to grow, so the cost is a bit higher. But the extra hit to your wallet is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
If you can’t afford to buy EVERYTHING organic keep in mind the most contaminated crops, according to the Environmental Working Group, are strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and peppers. Switching to organic for these 12 foods alone could slash your exposure.
2. Make GMO a no-no:
The same is true for GMO foods. GMO foods have been engineered to survive pesticides such as Roundup. But it turns out that the weeds are now becoming immune to the chemicals. So to make sure they work corporate farming operations now often douse their crops with a mix of deadly paraquat AND Roundup.
To be completely sure your foods are GMO-free, sticking with organic is once again the only way to go.
3. Check your chips:
Be sure to check the labels on your chips and nuts. As well as any other prepared foods which have oil in them. Because cottonseed oil—often used in chips and nuts—is typically loaded with Parkinson’s-linked paraquat.
Farmers pour the herbicide over the cotton plants before harvesting to strip them of their leaves to cut costs. But YOU pay the price with a rising risk for Parkinson’s disease.
4. Embrace your weeds:
While many folks dream of a perfectly green, weed-free lawn, it’s time to reconsider. Because the poisons that kill the weeds in your lawn are the same that send your Parkinson’s risk rocketing. In fact, you can easily get these two chemicals for your garden and lawn at your local hardware store and online.
But I think you’ll agree a lush lawn or bigger rosebushes just aren’t worth the risk. Especially when you look out the window and see your kids, grandkids, or pets playing in your yard.
Evidence of the association between Parkinson’s and pesticides is growing. And it’s time to take it seriously.