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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • diet;
  • protein intake;
  • levodopa

Abstract

The dietary habits of 45 Italian patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and their spouses were investigated using the EPIC food frequency questionnaire. Average daily energy intake was similar, but PD patients consumed significantly more vegetable proteins and carbohydrates (both +18%; P = 0.01 and P = 0.001, respectively). Daily protein intake, which interferes with levodopa absorption, was 50% higher than the recommended daily allowance (1.2 vs. 0.8 g/kg) in both PD patients and spouses and was significantly higher in patients with moderate/severe symptoms (1.27 ± 0.29 vs. 1.07 ± 0.28 g/kg; P < 0.001). In patients taking levodopa, there was a correlation between daily levodopa dosage and protein intake (P = 0.027). Dietary habits of patients with advanced and/or fluctuating PD should always be checked, with particular reference to protein intake. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society