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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 672838, 16 pages
Review Article

Dietary Factors in the Etiology of Parkinson’s Disease

School of Health Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 9 May 2014; Revised 7 November 2014; Accepted 8 November 2014

Academic Editor: Tan Eng King

Copyright © 2015 Zeynep S. Agim and Jason R. Cannon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. The majority of cases do not arise from purely genetic factors, implicating an important role of environmental factors in disease pathogenesis. Well-established environmental toxins important in PD include pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals. However, many toxicants linked to PD and used in animal models are rarely encountered. In this context, other factors such as dietary components may represent daily exposures and have gained attention as disease modifiers. Several in vitro, in vivo, and human epidemiological studies have found a variety of dietary factors that modify PD risk. Here, we critically review findings on association between dietary factors, including vitamins, flavonoids, calorie intake, caffeine, alcohol, and metals consumed via food and fatty acids and PD. We have also discussed key data on heterocyclic amines that are produced in high-temperature cooked meat, which is a new emerging field in the assessment of dietary factors in neurological diseases. While more research is clearly needed, significant evidence exists that specific dietary factors can modify PD risk.