Posted on Feb 06, 2014

Pesticides are quite commonly used in the preservation of fruits. But are they safe? A new study shows that they could be detrimental to your health.

Time magazine reports on the link between pesticide and Parkinson's disease.

Pesticide is generally known as a possibly harmful chemical. But now researchers have actually connected it to Parkinson’s.

“It’s not the first time the chemicals have been linked to the brain disease, but the latest study from UCLA researchers shows that the effect is exacerbated by genetics. Since Parkinson’s is known to be determined by a variety of factors, including family genetics, this new study shows how the two factors could be intimately involved,” according to Time magazine.

The most intriguing part of the study is that it is not only one pesticide that is being linked but actually eleven pesticides. In previous cases only one pesticide would be proven harmful thus causing the ban of that pesticide. But now there are links between eleven pesticides and Parkinson’s.

Time explains how the pesticides cause the disease, “The pesticides inhibit an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), which is supposed to keep a naturally occurring toxin in the brain called DOPAL in check. When ALDH is inhibited, the detoxifying doesn’t happen, and this causes DOPAL to build up and contribute to Parkinson’s development. Mostly interesting was that the population from the farming communities who had the gene variant ALDH2 were six times more likely to develop the disease, indicating that the gene variant made them especially vulnerable.”

The doctor who led the study told Time, “We were very surprised that so many pesticides inhibited ALDH and at quite low concentrations, concentrations that were way below what was needed for the pesticides to do their job. These pesticides are pretty ubiquitous, and can be found on our food supply and are used in parks and golf courses and in pest control inside our buildings and homes.”

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Gerry Oginski
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