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Medicine

Peppers Seem To Protect Against Parkinson's 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mmm-tomacco dept.
DavidHumus writes "A recent study indicates that consuming vegetables from the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and peppers (as well as tobacco), decreases the risk of contracting Parkinson's disease. Earlier studies had shown that smoking tobacco seems to provide protection against the disease and the newer one seems to confirm that the key ingredient is nicotine, which is present in some vegetables like peppers."
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Peppers Seem To Protect Against Parkinson's

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  • ah tobacco (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThorGod (456163) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:12PM (#43680989) Journal

    You wont get Parkinson's because you'll be dead before it could form.

    (sardonic)

    • Tobacco...right (Score:3, Informative)

      by justthinkit (954982)
      Anecdotal, but the only relative I have that smokes...is the only one that got Parkinson's.
      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        Maybe his predisposition to get Parkinson's caused the desire to smoke..
        • Re:Tobacco...right (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:38AM (#43682145)

          Maybe his predisposition to get Parkinson's caused the desire to smoke..

          Nicotine ameliorates some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, and nearly everyone with schizophrenia smokes [wikipedia.org]. So it is possible that a similar phenomenon may occur with parkinson's

    • You wont get Parkinson's because you'll be dead before it could form.

      (sardonic)

      Not always. Grandpa was a heavy smoker. Lived to be nearly 80. Had Parkinson's real bad, though, so any benefits evidently didn't come through for him.

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      Tobacco only kills 50% of its users, and in most cases only after age 60.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        These stats are really only about Big Tobacco "tobacco." Big Tobacco takes real tobacco, leaf, stalk, root, etc, and mixes it up with chemicals and sucks out the nicotine. Then they chop it up some more into a mash, squeeze it and make a paper out of it, adding back nicotine along with 300 carcinogenic chemicals, including residual pesticides, including drugs that numb your throat and drugs that help nicotine get into your blood stream faster, all designed to make smoking more addictive. The paper is cut up

        • Re:ah tobacco (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Dave Emami (237460) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:16AM (#43682085) Homepage

          Native Americans smoked the heck out of it for centuries, and you never really hear about them dying in droves from lung or other cancer caused by smoking tobacco.

          Given the low average life expectancy of people living that close to nature, or in pre-industrial society in general, I doubt any negative effects of tobacco would have had any statistically-significant impact. Same with genetic tendency of people from sub-Saharan Africa towards higher rates of heart disease -- the vast majority of people didn't live long enough for that to matter. Likewise with lactose tolerance -- when food is chronically scarce, the extra calories from being able to consume dairy products are much more important than the drawbacks of the accompanying increase in saturated fat consumption. It's only in the last couple centuries or so that things like heart disease, stroke, and cancer have climbed up the causes-of-death list, because people have (mostly) stopped dying of starvation, malnutrition, and water/airborne diseases.

          • Low average life expectancy is usually caused by high infant mortality, so as long as they survive past childhood, they tended to live to the same ages that we live to. It's a myth that people used to die after reaching 30.
            • by Sique (173459)
              No, they didn't. Even after correcting for an early death in childhood, people on average didn't live as long as today. Main reason are bacterial infections we routinely cure today with antibiotics, and which can be deadly if left untreated.
              • Yes and no. There's more people living to extreme old age these days, but we haven't really increased the maximum lifespan.
                • by tehcyder (746570)

                  Yes and no. There's more people living to extreme old age these days, but we haven't really increased the maximum lifespan.

                  Sorry, we have most certainly increased the average life expectancy.

                  Your argument is basically "if you didn't die in childbirth, or early from malnutrition or one of numerous childhood diseases that are now eradicated or very rare, and if you didn't ever get a disease as an adult that we could now trivially treat with drugs, or die from an infection that we would nowadays just sterilise and bandage, or ever have an accident that left you unable to hunt/labour in the fields, then it was quite possible to l

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by hawkinspeter (831501)
                    Yes, I agree completely about average life expectancy which is most strongly affected by infant deaths which is the main area that modern medicine has made huge advances in.

                    What I was attempting to point out is that it is a fallacy that most people in medieval times (or earlier) only lived until they were 30 or so. Yes, the average life expectancy at birth was approximately 30 years for medieval Britain, but at age 21 the average life expectancy would be 64 which is not very different to the situation tod
              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Even after correcting for an early death in childhood, people on average didn't live as long as today. Main reason are bacterial infections we routinely cure today with antibiotics, and which can be deadly if left untreated.

                The Native Americans had less disease because they practiced less animal husbandry; most of them, none at all. They only got horses after Europeans showed up with them and a lot of them escaped and many of them didn't even associate with canines. The Pomo people who still live in the area now known as Lake County, CA used to regularly live past a hundred years on a diet primarily consisting of fish and acorns; today that lifestyle is unavailable as the oaks were cut down by settlers offered one dollar per w

            • Looked this up and it's correct -- life expectancy in the past is quite a bit longer than I expected for people who make it past childhood: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy#Life_expectancy_variation_over_time [wikipedia.org]
          • by wvmarle (1070040)

            People would get sick and die (typical age would be 70-80 - assuming one survived the first four years of life). That's it. You would get sick. You wouldn't have "cancer" or "parkinsons" or "diabetes" or whatever fancy name is given nowadays, you would just very simply get sick and die.

            Tobacco would be as much a killer as it is now, maybe even more so, they just didn't know it was the tobacco that killed them. The reason we have many people dying from tobacco, or too much saturated fats, or things like that

        • Until the 20th century, Most people were not expect to live past their 50's
          So before lung cancer hits, chances are you would be dead, for disease, infection, malnutrition, dehydration, killed in battle/hunting, general accidents...

          I am not debating modern Cigarettes have been made to be unnaturally harmful, compared to natural tobacco. (That is why you see lower cancer rates with more natural sources pipes and cigars) Also Americans have a problem with moderation too. In some countries where smoking is p

        • I came across this the other day - List of additives in cigarettes [wikipedia.org]
          "One significant issue is that while all these chemical compounds have been approved as additives to food, they were not tested by burning. Burning changes the properties of chemicals. More than 4,000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette." ... wonderful

      • by hawk (1151)

        Put that way, maybe Windows isn't quite so bad after all . . .

        hawk

  • Tomacco. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:12PM (#43680995)

    Tomacco.

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:13PM (#43681001) Homepage Journal

    I know it's in bad taste, but I'd pay anything to see Michael J Fox doing a Frank's RedHot Commercial splattering sauce everywhere while having a case of the shakes.

    I PUT THAT SH*T ON EVERYTHING!!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Your right, it is in very bad taste. You should be ashamed of yourself and why Slashdot awards you points is beyond me. Having a Neurological disease myself, it is very offensive. You are the kind of person who laughs at others misfortunes. Sad!
      • Re:Paging Mr. Fox (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TomR teh Pirate (1554037) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:59PM (#43681277)
        Lighten up, Francis. I'm going in for neurosurgery in a week to fix 18 months of severe neck pain and I'm cracking jokes about it. I even asked the neurosurgeon about neck-bolts.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Having a Neurological disease myself

        Lacking a sense of humour is called a neurological disease now?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ClintJCL (264898)
        News flash: Jokes come at the expense of somebody|thing. Sometimes it's you.
        • by Sique (173459)
          So the joke about the function and the operator which meet, and where the operator tells the function: off my domain of definition, or I will differentiate you! to which the function wittily replies: do it! do it! I am e^x! But then the operator thunders: And I am d/dy!

          At whose expense comes this joke?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The person reading it, primarily

          • by ClintJCL (264898)
            I said somebody/thing, not somebody. In this case, I think the main victim is humor itself. That joke gave me cancer.
      • by ganjadude (952775)
        everyone is always taking offense these days. lighten up, im sure you make fun of "insert XX here" and I am sure XX is not amused by it. If people cant take a joke, the world is a very boring place.

        I leave you with words of the late great Carlin

        Like rape. They'll say, "you can't joke about rape. Rape's not funny."
        I say, "fuck you, I think it's hilarious. How do you like that?"
        I can prove to you that rape is funny. Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd.
        See, hey why do you think they call him "Porky," eh? I know what you're going to say.
        "Elmer was asking for it. Elmer was coming on to Porky.
        Porky couldn't help himself, he got a hard- on, he got horney, he lost control, he went out of his mind."

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Colonel Korn (1258968)

        Your right, it is in very bad taste. You should be ashamed of yourself and why Slashdot awards you points is beyond me. Having a Neurological disease myself, it is very offensive. You are the kind of person who laughs at others misfortunes. Sad!

        Mods got this and the GP wrong. I used up my points earlier today.

        Not only is the GP insensitive, his post is absent of entertainment. It's boring as hell.

      • I'm sure Michael J. Fox is very ashamed of the jokes he's made about Michael J. Fox.

      • Re:Paging Mr. Fox (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:25PM (#43681669)
        I have a neurological disease and didn't think it offensive. I also didn't think it funny. You choose whether to be offended. Choose to not be offended, and you'll be a happier person.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          I have a neurological disease and didn't think it offensive. I also didn't think it funny. You choose whether to be offended. Choose to not be offended, and you'll be a happier person.

          that's like saying that you can choose to be a homosexual.

          j fox putting sauce everywhere would be a funny advertisement tho.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          I have a neurological disease and didn't think it offensive. I also didn't think it funny. You choose whether to be offended. Choose to not be offended, and you'll be a happier person.

          You are, of course, right.

          However, I still find the whole justification that just because something's a joke no one should take it too seriously, extremely dangerous and wrong-headed.

          Nazi satirical writings and cartoons of Jews were very far from being "just jokes" that everyone should be able to laugh off. Like any potential act of speech or writing, jokes have consequences.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Your right, it is in very bad taste. You should be ashamed of yourself and why Slashdot awards you points is beyond me. Having a Neurological disease myself, it is very offensive. You are the kind of person who laughs at others misfortunes. Sad!

        How the fuck has this been modded funny?

        Whether you agree with him or not, there is absolutely no evidence he's joking.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eat lots of peppers and tomatoes.

    As for ciggies protecting against Parkinson's... well... of course it does. If you die young because of lung cancer, you're never gonna get Parkinson's. Right? :)

  • nightshade family (Score:5, Informative)

    by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:19PM (#43681051)

    &The title says peppers but it says nicotine is actually the chemical at work. There are actually a few positive effects nicotine possesses, the negative effects of smoking are mediated by the oxidation products of cigarettes.

    There are actually quite a few common plants in the family with varying levels of nicotine in each part (tomatoes vs the leaves). Some, like datura (moon flower/jimsons or devils weed) contain scopalamine and atropine and are deleriants. From wiki:

    The family includes Solanum (potato, tomato, eggplant), Physalis philadelphica (tomatillo), Capsicum (chili pepper, bell pepper), Petunia, Datura, (Cape gooseberry flower), Mandragora (mandrake), Nicotiana (tobacco), Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), Lycium barbarum (wolfberry), and Physalis peruviana.

    • by ThePeices (635180)

      There are actually a few positive effects nicotine possesses, the negative effects of smoking are mediated by the oxidation products of cigarettes..

      Don't forget the addictive nature of nicotine.

      • Re:nightshade family (Score:5, Interesting)

        by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craigNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:27PM (#43681437)

        Insects are anything but addicted to it. It' kills 'em dead. That's the entire reason the nicotine is flowing through plants' veins in the first place: it's their natural insecticide.

        Now why anybody would wanna smoke insecticide.... ;-)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          nicotenne will kill people dead as well if injected instead of smoked.

        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          Insects are anything but addicted to it. It' kills 'em dead. That's the entire reason the nicotine is flowing through plants' veins in the first place: it's their natural insecticide.

          That's why they stay in one place; they are too high to move.

        • Ah, wonderful logic...

          That's the entire reason the nicotine is flowing through plants' veins in the first place: it's their natural insecticide.

          Now why anybody would wanna eat insecticide by having a salad... ;-) Luckily, we are not insects.

          Chocolate is bad for dogs. It is good for people.
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        There are actually a few positive effects nicotine possesses, the negative effects of smoking are mediated by the oxidation products of cigarettes..

        Don't forget the addictive nature of nicotine.

        Morphine is addictive too. Being addicted to something that saves your life is not necessarily a bad thing.

      • by sjames (1099)

        If someone with Parkinson's misses a dose of L-dopa, they get the shakes.

    • Yeah, silly English. I was coming to look if it was specifically black, white, green, tellicherry, or Szechuan. I wish people would just call "bell peppers" "sweet bell chilis", along with all the rest of the species.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Some countries call them "capsicums", even when speaking English.

        Like most misnamed items from the New World, this was apparently Columbus' fault. He tasted a chili pepper, his crazy genocidal brain decided it tasted like peppercorn, and the rest is history.

        • "Crazy, genocidal brain." Come-on now.

          Re the use of the word pepper - it applied to foods that were peppery. He wasn't a botanist. He was an explorer. He used the commonly used vernacular of his time

          Are you know going to call the pilgrims "crazy and genocidal" because they called maize "corn." To the 17th C English "corn" was any cereal crop.

          PS. Please nobody say anything as dumb as "he was lost." He was a f**king explorer. And if you look at a globe you'll see that he got his latitude correct. H
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yes, crazy. Yes, genocidal.

            When he arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, Las Casas says, "there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it...." Thus began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian settlements in the Americas. ...
            Past the elementa

        • by Sique (173459)
          It wasn't his fault. It was that "pepper" was a synonym for "spice" in general.
    • The title says peppers but it says nicotine is actually the chemical at work. There are actually a few positive effects nicotine possesses, the negative effects of smoking are mediated by the oxidation products of cigarettes.

      Which makes me wonder if electronic cigarette products may not only be not bad for you, but even potentially beneficial as they give you a low dose of nicotine through vaporization without the oxidation caused by burning.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      The title says peppers but it says nicotine is actually the chemical at work.

      It's not just nicotine. The same beneficial effects have been observed from several of the vanilloids and curcuminoids, including capsaicin (found in hot peppers) and curcumin. And it isn't just brain issues. They lower the risk of all sorts of damage caused by inflammation, including the risk of heart disease and stroke, and prevents metastasis and induces apoptosis in many types of cancer....

      The average person would do well t

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:22PM (#43681069) Homepage Journal
    So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tomatoes and peppers are fruit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:32PM (#43681125)

    Woody Allen character in the distant future, noticing many people smoking, is told "we discovered that tobacco is good for you".

  • by sessamoid (165542) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:04PM (#43681313)
    The article does not "confirm that the key ingredient is nicotine, which is present in some vegetables like peppers."

    From TFA

    "Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Searles Nielsen. "Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson's, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco."

    Tobacco and solanaceae plants have in common a lot of chemicals, including multiple alkaloids like atropine. Potato plants fall into the same family, as do all chili pepper plants. While this is an interesting study, it does NOT confirm that nicotine is the chemical in solanaceae that is protective against Parkinson's disease, even before you take into account that this was only a retrospective study.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Or it could be that saying anything unambiguously good about nicotine these days is more taboo than the other N word. We must remenmbeer at all times to be sure we attribute all bad effects of smoking to nicotine. Only nicotine from your friendly pharmacist is exempt and then only in the form of patches and gum designed to stop smoking.

  • They only work if you mix them with salt, red meat, eggs, and then lie in the full sun.
  • The Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango [wikia.com] grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. Add sliced Tomacco [wikipedia.org].
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:50PM (#43681763)
    Looks like eating spicy food and smoking cigars is good for you, thanks science :-)
    • Looks like eating spicy food and smoking cigars is good for you, thanks science :-)

      Studies like these come out all the time. There seems to be both ill effects and beneficial effects for just about everything, including water: Drink too much of it and you'll die. "Everything in moderation," seems to work for most things. Determining at what concentration it's considered "moderation" is the tricky bit -- The difference between kills you and makes you stronger is often simply the dosage amount.

  • Aha! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JimtownKelly (634785) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:08AM (#43682043)
    This article solves a mystery that has puzzled my family for years. My dad suffered Parkinsonism for many years, and most of his life favored bland food. In the last couple years of his life, when the disease was at its peak, he had an intense craving for peppers that we all thought were signs of dementia. He would not only eat peppers but sometimes eat salsa and drink hot sauce directly from jars in the fridge. So perhaps his body was craving the nicotine in the peppers, who knows. RIP.
    • We evolve a sense of taste for a reason. Perhaps researchers should be using information like this as a starting point for further investigation of many things.

  • Smoking it delivers it to your lungs that have not evolved to deal with the complex chemicals. Your stomach on the other hand can deal with acids ... eat nicotine so you can remember more
  • I wonder if low-dosage nicotine patches might have some merit for those with a familial propensity.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday May 10, 2013 @08:12AM (#43683585) Homepage
    eggplants, in much higher quantities.

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