Did you know that nicotine in cigarette smoke
actually had a benefit? Nicotine reduces the risk of developing Parkinson's
disease. However, this statement should not be taken as an excuse to smoke.
Cigarette smoke contains enough toxic chemicals that could cause deadly
diseases before the person is susceptible to Parkinson's disease.
As stated above, cigarette smoking or chewing
tobacco cannot be recommended to prevent Parkinson's disease. However, it is
possible to obtain nicotine from other sources. Vegetables from the same family
as tobacco contain small amounts of nicotine; these include peppers, potatoes
and tomatoes. Researchers carried out a study to find out whether eating these
vegetables could have a preventive effect on development of Parkinsonism. Their
findings were positive and are published in the journal, Annals of Neurology
Among the vegetables mentioned above, the
researchers noted that peppers were associated with at least 30 percent reduced
risk of developing Parkinson's disease when taken twice or more per week.
The researchers however could not confirm that the
protective effect was due to the nicotine content, or the presence of another
less toxic chemical in peppers, which may be equally or more protective than
Further large-scale studies will be required before the protective
effect of peppers against Parkinson's disease can be established. However, you
could still go ahead and use peppers in your food. They will definitely improve
the taste of your food for now!