Aging risk factors and Parkinson's disease: contrasting roles of common dietary constituents

Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Jun;35(6):1469-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.11.032. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


Aging is a Parkinson's disease (PD) risk factor. It is suggested here that certain dietary components may either contribute to or ameliorate PD risk. There is evidence, which indicates that excessive carbohydrate (glucose or fructose) catabolism is a cause of mitochondrial dysfunction in PD, one consequence is increased production of methylglyoxal (MG). However, other dietary components (carnosine and certain plant extracts) not only scavenge MG but can also influence some of the biochemical events (signal transduction, stress protein synthesis, glycation, and toxin generation) associated with PD pathology. As double blind, placebo-controlled carnosine supplementation studies have revealed beneficial outcomes in humans, it is suggested that MG scavengers such as carnosine be further explored for their therapeutic potential toward PD.

Keywords: Carnosine; Dopamine; Energy metabolism; Fructose; Glucose; Glycolysis; Methylglyoxal; Salsolinol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Carnosine / pharmacology*
  • Carnosine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / prevention & control*
  • Pyruvaldehyde / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Pyruvaldehyde
  • Carnosine