Carbohydrates in diet

My husband and I wanted to lose a bit of flab before our holiday and went on the Cabbage Soup diet.  This is a high fibre, nil carbohydrate diet which is for just 7 days.  

One unexpected outcome was that my husband's mobility has improved a lot.  I haven't seen him swing his arm whilst walking for years.  He isn't shuffling around last thing at night and in the night.

It could be that this phenomena is specific to him and his health but I wondered if others had found carbohydrates reduced mobility or perhaps affected the efficacy of drugs?


Hi Meadowlands

  I suppose it depends if he takes his meds at meal times as I think most of them work in the intestin not in the stomach, so food will interfere with the meds making them less effective , I'm sure I've read on here some were the best way is to take them 1/2 hour before eating with a glass of water or a biscuit , or 1 1/2 hours after a meal to get the most from them, but please check with your GP or pd nurse to make sure that's correct for your husbands meds , having a hi fibre liquid diet would certainly get the meds through the stomach quickly and there'd not be much else to absorb lol.

well I hope there's something of use in this but again do check with the health professionals before you change anything .       Live well.   Cc,

Hi, I think there is possibly something in this.  We are always told to take tabs before meals and not to eat meals too heavy with protein, however, I've recently been trying the 'wheat belly diet' (to combat constipation) and I have found by avoiding wheat & potatoes, the efficacy of my meds seem better.  So this backs up your idea that carbohydrates could slow down the absorption of levadopa.  Sally.

Thanks for this.  He usually takes his meds about an hour before a meal.  We're on holiday with other people at the moment so it's difficult to control our diet.  

Does anyone know if there any research has been done with regard to Parkinsons and diet particularly carbohydrates?

There is a lack of research in this area, as far as we can tell carbohydrates don't not affect Parkinson’s drugs.

We did a bit of digging and there is some evidence that a high carbohydrate diet may decrease the absorption of a type of drug that relaxes the muscles of the airways. However there is no link between the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medication and eating carbohydrate.

Tablets should always be taken as advised by your doctor, some tablets should be taken with food. You may be recommended to eat some carbohydrate rich food – like a biscuit of cracker – before taking medication as it can help protect the stomach lining, protein is known affect absorption of some Parkinson’s medications.

Thanks.  I did a quick search on google and found a couple of old articles:

and some that contradict:




After nearly 3 months of trying to pin down what it is in my husband's diet that reduces his mobility (whether it is because of poor absorption of medication, I'm not sure), I think we can be fairly conclusive to say that it is definitely potatoes and bread (flour).

Yes, my dad too has discovered it is flour, starchy foods and sugar that make his Parkinsons a lot worse. Right now my dad is using the ketogenic diet from the book Grain Brain, written by Dr Perlmutter. Not only is the diet stopping many of his symptoms, dad thinks the diet is stopping his illness progressing. Dr Perlmutter has a lot of videos on youtube and he has his own site on the Internet. We purchased his book from Amazon, Good Luck!!