Poster Topical Area: Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 457

P10-057 - Dietary Protein Intake and Levodopa Management in Parkinson's Disease

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder that can cause resting tremors, slowness of movement, cognitive decline, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal issues, all of which can negatively impact dietary intake. Levodopa is the most common medication to improve motor functioning, quality of life and reduce morbidity and mortality in persons with PD (PwPD). However, levodopa and dietary protein compete for absorption in the gut and blood brain barrier. Dietary proteins are essential for muscle mass retention, growth and physical functioning, which generally deteriorate with PD progression; 0.8g/kg is recommended. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to describe the dietary protein intake in relation to levodopa intake in PwPD.


Methods: Two days of dietary recalls were collected on seven PwPD using the multiple pass method and Nutrition Data System for Research 2017. Pearson's correlations determined strength of correlations.


Results: Participants consumed a mean of 2096±633kcals and 67±23.5g protein over the course of 4.5±1.3 meals/day. Mean protein intake ranged from 0.7-1.2g/kg/day with a mean of 44.2±13.9g/day of animal and 31.2±11.2g/day of plant proteins. The most common protein sources were Greek yogurt, chicken breasts, eggs, oatmeal, peanuts, and cereal grains. The average time on levodopa was 4.7±2.8 years and mean number of doses was 3.9±1.2 times/day. There were strong positive correlations (p<0.01) between total plant proteins and total calorie intake (r=0.927), and between total plant proteins and BMI (r=0.894). There were strong negative correlations with years since diagnosis between, animal protein intake (r=-0.876, p<0.01) and total protein intake (r=-0.852, p<0.05), with a large negative correlation (r=-0.624) with g/kg of protein.


Conclusions: Results show that protein choices and overall intake may change as PD progresses; longitudinal studies are needed to further explore this pattern. People with PD may need more education about the food-drug interaction as time on levodopa increases. Therefore, dietary protein monitoring in PwPD may be warranted, and referrals to registered dietitians are appropriate.




Funding Source: N/A

CoAuthors: Dara Lobuono, MS, RD, LDN – Univeristy of Rhode Island ; Leslie Mahler , PhD, CCC-SLP – Univeristy of Rhode Island ; Ingrid Lofgren , PhD, MPH, RD – University of Rhode Island

Leah M. Hurley

Graduate Teaching Assistant
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, Massachusetts