Southsea man says healthy lifestyle has reversed Parkinson’s

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Andy Cloud, 59, from Southsea, had a stroke in January. He is taking part in the Stroke Association's Step Out For Stroke walk at Canoe Lake on June 9

Stroke survivor, 59, signs up to take part in Southsea fun walk

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A SOUTHSEA man claims that adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet has reversed the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Colin Potter has set up a website which has attracted interest from 13,000 patients around the world.

But some experts say his advice could be misleading by encouraging people to stop taking their medicine.

Mr Potter has rejected his medication in favour of healthy eating and exercise.

He told the BBC: ‘I have been diagnosed for five years and I had the symptoms before that for three years.

‘I ignored the symptoms for the first three years as I thought it was just ageing - a sore rigidity in the back.

‘Loss of use of my right arm I put down to falling off my bike.’

I’m about eight years in. I still have Parkinson’s, but the difference is I live very well compared with where I was five years ago.’

About rejecting conventional drug therapy, he said: ‘I didn’t first of all.

‘I accepted the recommendation of a doctor that I start taking medication.

‘And then a friend passed me a book called “Grain Brain” by a neurologist in the states.

‘That opened my eyes to the causes of Parkinson’s

‘So I followed that research and started to a lot of research of my own which is all provided by universities and clinical research facilities around the world.’

And he added: ‘The first thing I stumbled across was a ketogenic diet - a diet low on carbohydrates, sugars and gluten - can reverse the cause’s of Parkinson’s.

‘That was run by Colombia University in New York.

‘In one month, they showed that five patients showed a 43 per cent reduction in their symptoms.

‘I thought “that’s good enough for me”.

‘So I started on that diet.’

All I can say is I had a wide-range of poor, life-changing symptoms five years ago which I don’t have now.’

However, Professor David Burn, clinical director of Parkinson’s UK, was concerned about suggestions that the current medication is not effective.

He said it could be dangerous if people take that view and then stop taking their medication.

He said: ‘Colin’s heart may well be in the right place in wanting to do the right thing.

‘We would all subscribe as doctors to everyone adopting a healthy lifestyle and exercise.

‘There’s certainly evidence that that might help with Parkinson’s to the extent of improving tone and endurance - and possibly being beneficial to the course of the illness.

‘But I think we would being extremely disingenuous to our current medications.

‘Since these drugs became available in the late 60s, early 70s they have absolutely revolutionised the way people with Parkinson’s can go about their daily duties.

‘I would be the first person to admit they are not curative and that they have downsides.

‘But my worry is that people are going to listen to this and feel very negative about current medication when there is no reason for them to do so.’