Ibuprofen Reduces Parkinson’s Risk? Are We Really That Stupid?

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 25

ReliefNewsflash:  Ibuprofen has now achieved rock star supplement status!

A new “study” planned for presentation at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April 2011 suggests that those who use ibuprofen may reduce their risk of Parkinson’s disease by close to 40%.

Here’s the kicker:  those who took the most ibuprofen tablets on a weekly basis had the greatest protection from this dreaded neurological disease!

Before you run out and buy a case of Motrin and add a tablet or two to your morning breakfast routine, consider the disclaimer at the end of the article:

The study’s results don’t establish a direct cause-effect relationship between ibuprofen and Parkinson’s disease. Ibuprofen, like other NSAIDs, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and affect the kidneys. The researchers conclude that more study is needed to determine whether ibuprofen can offer prevention against Parkinson’s.

Do most people read this far into the article?

Unfortunately, no they do not. This blatant prostitution of WebMD for the benefit of increasing sales of ibuprofen is all about the power of the headline.

Not surprisingly, there is no mention of who funded this “study” either. My guess would be, hmmm, that’s a hard one – a pharmaceutical company that makes ibuprofen?

The marketing geniuses working for Big Pharma know that most folks will read the headline and that’s it. They won’t bother to read the entire story and see that there really is no cause and effect relationship between ibuprofen use and reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. Nor will they read the fine print to see the incredible downside to taking ibuprofen on a frequent basis for years on end.

When I told my husband last evening about this study, he laughed and said, “Yeah, the folks who took all that ibuprofen had a lowered Parkinson’s disease risk because they died of something else before they contracted it!”

This sarcastic and humorous comment made us both giggle, but it is exactly on target. NSAID use can indeed trigger serious health issues if used frequently over a long period of time and even the mercenary study above indicated as much.

Reduced risk for Parkinson’s in exchange for your kidney health? I don’t think that’s a very good trade at all, thank you!

Another very serious side effect of using ibuprofen is that it decimates beneficial gut flora and stimulates grown of haemolytic (iron loving) forms of bacteria and Campylobacter in the gut. An overgrowth of these iron loving bacteria brings along with it mild to severe anemia which is not easily rectified by eating iron rich foods or supplements.

Anemia is not something to be taken lightly:  it brings with it a constant feeling of tiredness, lack of concentration and ability to learn/complete tasks as well as an overall lack of energy and stamina for daily living. It sucks the life out of your life. Even if there was a direct relationship between taking ibuprofen and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s (which there is not), it would not be worth the compromise to gut health and all the associated risks for many, many very serious autoimmune disorders such as MS, cancer, lupus, and the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, the attention grabbing headline that ibuprofen use “may” reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease is all that will stick in the minds of most folks who come across it. Those who are skeptical and read between the lines will quickly discount the ridiculousness of this assertion, but the majority will not. And, for those who are not able to see through the propaganda, sales of ibuprofen will increase.

Big Pharma mission accomplished.


Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com



WebMd, Ibuprofen May Reduce Risk of Parkinson’s

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

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Comments (25)

  • Nelly

    Sarah, can you explain what refined carbs are to newbies like me? Thanks.

    March 23rd, 2011 1:33 am Reply
  • Rosana Stoessel

    What do you suggest for pain relief of menstrual cramps as well as a migraine that goes along with it? I have taken Tylenol and aleve and have noticed that sometimes these don’t help at all, for either symptom. ( I don’t like taking them either, but want and need relief to function and don’t know of anything else.)


    March 5th, 2011 10:59 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Rosana, the best way is to get rid of the menstrual cramps entirely by changing one’s diet. I used to have debilitating cramps and have ZERO cramps for years now by simply getting off sugar and refined carbs – and also pasteurized milk is a bad one too. Cramps are from inflammation pure and simple and changing one’s diet works spectacularly well for eliminating this problem. It is important to fix this problem as it can lead to endometriosis, fibroids, very heavy periods (around age 40) and other problems that can lead to surgery. In the meantime, you may have to rely on ibuprofen which is a terrible choice but there may be no other until you get rid of the inflammation by changing your diet.

      March 5th, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
      • Anonymous

        Hi Sarah! I have changed my diet to a traditional one and it’s been almost two months now. I just got my period and like the last it is excrutiatingly painful. I caved and ended up taking 3 bayers in order to go back to sleep. I feel so guilty now. I was doing so well and feeling so great! I woke up with diarrhea in the morning and I know it has to be the bayer because I’d been suffering from constipation since the diet switch. Since my very first period I have always had debilitating mens. cramps so I hope my new diet will help with that! Anyway, is traditional aspirin the way to go? Or are all pain relievers bad?

        August 23rd, 2011 9:16 am Reply
        • Anonymous

          Nevermind… Bayer is an aspirin. lol =)

          August 23rd, 2011 10:19 am Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    They do this all the time. Do you remember a few months back when there was a very, very preliminary study done about breast cancer on some type of animals? It concluded that a particular therapy appeared to make a small difference in the cancer treatment (I wish I could remember more details). Anyway, it was reported as “Scientists cured breast cancer!” Ugh, seriously, people? No one pays attention to details, ever. And MSM just wants whatever’s most sensational, accurate or not.

    March 4th, 2011 5:08 pm Reply
  • Joan Smith

    I”m curious about your mention of haemolytic bacteria. My 85-year-old mom was being treated for anemia and then suddenly had septic shock and almost died on Valentine’s Day. She is still in the hospital, still on IV antibiotics. I hope to have her home in a couple of weeks and will concentrate more on Kefir and bone broths and will be curious to see if that has an effect on her hemoglobin level.

    I also applaud you. I have learned volumes since starting to read your blog and then ordering Nourishing Traditions. Thank you!!!

    March 4th, 2011 5:44 pm Reply
  • Raine

    M1ss Diagnosis – I have never seen “The Doctors”, but somehow I knew it was a show that didn’t follow my philosophy at all – probably by the previews. What horrible advice! Give your child gummy bears to make a sore throat better. What utter nonsense!!!

    Sarah – thanks for this article, I sure hope people read this and wake up! I know many people who pop these over-the-counter drugs like candy, and it’s so sad they think they are actually helping themselves by taking them. These drugs are dangerous and they cause liver damage long-term as well as can cause the development of end-stage kidney failure.

    March 4th, 2011 2:43 pm Reply
  • “H” is for Heather

    WebMd is a joke anyway! Their breastfeeding “directory” is sponsored by Gerber (Nestle) and when you do a search for breastfeeding the top “ads by Yahoo” are for Similac. They’re in the pockets of big corporations and are anything but objective. This, of course, completely overlooks the fact that they’re healthy eating information is completely incorrect.

    March 4th, 2011 1:00 pm Reply
  • M1ssDiagnosis

    What a joke! This is like people who heard that resveratrol in wine was good for its anti-aging properties, and now they think it’s okay to drink like a lush. Hello! What about all the negative effects of alcohol on the body?

    Here’s another great one from today’s episode of “The Doctors” on home remedies: They told a mom to give her child gummy bears to soothe a sore throat with the glycerin in the candy. What about all that sugar, corn syrup, and food coloring? What effect will those things have on the child’s health? Stupid stupid stupid.

    March 4th, 2011 1:08 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Oh my, and to think that show is so highly rated. That is not saying much for the discernment abilities of our culture, is it? Very sad.

      March 4th, 2011 1:12 pm Reply
      • Stanley Fishman

        I can’t stand that show. It is propaganda designed to get people to blindly trust doctors.
        Gummy Bears!?

        March 4th, 2011 1:32 pm Reply
    • Emily

      I have read though, that plain honey has been proven to reduce symptoms of cough/ sore throat as much as medicated cough syrup or cough lozenges, which really are mostly sugar and coloring anyways. Apparently the effective thing is sugar, so this is probably why gummy bears were suggested.

      March 4th, 2011 2:34 pm Reply
      • Stanley Fishman

        Honey has compounds in it that kill germs and viruses. It also has anti inflammatory compounds that reduce soreness and irritation. I doubt that the sugar in candy does anything besides feed the bacteria, along with the other negative effects of processed sugar.

        Just about every medication for children includes some kind of sweetener. The sweetener is their so the children will take the medicine.

        March 4th, 2011 4:38 pm Reply
  • Barbara Geatches

    What are the chances of getting Parkinson’s in the first place? Is it really that common of an ailment that people should/would be concerned about getting it in the first place? (ooooppps, sorry I guess those questions don’t go along with the fear mongering and paranoia the “study” was intended to play on.)

    March 4th, 2011 1:04 pm Reply
  • Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Unbelievable! It is sad that many people will probably read this and actually taking an unnecessary medication! Also sad because there have been studies (not funded by pharm companies) that have at least theoretically linked Parkinson to dietary factors, certain toxins and aluminum exposure.

    March 4th, 2011 1:00 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    I definitely agree with what your husband said! I bet their livers were ruined before they even had the chance of getting Parkinson’s if they were actually dumb enough to take a obviously Big Pharma-funded study seriously on WebMD. That website is little more than a marketing machine for the pharmaceutical companies.

    I believe I’ve read somewhere that Parkinsons is caused by excessive heavy metal exposure that damages the nervous system, so doing a metal detox every year should be efficient to lower your chances of getting Parkisons without having to take a dangerous drug.

    March 4th, 2011 12:58 pm Reply
  • Angela

    My guess is that Ibuprofen lowered their overall inflammation which would help protect against diseases. The kicker – people can lower their inflammation (even better than meds) by exercising and eating the right foods (and not too much of it!).

    Of course, not many are willing to put in the work. So they take drug after drug. And in turn, we all take drug after drug since they are in our water supply. It’s horrid. Thanks for sharing these stories. :)

    March 4th, 2011 12:26 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Can you recommend something to try other than ibuprofen for headache?? I’m assuming Tylenol probably isn’t any better for you…

    March 4th, 2011 12:16 pm Reply
  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for posting and sharing this information Sarah. Unfortunately it’s up to us as consumers and educators to provide people with the information as to what’s really going on.

    How can a company make a claim like this and it be ok?!?!

    March 4th, 2011 12:10 pm Reply
  • D.

    WebMD is a disgrace. Too many people confuse it with PubMed (which is a fine site for information). While at my doctor’s office last week for some bloodwork, I noticed their magazine rack. WebMD even has magazines and it was about the only one in the rack at his office. A few Family Circle and a couple of travel magazine put out by pharma corps. I told the lady at the front desk it was appalling.

    Of course, I also told her that most medical clinics, hospitals, etc., are in the business of selling disease and illness, not health. It seemed as though she’d never even considered this aspect before, because she got a look on her face that was priceless. Also clueless as to the real facts. I think I may have turned on a light bulb!

    March 4th, 2011 12:09 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    The headline is the essence of marketing. Most people will never pay attention to the disclaimers hidden in the article, and will wind up believing that they can safely get whatever benefit is touted in the headline. Articles and ads of this nature persuade huge numbers of people to use the product.

    Thank you so much, Sarah, for exposing the truth and bringing attention to the buried disclaimers. You are doing a public service, much more than the government agencies that are supposed to protect us.

    March 4th, 2011 12:07 pm Reply
  • Adrienne @ Whole New Mom.com

    Thanks again, Sarah!
    It is, unfortunately, all too often that headlines are written in such a way to “grab” the public. We have become a sound byte culture that watches video clips, sends text messages instead of letters, and reads manga novels instead of real books. I even find myself on email so much now instead of on the phone or in person w/ friends. So I have to watch myself too. There is so much information that it is hard to know what to dig into, but we really have to be discerning and cautious about believing what we read and hear.

    I can’t say enough how impressed I am with your blog. The solid material, solid research and clear presentation is wonderful. Kudos!

    March 4th, 2011 10:46 am Reply

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