Recent research carried out by scientists from the University of Porto in Portugal and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has shown that coffee can help to prevent the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
People that drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee each day can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s by up to 25%.
Parkinson’s disease is becoming a more widespread problem as people start to live longer. As cardiovascular health improves, the brain still suffers the effects of ageing Approximately 1 in 500 people will develop the condition, and although most sufferers are over the age of 40, 5% are are under 50 years of age. One of the most famous Parkinson’s sufferers is boxing legend Muhummad Ali. He was diagnosed in 1984 after people noticed that his speech was slower than normal in a press conference and suggested that he saw a doctor.
There is still no treatment for Parkinson’s and the cause is also unknown. It is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that results in tremors and slow movements.
Men seem to be protected better than women, with women only reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s by 11% if they drink coffee everyday.
“This study confirm an inverse association between caffeine intake and the risk of PD, which can hardly by explained by bias or uncontrolled confounding.”
Key findings presented in “Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases”:
- Multiple beneficial effects of caffeine to normalize brain function and prevent its degeneration
- Caffeine’s neuroprotective profile and its ability to reduce amyloid-beta production
- Caffeine as a candidate disease-modifying agent for Alzheimer’s disease
- Positive impact of caffeine on cognition and memory performance
- Identification of adenosine A2A receptors as the main target for neuroprotection afforded by caffeine consumption
- Confirmation of data through valuable meta-analyses presented
- Epidemiological studies corroborated by meta-analysis suggesting that caffeine may be protective against Parkinson’s disease
- Several methodological issues must be solved before advancing to decisive clinical trials
The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has also published a report that indicated that regular coffee drinking could also help reduce the onset of Alzheimer’.
More research is needed in this area, but coffee does appear to be a useful string in the bow of healthy eating and drinking.