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  • The Consumption of Coffee Reduces the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease in Men

    There is an inverse relationship between the onset of Parkinson’s disease and the intake of coffee.

    An investigation looking into the long term affects of caffeine intake (24 to 30 years) found that people who did not drink coffee were four to five times more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than those who drank three to four cups of coffee a day.

    A further investigation that looked into the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease within the next ten years concluded that people who drank at least one cup of coffee per day reduced their risk of developing the disease by over 50%.

    Coffee Consumption does not Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease in Women Undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy

    In addition to drinking coffee there is also an inverse relationship between the drinking of tea and the development of Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, the beneficial effects of the consumption of caffeine containing products such as coffee and tea in reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s only occurs in men. In women it is thought that the hormone estrogen, often used in hormone replacement therapy, may be the reason why there is no correlation between coffee consumption and reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease; Estrogen is able to inhibit caffeine metabolism. Indeed in women who drink six cups of coffee a day but have never received post menopausal hormone replacement therapy there is again an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and the development of the disease.

    Coffee and the Degeneration of Neurons

    One of the major characteristics of Parkinson’s disease is the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, located in the substantia nigra. It is thought that the consumption of caffeine is able to protect against neurotoxicity of neurons by affecting adenosine receptors antagonistically.

    It is therefore thought that the consumption of coffee may be beneficial in the fight against Parkinson’s disease for men and for women who are not undergoing hormone replacement therapy.