Link confirmed between moderate caffeine intake and reduced Parkinson's risk

October 24, 2000 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition for Older Adults

Link confirmed between moderate caffeine intake and reduced Parkinson's risk

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have reported more evidence that people who consume one to three cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages daily have a decreased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

Researchers collected data on 88,565 women and 47,355 men participating in the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. They found that among men, caffeine intake was strongly and inversely associated with a risk of Parkinson's disease, meaning the more coffee people in the study drank, the lower the risk of the disease.

Men who consumed caffeine were 60% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. The protective effect was also noted in consumers of tea and other caffeinated beverages, and was not noted in decaffeinated coffee drinkers. This suggests that caffeine, and not some other compound in coffee, is linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson's.

The researchers were quick to point out that these findings are far from conclusive. For example, the active component might be another component of coffee that is in some way lost in the decaffeinating process, he said. Interestingly, the research team also found evidence that people who consumed more than three cups of caffeinated beverages daily had the same risk of Parkinson's disease as those who consumed little or no caffeine.

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