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You might grab that last to-go cup of coffee because it will help you through the morning meeting but there might be longer lasting benefits of coffee. A coffee health study has indicated that drinking coffee might provide some protection against Parkinson's disease, at least in men. There is also a study that caffeine can offer protection against Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Sally Vater, speaking at a symposium, Coffee: Breaking News about Health, Fitness and Performance , said men who drank more than three cups of coffee per day showed reduced incidence of Parkinson's.
Women did not have the same results. Vater said postmenopausal women who take hormone supplements could cause for less dramatic results in women because of the interaction of caffeine and estrogen.
The reasons coffee could protect against Alzheimer's, she said, are coffee's antioxidant component and the fact that caffeine interacts with brain receptors.
Vater says that while data supports the idea that caffeine in coffee can help protect against the disease, it is not definitive.
The National Parkinson Foundation agreed that the study was not conclusive and that the protective effect should be studied further. The Alzheimer's Society said research suggesting protective powers has been conducted on a small sample and more research must be done.
It is true that many studies show lower rates of Parkinson's Disease (PD) among people who drink relatively large amounts of coffee. It does NOT follow, however, that drinking coffee "protects against" PD. It is quite possible (and IMO likely) that whatever makes people less susceptible to PD also leads them to drink more coffee.
To see what makes people more or less susceptible to PD, consider that there are similar studies showing lower rates of PD among people who smoke or consume large amounts of alcohol. The common element here is that these three are the most common addictions in our society.
So we can hypothesize that people who are vulnerable to addiction are less likely to develop PD. The credibility of this hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that both addiction and PD involve the dopamine system in the brain.
It this hypothesis is true, then you can't lower your chances of getting PD by drinking coffee.
ALL AMA-associated organizations, to include the NPF, have a vested interest in use drugs to cure the ails of man, though no drug has EVER cured or prevented anything. Saying that COFFEE MAY reduce the event of Parkinson's is tantamont to blasphamy to them. So of course there needs to be more study.
Besides, as with any multichemical substance (herbs and "home remedies") it is impossible to say WHICH chemical does it...scientifically. Especially as it may be the ENTIRE COMBONATION that does it
|Sheri Ann Richerson|