Popular drink prevents Parkinson's diseaseYou most likely love this drink, but opinions vary on whether it’s a health miracle or destroyer.

A new study in the journal Neurology puts it firmly in the miracle class because it may prevent, even drastically improve, Parkinson’s disease.

Because previous studies suggest that coffee has a preventative effect on Parkinson’s, the researchers wanted to test this hypothesis with a large sample from various countries.

To do this, they mined information from the EPIC4PD study, a population-wide trial performed across six European countries. Their sample included 184,024 people free of Parkinson’s who were observed for an average period of 13 years.

They used medical records to check who developed Parkinson’s later, and the participants reported their own coffee consumption.

This is what the study found:

1. The top 25% of coffee drinkers were 37% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than non-coffee drinkers were.

2. Across all coffee drinkers, the risk of developing Parkinson’s was reduced by 5–63%, depending on the country.

However, the scientists didn’t just ask people how much coffee they drank, since that would have made their study vulnerable to the potentially inaccurate memories of their participants.

They also examined blood samples from 702 people, half of them with Parkinson’s and the other half healthy.

They measured levels of caffeine and its primary breakdown products – paraxanthine and theophylline.

This smaller study confirmed their earlier results:

1. Higher levels of caffeine in the blood were linked to a 20% lower risk of Parkinson’s.

2. Paraxanthine and theophylline showed similar protective effects, with risk reductions of 18% and 22%, respectively.

Why does coffee help?

At this stage, researchers aren’t quite sure, but previous studies have provided some clues.

Parkinson’s disease is marked by a loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, leading to a drop in dopamine levels. Dopamine is crucial for controlling movement.

Caffeine helps to keep dopamine flowing in the brain, which might explain the protective effects of coffee.

If you, however, already suffer Parkinson’s, you’re going to need a little more than a cup of coffee. In fact, thousands of readers have already put their Parkinson’s disease to a halt using the simple natural steps explained here…