Today, roughly one million people in the U.S. suffer from Parkinson’s disease (PD).
If you or a loved one is in this group, you already know that this progressive neurodegenerative illness affects your coordination, mobility, and speech…and can flip your life upside down.
You deserve answers, hope, and lasting solutions. But the mainstream has NOTHING much to offer.
Their “gold standard” drug treatment for PD—levodopa—often stops working after just a few years.
Even worse? According to a recent survey, almost 60 percent of doctors don’t know that people suffering from PD can beat back their symptoms by simply enjoying more of my favorite morning beverage. (And for people who don’t have PD, drinking it can lower their risk of ever getting it!)
So, without further ado, let’s get this important research into YOUR hands…
When dopamine signaling goes awry
In a healthy brain, neurons in a darkly pigmented area of the brain called the substantia nigra produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that helps coordinate movement throughout your body.
But when a person develops PD, nerve cells (or neurons) in the substantia nigra die or become damaged and unable to produce sufficient dopamine. Therefore, people begin to experience movement-related problems—such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and poor balance.
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes the neurodegeneration associated with PD. But we do know about something that plays a significant role in increasing your risk…cholesterol-lowering statin drugs! (Yet another reason why I always recommend avoiding these drugs, whenever possible.)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the promising (but little-known) research I just mentioned…
Coffee improves dopamine signaling and PD symptoms
Since the 1960s, multiple research studies found that people who regularly consume more coffee have a lower risk of ever developing PD.
For example, a 2002 meta-analysis of 20 studies found that people who drink coffee have a 30 percent lower risk of developing PD compared to non-coffee drinkers. And there appears to be a dose-response. In other words, the more coffee you drink, the stronger your protection. In fact, some of the individual studies in that meta-analysis showed up to an 80 percent reduction in risk among those who drink more than four cups of coffee a day.
Plus, among those who do develop the disease, drinking coffee seems to help improve their muscular and neurological symptoms.
Most of the research focuses specifically on caffeine—the best-known active compound found in coffee—and its ability to enhance dopamine signaling in the brain. Some studies even show that the caffeine in coffee specifically improves gait (the single, most-potent predictor of longevity).
In fact, the research on the link between caffeine and PD is so strong, some researchers suggest using blood testing for the presence of caffeine as a “biomarker” for the disease.
Of course, as I always report, coffee contains hundreds of active and beneficial biological compounds…in addition to caffeine. And other studies suggest that caffeine doesn’t work alone…but in combination with these other natural compounds to support dopamine signaling in PD patients.
The many health benefits of drinking coffee
Ongoing research since the 1980s shows drinking coffee can protect against many illnesses in addition to PD, including:
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat)
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Colon cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Type II diabetes
Drinking coffee also works as a great natural approach for dealing with allergies and colds, as caffeine (and related compounds, such as theophylline) acts as a natural bronchodilator and decongestant in the respiratory tract.
Also, some of the strongest research I’ve seen on the benefits of drinking coffee involves its effects on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia. In fact, in a recent observational study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, older men and women who regularly consumed any amount of coffee experienced improved brain function. Other studies suggest drinking it lowers AD risk itself. And lab studies suggest caffeine in coffee might even help treat AD.
Here again, researchers attributed the cognitive benefits to the hundreds of natural constituents found in coffee…in addition to caffeine itself.
(To learn more about the many natural approaches to preventing and even reversing dementia, check out my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. I outline specifics on how natural approaches like drinking coffee, eating right, taking dietary supplements, exercising, and incorporating mind-body techniques have been scientifically shown to reverse AD in a whopping 90 percent of people. Click here to learn more, or to enroll, today.)
Combat the jitters by monitoring your intake
Of course, drinking any caffeinated beverage can disrupt sleep or cause a case of the “jitters” in some people. And the amount of caffeine that causes these problems varies greatly from one person to the next. It can also change dramatically during the course of your lifetime.
So, pay close attention to whether and when drinking coffee seems to influence your ability to sleep or contributes to agitation or anxiety. You can easily adjust your intake and timing during the day. Also, never combine coffee with any type of so-called “energy drink.” I advise staying away from “energy drinks” entirely.
I find most people do quite well with drinking three to four cups of coffee a day—which is just the right amount to confer all the impressive health benefits listed here today.
In the end, drinking coffee appears to be a safe, enjoyable, and effective way to protect yourself against PD and other health problems as you get older, too.
So, go ahead and enjoy another steaming cup o’ joe today. Your brain will thank you tomorrow!
Just make sure to skip the artificial sweeteners. And if you prefer to add some cream, go ahead and use some full-fat milk.
“Coffee and Parkinson’s: Protection in the Making?” Parkinson’s Foundation, 2/12/19. (parkinson.org/blog/science-news/coffee-and-parkinsons-protection-in-the-making)
“Fast Five Quiz: Caffeine Clinical Concerns.” Medscape, 2/2/21. (reference.medscape.com/viewarticle/945476_2)
“Caffeine and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Women at High Vascular Risk,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2013; 35(2): 413-421. doi.org/10.3233/JAD-122371.
“A meta-analysis of coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.” Ann Neurol, 52:276-84.