Coffee Deters Parkinson's Disease
Webster Ross, M.D., of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, explored the connection between caffeine and Parkinson's disease using data from the prospective longitudinal Honolulu Heart Program. In this study, Ross followed 8,004 men of Japanese ancestry living in Honolulu from 1968 to 1996. At the beginning of the study, the average age was 53 years. Consumption of coffee and noncoffee caffeine sources were assessed at the beginning of the study and again in the early 1970s. During the 30 years of follow-up, 102 men developed Parkinson's disease at an average age of 74 years. Coffee drinkers were much less apt to develop the condition, and the more cups of coffee they drank a day, the lower their risk fell. Noncoffee drinkers' risk of Parkinson's disease was more than five times that of men drinking 28 ounces or more of coffee daily. This finding is independent of other dietary factors such as smoking, consumption of milk and sugar, alcohol, and nutrients in coffee besides caffeine. Noncoffee caffeine consumption also lowered Parkinson's disease risk.
Parkinson's Disease as Multifactorial Oxidative Neurodegeneration:
Implications for Integrative Management
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Dec); 5 (6): 502–545 ~ FULL TEXT
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common movement pathology, severely afflicting dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra (SN) along with non-dopaminergic, extra-nigral projection bundles that control circuits for sensory, associative, premotor, and motor pathways. Clinical, experimental, microanatomic, and biochemical evidence suggests PD involves multifactorial, oxidative neurodegeneration, and that levodopa therapy adds to the oxidative burden. The SN is uniquely vulnerable to oxidative damage, having a high content of oxidizable dopamine, neuromelanin, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and iron, and relatively low antioxidant complement with high metabolic rate. Oxidative phosphorylation abnormalities impair energetics in the SN mitochondria, also intensifying oxygen free radical generation. These pro-oxidative factors combine within the SN dopaminergic neurons to create extreme vulnerability to oxidative challenge. Epidemiologic studies and long-term tracking of victims of MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6,-tetrahydropyridine) poisoning, suggest oxidative stress compounded by exogenous toxins may trigger the neurodegenerative progression of PD. Rational, integrative management of PD requires: (1) dietary revision, especially to lower calories; (2) rebalancing of essential fatty acid intake away from pro-inflammatory and toward anti-inflammatory prostaglandins; (3) aggressive repletion of glutathione and other nutrient antioxidants and cofactors; (4) energy nutrients acetyl L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, NADH, and the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS); (5) chelation as necessary for heavy metals; and (6) liver P450 detoxification support.