Parkinson's: Two components of coffee help fight disease

The caffeine associated with another component of the coffee beans would be able to slow the degeneration of the brain, which appears in Parkinson's disease and in Lewy body dementia.

Coffee is good for your health! New study attests beneficial effects of beverage on the brain. Caffeine given with another component of the coffee beans helps to fight against the degeneration of the brain, characteristic of Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia. The results of this research conducted at Rutgers University in the United States were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A substance present in the envelope of the coffee bean

Previous studies have already shown that caffeine alone has beneficial effects on Parkinson's disease. This time, the American researchers were interested in the thousand compounds present in a coffee bean. The fatty acid derived from the neurotransmitter serotonin called EHT, for Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide, is found in the shell of the grain. In mice, scientists have found that it helps protect the brain from abnormal protein accumulation. The latter is associated with Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

Combine the two components for greater efficiency

To test the effects of this molecule, the research team set up three groups of mice: the first received only caffeine, the second of the EHT and the third a combination of both. Administered alone, the components were not active, but associated with each other, they had beneficial effects on the brain of rodents. They increase the activity of a catalyst that acts against the accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain.

Everything lies in the dosage

Today, treatments for Parkinson's disease affect the symptoms of the disease but not its causes. For these results to slow the progression of the disease, scientists will first have to determine the amount needed for the combination of the two components to be effective. Maral Mouradian, director of research, says: "It is important that the appropriate amount and ratio be set to prevent people from overdosing on caffeine, as this could have adverse health consequences." The European Food Safety Agency recommends not to exceed 4 cups of coffee per day in order to benefit from the positive effects of caffeine on health without endangering itself.