Tuesday, November 27, 2012


CBS News reports that in the latest study to tie coffee to health benefits, new research finds a daily caffeine boost may ease symptoms of Parkinson's disease in sufferers.

Parkinson's is a degenerative brain disease that causes tremors, difficulty with walking, movement and coordination. The condition most commonly develops in adults over 50, and occurs when nerve cells in the brain that make the muscle-controlling neurotransmitter dopamine are slowly destroyed, leading to loss in muscle function. The cause of the disease remains unknown.  
The study, published August 1 in the online issue of Neurology, tracked 61 people with Parkinson's who were exhibiting symptoms of daytime sleepiness. Participants were assigned to receive either a placebo pill twice per day or a 100 milligram-caffeine pill twice per day for three weeks. After three weeks, those in the caffeine group were given a 200 milligram caffeine pill twice per day, about the caffeine equivalent found in two to four cups of coffee.

Six weeks into the study, people taking the caffeine pills averaged a five-point improvement on a ratings scale of Parkinson's symptom severity compared to those who took placebos. Researchers called this a modest improvement, but one that might provide benefits to people with the disease.
The researchers also found those in the caffeine group averaged a three-point improvement in the speed of their movements and the amount of stiffness they experienced, compared to their caffeine-free counterparts.
"Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, but this is one of the first studies in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease," study author Dr. Ronald Postuma, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, said in a press release.
Oddly enough, caffeine did not appear to help improve the patients' daytime sleepiness problems.
Postuma said in light of his findings, a longer study was needed to determine whether the effects of caffeine would wear off over time.
"Does it really make a difference over years of Parkinson's disease? I don't think we know," he told Reuters.  Postuma added that the main drug given to patients with Parkinson's, levodopa, would provide benefits up to four times greater than what his team saw in people taking caffeine pills.

In an accompanying editorial in the same journal issue, Dr. Michael Schwarzschild, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, wrote that caffeine seems to block a malfunctioning brain signal in Parkinson's disease that may explain these benefits in patients. However, he stopped short of recommending coffee or caffeine as a treatment.

"Although the results do not suggest that caffeine should be used as a treatment in Parkinson's disease, they can be taken into consideration when people with Parkinson's are discussing their caffeine use with their neurologist," Schwarzschild wrote. 
Recent studies have found drinking coffee could help stave off Alzheimer's in older adults, reduce risk for the most common form of skin cancer, decrease a person's odds of developing heart failure and even lower their overall risk of premature death by 10 percent.

The Kona Cowboy Coffee Company can get your healthy coffee consumption going with our three brands of gourmet coffees.  You’ll get a real start on having a great day with PANIOLA 100% Kona Cowboy Coffee, grown on Hawaiian volcanoes and roasted in the Rocky Mountains … the one with no bitter aftertaste and no acidity.  CAFÉ PINON de Nuevo Mexico is the Southwest’s favorite with pinion nuts and a perfect way to improve your mental functions during the day.  And our MOKA-JAVA is a medium dark roasted blend of Indonesian and Ethiopian coffees that will make you positively positive!  We also make COWBOY ACTION COFFEE, the Official Coffee of the Single Action Shooting Society! 

The purpose of this blog is to unite Kona coffee lovers and perhaps learn a little about coffee and all the benefits of coffee at the same time.  Join up, become a member, comment and have fun!  You can find the Kona Coffee Fiends group on Facebook and we’d appreciate it if Facebook users would “LIKE” the Kona Cowboy Coffee Company page at www.facebook.com/pages/Kona-Cowboy-Coffee-Company/222070817858553.  Just copy and paste to your browser.  You can also find us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/jackshuster.  And on the web at www.KonaCowboyCoffee.com to order your gourmet coffee and coffee products.

You know you’re a coffee fiend when you can jump-start your car without cables!  So enjoy your coffee, make it Kona, and remember, Kona is the home of the Hawaiian cowboy…and we had cowboys in Kona before there were cowboys in Texas!

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