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Coffee Can Reduce Parkinson's Disease Risk (Depending on Your Genes)

Swedish researchers have discovered the epigenetics of caffeine on Parkinson’s Disease (PD) risk. Epigenetics is the field of study where environmental factors, including diet, can alter the expression of genes (turn them on or off).

The study identified that when combined with a high caffeine intake (over 237.8 mg/day via coffee consumption), those with the CC-type variant of the GRIN2A gene saw a 47% reduction in PD risk. There was a dose-response curve and risk reduction increased to 58% with 200 - 400 mg of caffeine daily, 80% with 400 – 600 mg/day, and leveled off at 79% with  more than 600 mg/day.

On the other hand, those with TC-type variant of the gene already had 47% reduced risk of PD, but there was no further reduction in risk from drinking coffee/caffeine.

The researchers state, “Caffeine integrates with a dopamine receptor that regulates the flow of calcium into the cell. As dopamine is part of the human reward system, and the interaction of caffeine with it, it has been speculated that individuals with certain genetic variations are not “rewarded” to the same extent by a cup of coffee, and therefore would not enjoy the same protective effect as others."

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Source: Caffeine Interaction with Glutamate Receptor Gene GRIN2A: Parkinson's Disease in Swedish Population

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