Recent studies suggest that the consumption of coffee and smoking cigarettes is linked to potentially decreasing one’s chances of getting Parkinson’s disease. Hesingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest daily newspaper, has reported on a counter-intuitive study conducted at a Finnish university that suggests one can decrease their chances of getting Parkinson’s disease by drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.

An individual who has a continuous history of extensive smoking has a decreased risk of 36-50 percent, while a regular coffee drinker decreases his chances by another 33 percent. The exact link to this phenomenon is not currently known.

The University of Helsinki in Finland produced the results from a review of the literature on the topic and prior study results, which after thorough analysis gave some indication that the surprising factors were linked to the composition of the intestinal bacterial strain.

While it is still unknown as to Parkinson’s disease’s (PD) etiology and pathogenesis, evidence has been shown for factors in lifestyle that influence disease risk. Smoking cigarettes and the consumption of coffee are the best established inverted associations. Microbiome composition within the gut is an additional lifestyle factor that may play a role as well. It has been speculated, when taking into consideration the involvement of the gastrointestinal in PD, that the relationship between PD, smoking and coffee risk could be moderated by gut microbiota.

The work is the latest to suggest that the bacterial composition of our bodies plays an important role in all sorts of health conditions such as weight loss, colitis and now Parkinsons.

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