Caffeine shown to benefit men, but not women, with ALS

Caffeine shown to benefit men, but not women, with ALSBased on new research, there is evidence that men may be able to use coffee as a weapon against the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that damages key neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Among its many contributing factors is oxidative stress which damages the cells.

However, a new study has shed light on the potential benefit of antioxidants found in coffee in slowing down its progression.
Specifically, the study conducted by Canadian scientists analyzed male and female mice that were fed coffee, caffeine and chlorogenic acid extracts.

They concluded that coffee appears to be beneficial in males by reducing oxidative stress and cell death, and increasing antioxidants. But in females, caffeine appears to be harmful increasing cell death by as much as 74 percent.

Translating the findings into recommendations for humans, Rajini Seevaratnam, a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, says men may benefit from drinking more coffee while women with the disorder should restrict consumption.

Those who are unable to obtain antioxidants from sources such as coffee may consider nutritional supplements as an alternative.