Coffee consumption appears to reduce resting tremor severity in men with Parkinson’s disease, according to a Korean research team. The more cups of coffee consumed, the lower the tremor scores, they reported.

Previous studies have tied coffee to a lower risk of Parkinson’s. To determine whether the drink can alleviate its symptoms, investigators compared male and female coffee drinkers with non-coffee drinkers. All participants had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s but were not yet receiving treatment for the disease.

Results showed that lower-severity resting tremors were significantly associated with coffee drinking in both men and women. Action tremors (which show up during movement), were not affected, wrote BH Cho, Korea University, and colleagues. Only male study subjects had tremor scores that were inversely related to the number of cups of coffee per day.

The researchers envision future studies to help determine the therapeutic benefits of coffee or coffee-like medications to control Parkinson’s symptoms. Further studies may tease out a possible role of estrogen in the relationship between caffeine and tremor severity in women, they concluded.

The study was published in BMC Neurology.