Daily coffee may lower risk of developing MS
Drainking a cup of coffee every day may lower a person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
MS is a disease where a person's immune system causes inflammation and damages the protective coating of nerve fibers. Symptoms include loss of balance and coordination, blurred vision, fatigue, tremors, and numbness.
The scientists analyzed data from two separate population-based-case-control studies that looked at links between coffee intake and MS. First, One was a Swedish study that included 1,629 people with MS and 2,807 healthy controls, and the second was a US study included 1,159 people with MS and 1,172 healthy controls. Both studies recorded coffee intake of the people with MS at one and five years prior to the beginning of symptoms, with the Swedish study recording coffee intake 10 years prior to the beginning of symptoms. Coffee intake of participants with MS was compared with the healthy controls at similar points in time.
Researchers found that individuals who did not drink coffee in the year prior to the beginning of symptoms were about 1.5 times more likely to develop MS, when compared to those who had several cups of coffee each day. They also found that coffee had a protective effect against MS among people who consumed large amounts of coffee at five and 10 years before symptoms began. Researchers concluded that caffeine may be the main factor is suppressing pro-inflammatory functions.
These findings support prior evidence of the health benefits of coffee, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and reducing certain cancers. Further research needs to be done to see how coffee intake may affect long-term disability and symptom relapse in MS patients.