Coffee and MS

In addition to protecting against neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer ’s disease, neurologists say a healthy appetite for coffee may reduce the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis. It was found that Americans who downed at least four cups of coffee per day were 1/3 less likely to develop MS than their counterparts who drank no coffee. Put another way, people who didn’t drink coffee were 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than those with a serious coffee routine.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system, and may be triggered by a misguided immune system which attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers. There is no cure, but newer treatments can slow the disease. Since previous studies have linked coffee with protecting against other neurological diseases, there was reason to believe these benefits would also apply to MS.

Caffeine is thought to be linked to some of the protective benefits of coffee (in addition to antioxidants and various vitamins/minerals). Caffeine has been shown to suppress the production of some cytokines, which are cell-signaling proteins that promote inflammation in the body, and appear to play a role in the development of MS.

The data came from Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California, and these new findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April.


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