New research has shown that coffee may cut the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis
A recent study amongst nearly 7,000 people has revealed that drinking more than 900mls of coffee a day may cut the risk of suffering from Multiple Sclerosis by 30%. That volume can be achieved in six small cups. This may seem like a lot, but it is the equivalent to just two large sized cups of coffee, which are usually served in high street coffee shops and cafes. Multiple Sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological condition with approximately 50 people in Britain diagnosed each week – usually in their 20s and 30s. There are currently more than 100,000 people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis at the moment. The condition affects twice as many women as men and causes loss of mobility, sight problems excruciating pain and tiredness. The chemical in coffee is known to have neuroprotective properties, and has been shown to suppress inflammatory responses in the body.
Researchers in three locations – the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, John Hopkins University in Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley, analysed data from two studies which tracked people with and without Multiple Sclerosis. The study in Sweden involved 1,620 adults with Multiple Sclerosis and compared them to a group of 2,788 without it. The second study carried out in the US looked into 1,159 people with Multiple Sclerosis and 1,172 who were healthy.
In both studies, people were asked about their daily coffee consumption and how long they had been drinking coffee for. The researchers then estimated coffee intake at and before the start of the Multiple Sclerosis symptoms in those who developed the disease and compared this with healthy groups. The results showed that the risk of suffering from Multiple Sclerosis was consistently higher among people who drank fewer cups of coffee every day in both studies, even after taking into account other factors that might influence or skew the results. The Study in Sweden discovered that drinking coffee daily was linked to a lower risk of Multiple Sclerosis both at the beginning of the symptoms and five and ten years beforehand. Amongst those who drank more than 900mls a day there was a 28% to 30% lower risk compared with non-coffee drinkers. Similar results were revealed in the US study with a 26% to 31% lower risk among those drinking 948mls daily at least five years beforehand and at the start of the symptoms.
However, all research bodies concluded that this was just an observational study and that no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect.