Drinking coffee could be the answer to lowering the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study.
Ellen Mowry of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore said: “Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain,”
She will present the results of the study to the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington in April.
The researchers looked at a Swedish study of 1,629 people with MS and 2,807 healthy people, and a US study of 1,159 people with MS and 1,172 healthy people.
The Swedish study found those who did not drink coffee had about a one and a half times increased risk of developing MS.
Drinking large amounts of coffee — about six cups a day — between five or 10 years before symptoms started was protective.
In the US study, people who didn’t drink coffee were also about one and a half times more likely to develop the disease than those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day in the year before symptoms started to develop the disease.
“Caffeine should be studied for its impact on relapses and long-term disability in MS as well,” said Mowry.