Coffee Drinking May Lower MS Risk

shutterstock_256258228Multiple sclerosis is a disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide. The sad thing is that it does not yet have a cure. Scientists are working on trying to find ways to combat the disease in different ways. One of them is by trying to find ways to reduce the risk of developing the said disease. One of the recent studies indicate that drinking coffee may be able to help reduce the risk of MS.

Researchers from Sweden and the US conducted studies to determine any possible association between coffee consumption with MS risk. According to Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Neurology and one of the study’s authors, “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.”

The study involved researchers looking into a Swedish study that involved 1,629 patients with MS and 2,807 healthy participants as well as a US study that involved 1,159 MS patients and 1,172 healthy participants. Both studies investigated coffee consumption among people with MS one, five and ten years before any of the symptoms associated with the disease begin to show. It also compared the coffee consumption of people who did not suffer from MS at similar time periods. The said studies also considered other factors such as age, gender, smoking, body mass index and sun exposure habits.

The Swedish study found that people who did not drink coffee showed one and a half times a higher risk of developing MS compared to people who drank at least six cups of coffee daily during the year before any symptoms begin to appear. Drinking coffee in large amounts five to ten years before any symptoms appear also provided similar protective indicators.

In the US study, people who did not drink coffee also showed the same increased risk compared to people who drank four or more cups of coffee daily during the year before symptoms associated with the disease began to develop.

“Caffeine should be studied for its impact on relapses and long-term disability in MS as well,” Dr. Mowry further added.

Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2015, February 26). Can coffee reduce your risk of MS?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from

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