Brew up another pot of joe: Drinking coffee (and a lot of it) is associated with a reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study finds.
Compared with people who said they never drank coffee, people who reported drinking large amounts of java were nearly a third less likely to develop MS, according to the study.
“We observed a significant association between high consumption of coffee and decreased risk of developing MS,” the researchers, led by Anna Hedström, a doctoral student in environmental medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden wrote in the meta-analysis study, published March 3 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
The results of the study were previously presented in February 2015 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, but this is the first time they have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
In the study, the researchers looked at the results of two large case-control studies, which included 2,779 people with MS and 3,960 people without MS. The researchers found that those individuals who reported the highest levels of coffee consumption (more than 4 cups [900 mL] a day) had a 29 percent lower risk of MS than those who reported drinking no coffee.
The study showed an association, and not a cause-and-effect link between drinking lots of coffee and a lower risk of MS. But it’s possible that caffeine has a protective effect on the brain and spinal cord, the study said. In people with MS, the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering, called myelin, that surrounds nerve fibers. This damage makes it difficult for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, resulting in symptoms such as muscle weakness, poor coordination, blurred vision and pain.
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SOURCE: Fox News, LiveScience