I was on Medical News Today the other day, when I saw quite an interesting article, entitled “Coffee Intake Linked to Reduced Risk of MS”. Now, my mother is always saying this in order to justify her coffee drinking, so I decided to have a read, and see whether there was actually some truth behind my mothers words…
MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis, which is a disease which affects the CNS (Central Nervous System), which is the brain, spine, and also the optic nerves. It is thought to occur when the myelin of nerve fibres is damaged, so the symptoms of MS are usually based around nerve problems (bad balance/coordination, blurred vision, fatigue, tremors and numbness).
The data used was from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where two “separate population-based case-control studies” were carried out, which investigated the possible link between coffee intake and MS.
The first study that was looked at was Swedish, with over 1600 people with MS, and over 2800 healthy people, and the second study was from the US, with over 1100 people with MS, and over 1100 healthy “controls”.
Both the studies recorded the coffee intake in the people with MS from 1 year before the symptoms of MS began appearing, and also 5 years before. The Swedish case also recorded the coffee consumption from 10 years before the onset of the symptoms. The coffee intake of the people with MS was compared with the coffee consumption of the healthy people.
The American study showed that “participants who did not drink coffee in the year prior to symptom onset were approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop MS, compared with those who consumed at least four cups of coffee a day”. The Swedish study showed a similar result, but those who didn’t drink coffee a year before symptoms were 1.5 times more likely to develop MS than those who drank at least 6 cups of coffee a day.
The researchers say that it is the caffeine in coffee that has the effect, as it has “neuroprotective properties”, so seems to stop pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are cytokines which make diseases worse, which would explain why those who drink coffee don’t appear to exhibit symptoms of MS.
So, that’s pretty interesting…how a natural ingredient, like the caffeine in coffee, can actually prevent some diseases in humans…if you look at my last post, you’ll see how I was writing how graphene has the potential to stop cancer, which is kind of along the same lines. I really enjoy learning about how things in the natural world can relate back to medicine, which is probably going to be what most of my blogs are going to be about…so that’s all for now…two posts in two days-aren’t you lucky?! 😛
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!