The U.S. government is now telling us it’s OK to drink 3-5 cups of coffee per day – and it’s about time. The health benefits of coffee have been researched, and proven, for years. Now there’s new research suggesting that coffee may even be able to help prevent one of the most awful diseases we face.
This new study said that drinking coffee may be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is a devastating autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system that hits between 2 and 2.5 million people per year globally – many of them young adults in the prime of life. It slowly robs its victims of their ability to function mentally and physically, and typically shortens their lives by 5-10 years. There is no known cure.
However, this new research suggests that something as simple as drinking coffee may help prevent MS from ever taking hold.
“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,” said study author Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, in a statement.
Mowry’s team looked at a Swedish study of 1,629 people with MS and 2,807 healthy people, and a U.S. study of 1,159 people with MS and 1,172 healthy people.
According to the release, “The studies characterized coffee consumption among persons with MS one and five years before MS symptoms began (as well as 10 years before MS symptoms began in the Swedish study) and compared it to coffee consumption of people who did not have MS at similar time periods. The study also accounted for other factors such as age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and sun exposure habits.
The Swedish study found that compared to people who drank at least six cups of coffee per day during the year before symptoms appeared, those who did not drink coffee had about a one and a half times increased risk of developing MS. Drinking large amounts of coffee five or ten years before symptoms started was similarly protective.”
In the US study, people who didn’t drink coffee were found to be 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.
These are amazing findings – especially in light of their provenance: the study was supported by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg, AFA, and Swedish Brain Foundations, the Swedish Association for Persons with Neurological Disabilities and the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute on Aging.
In other works, these weren’t fringe characters practicing questionable research methods. These studies are the real deal.