Looking for an excuse to drink more coffee? Well, if you have a propensity to get Multiple Sclerosis, some recent studies show that there could be some health benefits for you.
The question is, if you already are diagnosed with the illness, it’s not clear if drinking coffee will help.
Check out what some of the experts are saying.
1. More studies need to be done
One solid conclusion is that more studies need to be done. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley, looked at two studies involving coffee and MS.
Dr. Emma Gray, head of clinical trials at the MS Society, said: “This study provides new evidence that the link between the risk of developing MS and coffee consumption is worth exploring.”
2. Two studies show coffee may suppress the onset of Multiple Sclerosis
In a study conducted in the United States, those who drank about about 30 fluid ounces a day of coffee (about two Grande-sized Starbucks coffees) had a 26 to 31 percent lower risk of symptoms of MS exacerbations, according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The researchers suggest that the study was an observation, and no specific conclusions can be drawn due to the study.
“Although it remains to be shown whether drinking coffee can prevent the development of MS, the results of these thorough analyses add to the growing evidence for the beneficial health effects of coffee,” said Andreas Wijnands, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “The intriguing findings indicate that the role of coffee in the development of MS clearly warrants further investigation.”
3. How many people were involved
The one study conducted in Sweden compared 1,620 adults with Multiple Sclerosis and 2,788 people without MS.
The second study was conducted in the United States and involved 1,159 people with MS and 1,172 people without the neurological illness.
4. How the study was conducted
The researchers estimated coffee intake at and before the start of Multiple Sclerosis symptoms in those who developed the disease, and compared this with healthy groups.
The results showed that the risk of MS was consistently higher among people who drank fewer cups of coffee every day even after taking into account other factors that might influence the results.
5. Already benefits of coffee has been proven
Espresso contains more than 1,000 organically dynamic mixes, including the stimulant, caffeine. That’s proven in the past to help lower rates of cardiovascular illness, stroke and diabetes.
“The results of these thorough analyses add to the growing evidence for the beneficial health effects of coffee,” wrote Dr. Elaine Kingwell of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.
6. It’s not clear why it works
It’s not clear why coffee lowers the risk for Multiple Sclerosis. The researchers think it may be the neuro-protective properties of caffeine that help suppress the production of chemicals created in the body’s inflammatory response.
Dr. Mark Keegan, professor of neurology and chair of the division of Multiple Sclerosis at the Mayo Clinic, said, “They show some observational evidence that in two separate populations high amounts of coffee intake was associated with a reduction in the risk of MS.”
But Keegan said he knows of no study that could explain the link very well, and he wouldn’t suggest any lifestyle changes for people who hope to lower their risk for MS, or for people already with the illness.
He added, “At least it’s not harmful.”