New research has proved that drinking coffee could prevent the disease...
Get out your Starbucks loyalty card and fire up that French press; new research has revealed that drinking a lot of coffee can significantly reduce your risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Drinking 900ml a day (the equivalent of two Starbucks Grande coffees) could offer almost a 30% reduced risk of developing MS, according to analysis of two major studies which was published on March 3rd.
Researchers examined the results of one group of people in Sweden (comprised of 1,620 adults with MS and 2,788 people without the illness) and a second lot of people in the US (1,159 of which had MS, and 1,172 who were healthy).
The researchers estimated the coffee intake of individuals with MS before symptoms their began appearing, and compared this with the healthy groups.
It was revealed that the rate of MS was significantly higher among people who drank fewer cups of coffee every day in both studies – even when scientists took into consideration other factors that might alter the results.
In the Swedish study it was found that those who drank more than 900ml slashed their risk of developing MS by 28-30%, compared to those who drank none, and in the US study, there was a 26-31% reduced risk for those drinking 948ml of coffee daily at least five years before, or at the start of symptoms, according to The Telegraph.
Comparing all the research Anna Hedström, a PhD candidate from environmental medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden wrote in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry: ‘We observed a significant association between high consumption of coffee and decreased risk of developing MS.’
However, the scientists also pointed out that because this was an observational study and not a cause-and-effect examination, no definite conclusions could be drawn. Furthermore, both studies relied on people to self-analyse and record their own coffee intake, which leaves room for human error and reduces the reliability, as it’s possible people weren’t 100% accurate.
However, we’re thinking it’s still very exciting news – even though we’d struggle to glug down nearly a litre of coffee on our most sluggish days. Still, every little helps and this research still points towards the fact that drinking coffee helps MS, which means hopefully more studies will now be commissioned.
Speaking on the results Dr Emma Gray, head of clinical trials at the MS Society, said to The Telegraph: ‘This study provides new evidence that the link between the risk of developing MS and coffee consumption is worth exploring.
‘There are more than 100,000 people with MS in the UK and we don’t yet fully understand what causes it. While more studies are needed in this area, we welcome any research that offers new insights into risk factors for MS.’