New research shows that regularly drinking lots of coffee lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.
Coffee—a lot of it—is linked to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, finds the largest study of its kind to date. People who remembered guzzling four to six cups of coffee a day for 5 to 10 years had about a 30 percent lower risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), compared to those who say they never drank coffee (Hedstrom et al., 2016).
But don’t grind those extra beans yet. “Available data do not support recommendations for or against heavy coffee drinking for people at risk of MS,” cautioned first author Anna Hedström, PhD, an epidemiologist at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden, in an email to MSDF.
“They’ve done a good job with the study [and] have been careful with the methods,” said Elaine Kingwell, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, in a phone interview with MSDF. “The findings are interesting. Caffeine or coffee in MS hasn’t been studied that much. It’s right to be a little cautious. It definitely needs further research.” Kingwell wrote an editorial commentary with the paper (Wijnands and Kingwell, 2016). Both articles were published online March 3 in theJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
The new study investigated coffee consumption in two groups of people for the 5 or 10 years before and at the time of their first symptoms. The separate and combined analyses looked at 1620 people with MS in Sweden and 1159 people with MS in Northern California, compared to similar people without MS in both places.
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