Caffeine is one of the main components in coffee, and researchers working on animals have shown that it might protect brain cells from damage. Loss of brain or spinal cord cells contributes to disability in MS.

Swedish researchers have looked at questionnaires from thousands of people with MS, as well as those from healthy volunteers, where participants reported their coffee consumption habits. The researchers found that people who consumed more coffee per day (900 ml or approximately 6 cups) were less likely to have MS.

The effects of coffee were independent of whether subjects had been drinking coffee at the start of the disease, or 5 or 10 years before the start of the disease. Similar effects have been observed in other brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

This study, however, does not provide any evidence of a causal relationship between drinking coffee and MS, and further studies are needed to establish such a link and to understand how coffee might be reducing MS risk.

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