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AAN 2015: Coffee consumption protects you from getting MS


Senior Member
AAN 2015: Coffee consumption protects you from getting MS

.Premission to repost by Prof. Gavin Giovannoni

There are some in the ME/CFS medical field that believe ME/CFS is 'MS Light' or 'Atypical MS'. Dr. Hornig alluded to this fact recently. The reason I post these articles is the fact that research in one area may spill over into another area of research or the fact that researchers reviewing a site may look at the research in another disease category that could be related to theirs and it might raise their interest level.

Are you a heavy coffee drinker?

Gavin Giovannoni commenting:
"I was at a meeting yesterday and the discussion centred around risk factor for Parkinson's disease and whether or not any of these were applicable to MS. The study below being presented at the AAN shows that coffee consumption is protective and reduces your chances of getting MS."

"I am a bit of a caffeine junkie myself; mainly to keep my sleep deprived brain alert and functional. I must consume about 8 shots of espresso before mid afternoon; the upside is I am protecting myself from getting neurodegenerative diseases, MS included. Jokes aside, there is interesting biology here and we really need to find out if the association is causal. Does caffeine really reduce your risk of getting MS because it has immunological or neuroprotective effects, or is it simply associated with a genomic or another environmental risk factor for MS?

For example, some of the genes linked to MS susceptibility may simply increase your chances of drinking and liking coffee. The only way to sort this out is to get into the lab and do some basic experiments or to do an interventional study. The other thing to remember is that it may not be caffeine the active stimulant in coffee that is responsible of the effect; coffee has a large number of other active ingredients that may be responsible."

"Well done to Ellen Mowry and her team; a very well done study and very interesting."

Mowry et al. Greater Consumption of Coffee is Associated with Reduced Odds of Multiple Sclerosis (S45.004). Neurology April 6, 2015 vol. 84 no. 14 Supplement S45.004

We sought to determine if coffee consumption is associated with MS risk.

Previous studies on caffeine consumption and MS risk have been inconclusive. Caffeine intake has been associated with reduced odds of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and thus may be neuroprotective.

Using two population-based case-control studies (a Swedish study of 1,629 incident cases and 2,807 controls, and a Kaiser Permanente Northern California (United States) study of 584 prevalent cases and 581 controls), the association of coffee consumption prior to disease onset with the odds of MS was evaluated in multivariate unconditional logistic regression models, adjusted for potential confounding factors, including (but not limited to) age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and sun exposure habits.

In the Swedish cohort, coffee consumption was associated with reduced odds of MS compared to subjects who reported no coffee consumption. Consuming at least 6 cups of coffee daily during the index year was associated with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) for MS of 0.67 (95%CI 0.47-0.95). The corresponding ORs for those who reported high coffee consumption 5 or 10 years before the index year were 0.70 (95% CI 0.50-0.99) and 0.72 (95%CI 0.48-1.06). In the Kaiser Permanente Northern California study, among those who consumed 4 our more cups of coffee daily prior to the index year, the OR for MS was also 0.67 (95% CI 0.47-0.95).

High coffee consumption is associated with reduced odds of MS. Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which may be mechanisms that explain the observed association.

Study Supported by:
Swedish Medical Research Council; Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare; Knut and Alice Wallenberg, AFA, and Swedish Brain Foundations; Swedish Association for Persons with Neurological Disabilities; NIH/NINDS R01 NS049510; R01 NS0495103; NIH/NIAID R01 A1076544


Senior Member
It's more likely that people with MS or pre-MS can't handle coffee very well. This doesn't have to be related to genetics.

It's similar to saying that being sedentary or not drinking alcohol increases the risk diseases. It's a helluva lot more likely that people with undiagnosed disease, or in a pre-disease state, do not tolerate those activities to the same extent as healthy people.

If they want to be taken seriously about these sorts of correlations, they need to use long-term prospective studies.