According to a new study, drinking coffee can actually reduce your risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), a crippling disease affecting the central nervous system.
The study, which was carried out by Dr. Ellen Mowry of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, examined two datasets — one from the United States, the other from Sweden. Examination of these datasets showed that people who drank less than four cups of coffee each day (or roughly 30 ounces) were 1.5-times more likely to develop MS.
However, researchers aren’t sure why people who drink substantial amounts of coffee each day are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis. Mowry says that’s why more research needs to be conducted. “I think from the MS perspective, there are too few data to support changing coffee intake at this time,” notes Mowry, an assistant professor of neurology. “Further research should be done to evaluate the role of coffee, including caffeine, in MS, as it may lead to identifying new targets for treatment.”
It’s worth noting that the coffee drinking habits of participants were self-reported and retrospective, meaning they may not be totally accurate.
Still, it’s not the first time a study has suggested drinking coffee may be beneficial. Previous studies have shown that regular coffee consumption could also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and may also limit the chance one will develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to drinking coffee. Excessive consumption could lead to gastrointestinal problems, while loading up a cup of coffee with high-fat milk and sugar can lead to weight gain.