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caffeine and MS

Ready to fight MS? Well, you can start first thing every day. So, how do you start your day — a coffee maybe, or a great cup of tea? Tea is my choice but I also enjoy a magnificent cup of Spanish coffee.

According to a number of recent studies, coffee and tea could keep your brain healthy and provide protection from multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.

Drinking four to six cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of MS, as is drinking a high amount of coffee over five to 10 years. According to researchers, “Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.”1

shutterstock_391198759This is good news, at least for everyone who drinks that many cups of coffee each day. Of course, there are side effects associated with drinking coffee, like insomnia, irritability, muscle tremors, and more. However, if consumed responsibly, coffee as well as tea seem to have several health benefits.

Fight MS, and smell the aroma

News from Japan says that the simple aroma of particular coffee beans increases the alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with relaxation and meditation. The study also found that coffee can improve productivity and focus. You can read more about that here.

And you can slightly lower risk of depression by drinking coffee according to another study from the National Institutes of Health in the U.S.

Scientific American reports that some studies suggest that coffee and tea drinkers have lower rates of cognitive decline, too, but the evidence is mixed. It cites a study that was published last June in Neurobiology of Agingwhere the researchers supplemented the diets of rats with a component of coffee. They found that the animals’ brains were shielded against the changes that take place which are typical of Alzheimer’s sufferers. They also talk about a 2013 study in which the same compound was found to have protective effects against Parkinson’s disease in mouse models.

Does this mean that, as a tea and coffee drinker, I am looking after my health? I’d probably not be so bold to claim that based on the evidence so far, but can see that this deserves further investigation so that researchers can tell us more about a drink that has always been used to keep us awake or to gain a swift energy boost.

1 American Academy of Neurology 67th Annual Meeting Abstract

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this blog article are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Multiple Sclerosis.

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Ian Franks is Managing Editor of the Columns division of BioNews Services. He has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media; during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, Health & Disability blog at Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.
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  1. Jan-Michael says:

    I agree this is worth studying was it may not be the caffeine but the continuous stimulation of the brain; and stimulation can be made in other ways than caffeine. I definitely as a person with PPMS do well on coffee but more than 2 cups makes may jittery. An Espresso with biscotti give me a clear mind and does not keep me awake. I am happier as a retire and is the the strong but small amount of liquid or biscotti added to keep my brain clear happy and able to thereby embrace sleep well. It works so I am going to go with the Espresso and biscotti as it works for me. Will follow the studies!

    • Ian Franks says:

      Hi Brenda, I agree that ´lower risk´ is too late for anyone who already has MS but it seems that they can still benefit from caffeine´s neuroprotective properties and a slowing of progression in some areas.

  2. Jan-Michaell says:

    Hi Brenda and I know your frustration to end your MS symptoms and with PPMS myself, I know for me I need to be more alert, with my family and getting out of the house to theatre, into new adventures metal. The caffeine does not get rid of my MS but it does help me stay mentally and somewhat physically active in getting about with my various mobility paraphernalia. That is how the coffee helps me and reduces the effects or reduces what MS tries to limit in my days. I sleep better after a full day albeit with a few short rests throughout…Jan-Michael

    • Jan-Michaell says:

      I am not expecting a vaccine in my lifetime but I do expect stem cell harvested from one’s own marrow and then after wiping out one’s own white cells, one’s own clean stem cells will recharge and improve MS person’s health. I am a bit old to try it but I read how some are renewed. However one death did occur. I have hope for the future generations; the 1st recorded heart attack I believe was around 1899 d within 60 years it has dramatically been reduced and is treatable. “When you’re down, look UP”!

  3. Bonnie Young says:

    Jan~Michaell, yes! my thoughts EXACTLY stem cell our own is a great idea wish i could get my doctors on the same page with it !
    Prayers for all our wishes!! Bonnie

    • Michele Gibbs says:

      Michael Hader Congress has recently granted the FDA authority to regulate human tissue through the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).

      The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing – Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products is scheduled for September at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesada, MD.

      In March, 2016, bipartisian legislation was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.

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