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Study explores link between lower MS rates and coffee consumption

Statistics show that well over two million people around the world suffer from multiple sclerosis, a disease that we've discussed in-depth in a previous post, but which is essentially characterized by the immune system's attack on the otherwise healthy protective sheath around the nerve fibers of the spine and brain.

Interestingly, a group of researchers in Sweden and the U.S. recently published the results of an eye-opening study examining whether the coffee that so many of us rely on to get through our day can actually lower our risk of developing MS.

After examining a group of 5,600 adult coffee drinkers both here in the U.S. and in Sweden, the researchers determined that those who consumed anywhere from four to six cups per day were actually one-third less likely to be diagnosed with MS.

As encouraging as these results would seem, researchers were very quick to dismiss the initial and perhaps inevitable conclusion that a person could cut their MS risk simply by consuming more coffee. Indeed, they stressed that more research was needed in order to determine whether there might be some other explanation for this phenomenon such as diet or lifestyle choices (no smoking, exercise, etc.).

Still, the researchers did concede that it's possible that caffeine could have certain "neuroprotective" properties as other studies have linked coffee consumption to lower risks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, two conditions that involve degeneration of the brain cells.

It will be fascinating to see what future studies reveal about the potential neuroprotective effect of coffee. In the meantime, those suffering from MS should know that when the condition makes it impossible to work, an experienced legal professional can help them secure the Social Security disability benefits they deserve moving forward.

Source: WebMD, "Could coffee lower risk of Multiple Sclerosis?" Amy Norton, Feb. 26, 2015

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