Following on from American research last year which showed that one to three cups of coffee a day appeared to reduce the likelihood of an early death over a 30 year period by as much as 9% compared to a non-coffee drinker, new research out of Sweden adds another unexpected health benefit to coffee consumption.
Previous studies have suggested that regular coffee drinking can reduce the risk of heart attacks, liver disease and melanoma.
So far scientists have been at a loss to understand why coffee may even be a factor in these conditions.
Now a link has been identified specifically to the onset of multiple sclerosis, a disease which attacks the nervous system and for which there is as yet no cure.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden looked into the lifestyles of 2,779 MS sufferers and 3,960 people who were free of MS.
They found that, although no direct causal link was apparent, those who drank coffee at a high level (more than four cups a day) were 29% less likely to develop the condition.
Scientists have speculated that caffeine may produce some sort of protective barrier around the brain and central nervous system, but admit that further research would be necessary to actually identify a genuine relationship between the level of coffee intake and vulnerability to MS.
In the meantime you can continue to enjoy your coffee in the certain knowledge that, for some reason or other, a little of what you fancy can actually do you good.
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