Caffeine ‘could protect against MS’
Caffeine could possibly help protect people against multiple sclerosis (MS), a study on mice has suggested.
Giving mice the equivalent of six to eight cups of coffee a day protected them against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model of MS.
Experts at Cornell University in the US stressed further research would need to be carried out before the study could translate to humans. But they said more research could eventually lead to new treatments for MS.
Caffeine is known to block the receptor of a molecule called adenosine, which is involved in many of the body’s biochemical processes, such as energy transfer and the promotion of sleep.
The researchers had a hypothesis that perhaps activating the adenosine receptor allowed immune cells to pass to the brain and spinal cord.
MS is thought to be caused by immune cells passing to the brain and spinal cord, attacking them and causing damage.
The movement of immune cells into the brain and other central nervous system tissue is rarely seen in people without MS. However, it is not known how the immune cells manage to infiltrate.
The Cornell researchers believe adenosine is responsible and decided to further test their theory with experiments using caffeine.
Caffeine’s stimulatory effects on the central nervous system are in large part due to its ability to bind to the same receptors as adenosine, thus blocking adenosine’s ability to affect central nervous system cells.
Mice that consumed caffeine in their drinking water were protected from developing EAE, the study found.
Maybe they should try this study with alcohol instead of caffeine to see if it has a similar effect. It does seem ‘clean living’ doesn’t help MS at all. I’d also like to add that coffee seems to ease gout (lowers uric acid), so it’s probably best to get the caffeine from tea or cola.
purineAny of a group of organic compounds containing two fused rings of carbon and nitrogen atoms. One ring has six members, the other has five, and each has two nitrogens. Purines include a number of biologically important compounds, such as adenosine, caffeine, uric acid, and the two bases adenine and guanine, which are components of DNA and RNA.