A recent study has suggested that the hot cup of coffee may help protect against multiple sclerosis (MS). The study revealed that mice immunized to develop an MS-like condition were protected from the disease by drinking caffeine.
The scientists discovered that when the rodents consumed the equivalent of six to eight cups of coffee a day, they did not develop the condition.
According to Dr.Linda Thompson, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist, the caffeine stopped adenosine (one of the four building blocks in DNA) from binding to an adenosine receptor in mice. When adenosine could not bind to the receptor, this prevented certain T cells from reaching the central nervous system and triggering the cascade of events that lead to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model for the human disease MS. T cells belong to a group of white blood cells called as ‘lymphocytes’. These T cells have a central role in cell-mediated immunity and in generating immune responses.
Thompson said that this finding could lead to new ways to prevent and treat MS in humans. While the results are inspiring, there is much more work to be done for the prevention of MS in humans.
By Shilpa Nangali