2008-07-02 03:50:37 GMT 2008-07-02 11:50:37 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- A strong cup of coffee may do more than just wake you up in the mornings, it could also prevent your from multiple sclerosis (MS), media quoted U.S. researchers as saying Wednesday.
Researchers in Oklahoma found that mice appeared to be protected from MS-like condition by drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day.
"This is an exciting and unexpected finding, and I think it could be important for the study of MS and other diseases," said Linda Thompson, from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Caffeine prevented adenosine, one of the four building blocks in DNA, from mixing with its receptor in mice. Adenosine is common molecule in humans and plays a large role in helping to control the biochemical processes for sleep and suppressing arousal.
The findings could have important implications for other auto-immune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the researcher said.
However, there was still a lot more work to be done in the further research since a mouse is not a human being, so it may not be quite sure whether caffeine will have the same effect on people prone to develop MS without much more testing.
Some 2.5 million people worldwide are thought to suffer from MS, a disorder of the central nervous system, which leads to loss of muscle coordination.