Medical experts previously believe that drinking alcohol may have an effect on multiple sclerosis. That is why many doctors advise patients at risk of MS to refrain from drinking alcohol. But a recent study seems to refute this idea.
Research funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council seems to indicate that drinking alcohol does not affect a person’s chances of developing MS. The researchers compared data collected from the Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) and the Epidemiological Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis (EIMS) studies. The findings were then based on 745 cases of MS and 5,246 controls taken from the GEMS study and 1,761 controls from the EIMS study.
Data showed that women who reported higher levels of alcohol consumption in the EIMS study had a 0.6 odds ratio of developing MS. Men who reported high alcohol consumption had a 0.5 odds ratio of developing the said disease. In the GEMS study, both genders showed a 0.7 odds ratio. Researchers also reported that the alcohol consumption led to a decrease in the effect of tobacco in MS.
The Swedish research team added, “Although the effect of alcohol on already established MS has not been studied herein, the data may have relevance for clinical practice since they give no support for advising persons with MS to completely refrain from alcohol.”
On the other hand, some studies suggest that smoking may have a different effect on MS. Recent findings reveal that smoking tobacco may accelerate the progression of the disease and increase the risk of an MS patient from relapsing.
Source: Science Daily
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