Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Best news ever.

I am not normally inclined to get excited over the latest story linking diet to health. I mean, I'm pleased that eating two cups of cottage cheese* a day can help boost my resistance to herpes but, to be frank, I'm skeptical that individual foods make that big a difference. Often beliefs about the healing powers of foods are dramatically overblown- such as the belief that red wine or green tea have some sort of mystical life-extending abilities. Sure, people who live in countries where a lot of those products are consumed have long life expectancies, but they are hardly the only differences.

All that said, however, I have decided to throw caution to the wind and get excited about this recent news. As it turns out, there may be a readily available foodstuff that can help prevent multiple sclerosis. Maybe:

Mice given caffeine equivalent to a human drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day were protected from developing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for the human disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS), according to researchers at Cornell University.

Caffeine is a well-known adenosine receptor blocker, and the researchers believe results show the importance of this molecule in permitting the infiltration of immune cells into the central nervous system of patients with MS.


Caffeine's stimulatory effects on the CNS are in large part due to its ability to bind to the same receptors as adenosine, thus blocking adenosine's ability to affect CNS cells. Mice that consumed caffeine in their drinking water were protected from development of EAE, the MS model. Dr. Bynoe concludes that these experiments show that CD73 and adenosine receptor signaling are required for the efficient entry of immune cells into the CNS during the initiation and progression of EAE in mice and, quite possibly, during the development of MS in humans.

Dr. Bynoe adds, "These results might mark the first in a series of discoveries from our lab that could spawn the impetus for the development of adenosine-based therapies for the treatment of MS."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right: I can now justify the consumption of my drug of choice** with the claim that it is not merely fun, but actually good for me!

I don't think I've ever been so happy!

* In my view one of the most revolting food items widely available in this country.

** Caffeine in virtually any liquid form and particularly coffee. Still, I concede I am rather intrigued by Shower Shock.

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Blogger Practicing Idealist said...

I agree that it's nice to have confirmation that coffee is okay to drink, but I'm also really excited about the possibilities for treating MS. This is awesome!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Marf said...

Heh. I think I'll drink a mountain dew to celebrate. Although I'd drink it either way...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 1:54:00 PM  

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