Your daily coffee can benefit your heart and help you live longer, new study shows

  • Drinking coffee has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms.
  • This was shown in a new study by researchers at the American College of Cardiology.
  • The researchers noted that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day was most beneficial.

Drinking coffee has several benefits, from increasing our energy levels and helping us stay alert to speeding up digestion and potentially protecting us against diabetes.

And if your love of coffee runs deep, there’s another reason to stick with your favorite beverage: It’s associated with good heart health and increased longevity, according to recent studies.

The research was conducted by scientists from the American College of Cardiology who presented their findings at the 71st Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology.

provide peace of mind

The team found that drinking two to three cups of coffee per day was linked to optimal health benefits. These findings were consistent between participants with and without cardiovascular disease.

These analyzes are the largest yet to assess coffee’s potential role in heart disease and death, and provide reassurance that the brew may protect the heart, rather than cause or worsen heart disease, they said.

Primary author, Peter Kistlerprofessor and head of arrhythmia research at the Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart Institute in Melbourne, Australia, explains: “Because coffee can speed up the heart rate, some people worry that drinking it might trigger or worsen certain heart problems. Here That’s where the general practitioner’s recommended stop drinking coffee may come from.”

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He added:

But our data suggests that daily coffee intake should not be discouraged, but included as part of a healthy diet for people with and without heart disease.

The average age of the participants was 57 years.

The study

For the study, Kistler and colleagues used data from the UK BioBank, a large-scale biomedical database that investigates the health of more than half a million people who were followed for at least 10 years.

In the first analysis, the team looked at the effects of different levels of coffee consumption, ranging from one cup to more than six cups a day, on the following:

  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Cardiovascular disease (including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke)
  • Total and heart-related deaths among people with and without cardiovascular disease

“We found that drinking coffee had a neutral effect, meaning it did not cause harm, or was associated with heart health benefits,” Kistler said.

digging deeper

Overall, they found that participants who drank two to three cups of coffee a day showed the greatest benefit, meaning a 10% to 15% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm problems or die for any reason. . Those who drank one cup of coffee a day had the lowest risk of stroke or heart-related death.

A study published in 2021, which also drew on data from the UK Biobank, found that drinking coffee and tea, separately or in combination, was associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia. “These findings may be of interest to clinicians involved in the prevention and treatment of stroke, dementia, and post-stroke dementia,” the authors wrote.

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Second analysis

The second analysis focused on participants who had some form of cardiovascular disease. Among this cohort, drinking two to three cups of coffee a day was associated with lower odds of dying, compared to not drinking coffee.

“Doctors are generally apprehensive about people with known cardiovascular disease or arrhythmias continuing to drink coffee, so they often err on the side of caution and advise them to stop drinking it for fear it might trigger heart rhythms.” dangerous,” Kistler said. . “But our study shows that regular coffee consumption is safe and could be part of a healthy diet for people with heart disease.”

More is not always better

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day seemed to produce the most favorable and maximum health benefits overall. Kistler therefore advised that people should not increase their coffee intake in the hope that it will provide even greater benefit. This is especially important to keep in mind if drinking coffee makes you feel anxious or uncomfortable.

He added:

There is a whole range of mechanisms through which coffee can reduce mortality and have these favorable effects on cardiovascular diseases. Coffee drinkers should feel confident that they can continue to enjoy coffee even if they have heart disease.

How exactly is coffee beneficial?

The benefits are found in the coffee beans, not necessarily the caffeine, the researchers said.

Coffee beans have more than 100 biologically active compounds, they explained, and these substances play, among others, a key role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, inhibiting intestinal fat absorption, and blocking receptors ( known to be involved with abnormal heart rhythms).

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Testing and comparing the benefits of instant coffee to ground coffee (as well as caffeinated and decaf), they found that the above benefits were seen in both ground and instant coffee drinkers. The lower rates of death were also evident in drinkers of all types of coffee. While decaf coffee did not have a positive health impact in terms of incident arrhythmia, it did reduce cardiovascular disease, with the exception of heart failure.

According to Kistler, the study’s findings suggest that caffeinated coffee is generally preferable, and that there is no cardiovascular benefit to choosing decaf over caffeinated coffee.

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