Drinking up to three cups of coffee a day can protect your heart, concludes a new study presented this Friday (27) at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
Among people without a diagnosis of heart disease, regular coffee consumption of 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day was associated with a decreased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, and early death from any cause, compared to those with they didn’t drink coffee.
The study examined the coffee drinking behavior of more than 468,000 people taking part in the UK Biobank Study, which contains detailed genetic and health information on more than half a million Britons.
New information and previous studies
Studies have found that drinking moderate amounts of coffee can protect adults from type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, back pain and more.
When it comes to heart disease, a large analysis of data from three large studies published in April found that drinking one or more cups of coffee a day was associated with a reduced long-term risk of heart failure. Compared with non-coffee drinkers, the analysis found that the risk of heart failure over time decreased by between 5% and 12% for every cup of coffee consumed per day in two of the studies.
The risk of heart failure remained the same for not drinking coffee or having a cup a day, according to the third study. But when people drank two or more cups of black coffee a day, the risk dropped by about 30%, the analysis found.
“The association between caffeine and reduced heart failure risk was surprising,” said author Dr. David Kao, medical director of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in April.
“Coffee and caffeine are often considered by the general population as ‘bad’ for the heart because people associate them with palpitations, high blood pressure, etc.” Kao said in a statement.
In the April study, the benefit did not extend to decaffeinated coffee. Instead, the analysis found an association between decaffeinated coffee and an increased risk of heart failure.
Heart failure occurs when a weakened heart fails to supply the body’s cells with enough blood to get the oxygen needed to keep the body functioning properly. People with heart failure suffer from fatigue and shortness of breath and have difficulty walking, climbing stairs or other daily activities.
“Although it is not possible to prove the cause, it is intriguing that these three studies suggest that drinking coffee is associated with a decreased risk of heart failure and that coffee can be part of a healthy eating pattern if consumed pure, with no added sugar and high-fat dairy products,” said nutritionist Penny Kris-Etherton, former chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Cardiometabolic Health and Lifestyle Leadership Committee, in April. She was not involved in the research.
a little caution
Many studies on coffee are done only on the consumption of black coffee. However, adding non-dairy dairy products, sugars, flavors or creams can add too many calories, sugar and fat, which could negate the heart health benefits of coffee, advised the AHA.
How you brew coffee can also affect the health benefits of the drink. Filtered coffee picks up a compound called cafestol that exists in the oily part of the coffee. Cafestol can raise bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoproteins).
However, if you use a French press, a Turkish coffee maker, or boil your coffee (as is usually done in Scandinavian countries), the cafestol is not removed.
And certain people need to be cautious about drinking coffee, polls show. A 2017 study found that drinking more than 4 cups a day during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight, premature birth and stillbirth.
People with sleep problems or uncontrolled diabetes should consult a doctor before adding caffeine to their diets, experts say. Coffee also increases the likelihood of bone fractures in women who are at risk. In men, however, coffee did not have this effect.
And finally, the benefits of coffee don’t apply to children – even teenagers shouldn’t drink sodas, coffees, energy drinks or other beverages with any amount of caffeine, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
(Text translated, read original in English here)