Moderate Coffee Consumption Can Save Your Heart

By Monica Wilson on June 27, 2012

Until now, there’s still much debate on whether coffee consumption is good for the heart or not. Some studies show that coffee provides a number of benefits to one’s health while other research found no link at all.

Instead of knowing whether it’s a definite ‘no’ or ‘yes’, a new study published in the Journal Circulation: Heart Failure focused on investigating how much coffee one has to drink in determining its benefits.

The Study

They say too much of everything is bad. This is true with coffee consumption. In a study led by Elizabeth Mostofsky, a doctoral fellow in the cardiovascular epidemiological unit at BIDMC, it was found that moderate coffee drinking lowers down the risk of developing heart failure. She and her team of researchers analysed the data gathered from five separate studies conducted in Finland and Sweden which involved 140,220 participants and 6,522 cases of heart failure. They found that drinking coffee in moderate amounts lowers the risk of heart failure by 11%. And although they didn’t assess whether the coffee consumed was caffeinated or decaffeinated, most coffee consumed in Sweden and Finland was caffeinated.

According to Mostofsky, the possible benefits of coffee depend on how much one drinks. Researchers found a J-shaped relationship between heart failure and habitual coffee consumption. The increase in benefits was observed upon consumption of four to five European cups a day while no benefit was seen when people didn’t consume any coffee at all.

However, researchers found that drinking more than 5 cups of coffee per day pose potential harm to one’s health.

Moderate Coffee Consumption for a Healthy Heart

Although it is unclear why moderate consumption of coffee is linked to a lower risk of heart failure, the researchers suggest that one possible reason for this was that drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure – two major health factors of heart failure.

Previous research has shown that drinking coffee lowers down the risk of Type 2 diabetes. And when a person doesn’t have diabetes, it’s more likely that he has lower risk of heart failure too, explained Dr Murray Mittleman, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of BIDMC’s cardiovascular epidemiological research program and physician in the Cardiovascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre.

Coffee was also found to have a positive effect on maintaining blood pressure. Studies show that light caffeine consumption is known to elevate blood pressure. However, moderate consumption helps people develop some level of tolerance where coffee no longer poses any risk and may even prevent the rise in blood pressure.

Mostofsky identified the need for more research. Nonetheless, she suggest that their findings may warrant a change to the health guidelines, acknowledging that coffee consumption, when made in moderation, may be good for one’s health too.

 

Source of this article:

Moderate Coffee Consumption Offers Protection Against Heart Failure, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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